Monday, April 03, 2006

It's high kickin', ya glean it?

Book Review: Outriders

Outriders, by Kathryn Mackel, is one of those books that will grab your imagination and take it for a wild ride through a familiar, yet alien land. With full characters that make you care, and excitement that can get your pulse racing.

Generations after warfare and pollution poisoned the planet and destroyed civilization, one group of survivors remembers their heritage, their birthright. From their sanctuary, the Ark, sunk deep below the arctic ice they train their young to be outriders who do the impossible. To return to the surface world and save the original creation and spread the forgotten Truth. But these young people face more than a poisoned world.

So called sorcerers, wielding the last remnant of science that helped destroy mankind, create abominations by transmogrifying animals and humans to suit the whims of their warlord masters. Only by holding to the Truth that they know, can the outriders hope to overcome the mogs and the greater evil that festers in this poisoned world.

Kathryn Mackel has created a tale full of biblical symbolism and imagery, one of haunting beauty and terrible destruction. All of her characters come through as full people, who each struggle with their own human natures (or fully give in to them) while seeking to fulfill their mission. You come to care for each of the main Characters as soon as you meet them, even when it is clear they are being hard headed and foolish.

One thing I thought Kathryn did extremely well was the "jangle" of the rookie outriders. It came off as totally believable and fluid, but not impossible to understand. However, some of the action scenes felt a bit muddled, and the world-building didn't always hold up for me, but that was easily forgiven in the scope of the journey each character took.

If you like strong action and adventure founded strongly in Christ, then this book won't let you down. Give it a chance and don't dismiss it simply because the setting seems so wild. And even if you don't like it, get it for a young man in your life, a son, nephew, grandson or just some kid in the youth group. They'll love it.

As for me, the sequel can't come out soon enough.

2 Comments:

Blogger ChrisWoznitza said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:23 AM, April 03, 2006  
Blogger Pam Hillman said...

Great review, Stuart! And you're right: my 12 yo son loved Outriders as much as I did. It was fun to read it together, although sometimes I had to hunt the book up when he "snitched" it! lol

Also, we'll be chatting with Kathryn Mackel April 3 at 7 PM CT (that's TONIGHT!) in the ACFW chat room if your readers would like to stop. Just go to:

www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com and scroll down to the link that will take you to the chat rooms.

9:59 AM, April 03, 2006  

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