Max the Wolf (not a real wolf) wakes up in the woods with no memory of how he got there. But he is in his Boy Scout uniform so he must have gotten lost on a Scouting trip. He loves solving mysteries so he decides to use his skills to figure out how he got to Heroes Woods and how he can get home. Then he meets Banderbrock a warrior badger who can talk; this forces him to reevaluate…maybe he is dead or dreaming. Soon the small band of warriors is joined by McTavish the Monster (a fierce barn cat) and Walden the Bear. Together they try to avoid the Cutters who want to cut out everything that makes them who they are and turn them into what the Cutters believe they should be. They journey through Heroes Wood trying to reach sanctuary down the Mysterly River.
Max and his gang are wonderful characters and this is a great mystery/adventure book for older elementary age kids and anyone who enjoys a good story. I especially loved McTavish…he is just such a rascal and he offers great comic relief to the story. The group has a typical hero’s journey though the woods as they are trying to get to the wizard for sanctuary and avoid the Cutters at the same time. I guess my one complaint would be the villains of the story…the Cutters. They seemed very one-dimensional and their motivations were never really clear. Then the end came and it was a little disappointing. Not the information we gained because we did find out why our heroes were in Heroes Wood and why the Cutters wanted to cut them, but it just seemed a little rushed and dense. I wish we could have found out some of this information earlier in the story instead of learning everything right there at the end. However, this did not diminish the wonderful story that preceded it. I really enjoyed Max, Banderbrock, McTavish and Walden and their journey through the Heroes Woods