One of the reasons why I like this series so much is that Brennan's characters are capable of empathy and personal growth and Brennan uses their relationship with the fabulous mythical creatures to show this.
"Jake soon tired of pretending to be a victim and so began mock-wrestling with the head, pretending to be its mighty slayer. “I’m going to kill one of these someday,” he proclaimed. “I should prefer you didn’t,” I said, rather sharply. “I did this for science, but it having now been done, I hope it needn’t be done again. Only the fangs have any real value on the market, and those only as curiosities and raw material for carving; should an entire animal die, just so we might take four of its teeth? I almost feel sorry for it. At the end, it was trying to swim away. It only wanted to live.”
“She,” Tom said, climbing over the railing. He was dripping with bloody water. “No eggs in her abdomen, but the ovipositor marks her very clearly as female. I wonder where they lay them?”
My chastisement had made little mark on my son, but Tom’s revelation silenced him. Much later, he admitted to me that the pronoun was what struck him so forcefully: the pronoun, and the possibility of eggs. With those two words, the sea-serpent changed from a terrible beast to a simple animal, not entirely different from the broken-winged sparrow we had once nursed back to health together.
A dangerous beast, true, and one that could have sent the Basilisk to the bottom of the ocean. But she had been alive, and had wanted to go on living; now she was dead, and any progeny she might have borne with her. Jake was very quiet after that, and remained so for several days."
It is quite moving.