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Beka Cooper: Terrier by Caroline Sutton


Beka Cooper: Terrier
By Tamora Pierce

Realistically I live in this world, but Tamora Pierce makes me feel like I live in Beka Cooper's world , where life is hard, extremely dangerous and corrupt. Beka Cooper is living in 246 H.E. (Human Era) when she becomes a Puppy, training under the Provost Dogs (policemen) that guard the capital city. It is very hard work, and normally only two out of ten Puppies make it through the first year of training. Beka is assigned to work in the poorest and most violent part of the city, the Cesspool.
I think Beka is the most important character because you get to experience the tough situations of her life through her eyes. So far, Beka has had a very hard life. Her mother and siblings lived in the Cesspool until her family was taken in by a Lord for doing a great deed. After a man beat up her mother and took their little valuables, Beka trailed him, and found the head of a gang. She reported this to the Lord even though others wouldn't believe her because she was only eight years old. After they were taken in, her mother died of lung cancer.
Because of seeing all the crime in the city, Beka feels it is her duty to become a Dog and help spread justice. I like Beka because she wants to follow through with her dream, which is to keep the Cesspool as safe as possible. She tells her story through journal entries, recounting every detail of what happened so that it seems like it's happening right when you are reading it. She also writes her thoughts down so that you understand her ideas as well as her reasoning when trying to solve mysteries.
As Beka trains under her expert Dogs, strange things start to happen and she needs to reel in all her wits and magical resources if she wants her dearest friends as well as herself to stay alive. She needs to keep the Cesspool safe. However, Beka has some interesting tools such as Pounce, her seemingly magical cat with purple eyes and weird behavior; her magic, very different from mage magic (wizards magic); her friends; and her senses. Beka's magic is probably her most useful weapon. She hears the voices of the dead, the souls who ride on the backs of pigeons before they're carried to the Black God's Gates of Death. This way she can keep track of and hear who died and why. She can also hear tiny tornado like things that gather from constant gusts of wind at street corners. These creatures take in all the sound around them and store it. Most people can't hear them and stay away from them, but Beka hears all the information they've collected. Along with her aware senses, clever plans, friends, and cat, she might just be a match for the city's big troubles.
Whatever the odds, Beka is determined to resolve major mysteries. One mystery involving extremely valuable stones and mass murders, another concerning a murderous thief who thinks he rules the city, and calls himself the Shadow Snake. As the book progresses, things get deadly for some, and extremely lucky for others.
When I read this book, the most important messages that came to me were believe in yourself, and to stick with what you want to do if you know it's the right thing for you. Beka knows she wants to become a Dog to keep people safe and bring justice to the city but some people don't agree. Her brothers and sisters think it is too dangerous and that it is men's work. They want her to be a seamstress or a maid. I found this message inspiring and thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Even though this book takes place in a magical world, it still feels realistic, and as if it could have happened in our world many years ago. If you like action, a bit of fantasy, and troubling mysteries, check out Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce. It just might be the type of book you're looking for!



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

tor10jax said...
Jul. 9, 2009 at 5:51 pm:
I think your review was good. I've read a bunch of Tamora Pierces' novels, but this one did not originally intrigue me. Since you've said her powers (which always interest me) I'm much more likely to read it. Good job!
 
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Jaquie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 10, 2009 at 1:44 am:
I loved this book; and I love your review even more. It was fantastic it almost made me want to read it again. I am a fan of all things Tamora Pierce. Tortallan series especially. Great job. Keep writing.
God bless,
...,
 
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