Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Title: Trackers
Series: The Birthright Project #2

Author: Kathryn Mackel

Genre: YA (14-18) Fantasy

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Trackers:

Timothy crouched in the grass, his heart hammering as he crept toward the Wall of Traxx. His attention was fixed on danger, but his heart was intent on Dawnray, the lovely village girl on the other side of the wall—held captive in the royal palace. He was ready with a plan and had almost accumulated what he needed to make it all happen.

One thing stood in Timothy’s way, and it wasn’t the deadly wall of thorns that surrounded the stronghold. The voice of his camp leader, Brady, who was off somewhere with fellow outrider Niki, nevertheless nagged at him in his head.

What most annoyed Timothy was not that the outrider’s voice was imaginary, but that it told the truth.
A group of warrior-evangelists confront evil forces natural, unnatural, and supernatural that are bent on the destruction of the world.

The Craft: With Trackers, the Birthright Project has been officially concluded.

I say “officially,” for it is very apparent at the end of this novel that more was intended to follow. A sense of closure is valiantly attempted. Nonetheless, the satisfaction that should mark the end of not only a book but also a whole series is largely missing. In fact, the final pages leave a bitter edge in the reader’s mouth. Too may plot ends remain loose and questions unanswered.

This saddens me, for while the Birthright Project may not have the stellar storytelling craft that makes a story truly enduring, it is a solid story with complex characters, a strong plot, and an intriguing premise. I am very sorry that the books did not sell well enough so that the publisher would see fit to bring this series to its finale.

The Content: While this abrupt end also affects the content as it cuts short the character arcs it is so tied to, strong and powerful themes resonate within Trackers: Learning to forgive, how to restore the one who betrayed trust, the danger of following one’s heart, the destructive forces of the lust for power and deception, the burden of leadership.

Beyond that, there are strong environmental themes (though not out-of-balance with what the Bible teaches), as well as strong elements of violence. The violence includes (but is not limited to) sword fighting, torture, attempted rape, and off-page gang rape. While none of these elements are done in an overly graphic manner nor handled inappropriately within the context of the story, they do make this story very much targeted for older teens and adults.

Summary: Trackers is marred by an end with a bitter taste, as it is the forced conclusion of this series. Nonetheless, it is still a good story that could be quite enjoyable for many older teens and adults.

Ratings: Craft—3, Content—4, Overall—3.5 out of 5 stars

Also check out book one, Outriders.

1 comment:

淑李娟 said...
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