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Posted December 13, 2006
Great Christian Science Fiction read
Trackers is Kathryn Mackel¿s second book in the Birthrighters Project. The young men and women sent out from the ark below the ice in Outriders, continue their responsibilities of gathering species from God¿s original creation amidst a world filled with warlords, mutants and now an ancient evil. But not only must they fight against this evil, they must struggle with their own desires¿ desires that could destroy their mission and leave them exposed. Tracker Timothy manipulates the others, convincing Niki and a rook to enter Baron Alrod¿s palace in order to retrieve the secretive shroud, when his real intentions are to rescue Dawnray, the woman the baron has taken for his ¿lolly.¿ The rook, Anastasia, discovers a young man indentured to the sorcerer Ghedo, who dreams of good though knows only evil. While Timothy¿s group penetrates the palace, Brady and his crew work to save a small village against the darkest evil they¿ve faced yet. Brady must accomplish this while learning to trust Ajoba to be obedient. A new twist in Trackers is that Ghedo must face his own worst fear¿being unseated by a more powerful sorcerer. The novel is filled with graphic images of a world gone wrong. With each character Mackel takes great care to delve into their deepest desires and weakness, but views them from the light of the Cross. I enjoy the creativity of this author because I never know what will happen next. Though the darkness is the blackest of evils, Mackel relies on the brightest of Lights to dispel it, something I¿d love to see in more novels. The redemptive value of the story deeply blessed me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2006
I Want More!
You¿re going to be disappointed if you read the first 2 books in this series. You might notice that I gave both of these books 5 star ratings and wonder why I¿d say this. Well, WestBow Press, at the time I write this, has elected to not publish the 3rd and final book in this series. You¿re going to be disappointed in the light that Outriders and Trackers are so good that you¿ll feel a certain emptiness knowing that book 3 is unlikely (not impossible) to be forthcoming. I love the post apocalyptic sub-genre of mainstream science fiction as well as Christian science fiction in general and this series falls into both of those categories. It exceeded my expectations in terms of plot and character development to the extent that I¿ve actually caught myself daydreaming about the story. Off hand I can only recall a couple of stories that have had that effect on me, ¿The Stand¿ by Steven King, and ¿The Time Machine¿ by H. G. Wells. ¿Outriders¿ and ¿Trackers¿ are definitely well worth reading even knowing that the story may never be finished.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 15, 2006
It should NOT be the last
Strong: Mackel is excellent at both character development and world building. As another reviewer posted her characters are very three dimensional, even the villains. And it¿s so very important to have three dimensional villains. It makes them even more creepy! The heroes are very real, flawed and conflicted. Their challenges, both physical and spiritual ring true. This painstaking development means a reader is drawn into the story, caring about the outcome and the path taken to resolution. The very idea of this story is a strong point as well. While a post apocalyptic earth is no ground breaking concept, the idea of a remnant of people surviving in a ¿safe house¿ under water certainly is. The whole premise of training up the youth of this community to leave the safety of the Ark and live on the surface, gathering samples of nearly extinct species of flora and fauna is very cool! To me it¿s not the kind of `quest¿ you normally find within the pages of a fantasy. The action is well paced and the story moves along. I can¿t recall hitting any points where I skimmed words to get to the next action scene. Every word moved me forward which makes this a quick, engaging read. Cover art! The cover art totally rocks! As a consumer I¿m very drawn to the covers of books. I can¿t recall where I posted this before (I think it was comments on someone¿s blog) but when I shop for books I shop first for authors I know and love. If there are no new books or books I haven¿t already read, I shop by cover art. If I¿ve got two books in my hand, and money for one, and both books are equally as interesting to me the book with the great cover art is the one that goes home with me. I would totally pick Trackers up off a book shelf because of the cover art alone. Somewhere in between: Okay, this is something totally, totally based on my personal preference but I don¿t believe that Trackers stands alone as it¿s own story. Yes, it was meant to be part of a trilogy that became a duo, but I like it when my series books have enough background info to continue what was written about previously but not so much that if I¿ve waited a year between books I¿m lost because there is such a huge connection to the previous book. The beginning of Trackers picks up many threads from Outriders. This is great because it¿s a series. Not so great because anyone picking up Trackers is pretty much lost in the beginning. Take this observation with a grain of salt because, again, it¿s a personal preference of mine. Weak: There are many, many point of view changes in Trackers. It makes it very difficult to deeply involve yourself any one character¿s story line. Each character is well developed but the frequent point of view changes take away from that. Let¿s talk story line. As I said before, this is an excellent concept. And for the most part each individual story line is well developed but there were instances where I was jarred out of the story line but certain situations the characters were in. Stuart said it better than I could so I¿ll quote him here: ¿two characters are infiltrating the stronghold of Traxx as a drugde (slave) and owner. The two are waiting in a security line, but are talking as themselves, bickering back and forth, and making reference to what role the other is supposed to be taking. It felt like they were being careless in the midst of a group of self-serving, backstab any stranger to get ahead type people, with no worries or consequences. May be a minor thing, but it broke the scene for me. Yeah Stuart, me too. I also had a difficult time with Merrihana¿s (the baroness) role in this book. Her story line did feel jagged to me and I can¿t quite place the reason why. Something about her did not ring true. For a woman who was so strong and hard to be so easily led by Ghedo (the royal sorcerer), it disturbed me. The biggest problem I had this Trackers though was the end. It didn¿t seem like an end. It felt like there were threads hanging. Once I readWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.