An excellent addition to the Warriors series!
I was a bit hesitant to read this after the first Dawn of the Clans book. The Sun Trail was maybe a three-star read for me. But Thunder Rising was infinitely better. Firstly, there's more action. In the first book, it's just a lot of journeying and survival and stuff. Which isn't bad, but not always interesting. This had a lot more action going on and is therefore more interesting and therefore better.
Clear Sky has got to be the best (or is it worst, because he's so creepy) Warriors villain to date. You think Tigerclaw, Brokenstar, Hawk Frost, Mapleshade were bad? Meet Clear Sky. I think what makes him so awesomely scary is that somewhere in that twisted head of his he truly believes he's doing the right thing. You see, Tigerclaw may have been scary but he was just one-sidedly evil. Clear Sky is more complex and thus a better villain.
I also like that there's more character development. I thought in the first book, Gray Wing was kind of bland. But we see a lot more of him in this book and I'm starting to really like him. I also like Thunder, I can tell he's a character I will really like.
And the instalove that was between Gray Wing and Storm in the first book is replaced by the romance between Gray Wing and Turtle Tail, which I (and I don't usually say this about romances) definitely approve of. Gray Wing and Turtle Tail. I definitely ship them. Because there is absolutely no instalove here. It's a romance that slowly grew over time from friendship to love. And I definitely like that.
Essential, every single problem I had with the first book is resolved in Thunder Rising. So why not five stars? I'm stingy with five star ratings. Sorry :( But overall, I really enjoyed Thunder Rising and highly recommend it.
Now, where is the sequel? I MUST READ IT.