is a fun read that goes deeper than one may notice at first glance, but suffers from some minor flaws that kept me from fully falling into the story in the first half of the book.
Kathryn's biggest strength in this book, is without a doubt, her characters. Each one is fleshed out and struggles within and without. Her Christians don't have an easy path to follow, and not every choice is clear cut and simple, her villains aren't 2 dimensional and cardboard, but their evil isn't watered down either. And even when she makes a very startling revelation at the end of the book that I guarantee you won't see coming, but it still makes sense, as she has laid the groundwork early on.
The story itself is fast paced and weaves the separate threads together well to create a tapestry of adventure. You truly do feel a sense of peril for all the heroes at one point, and everyone has their own crucial part to play and struggle to overcome. There were times though, when it felt like I could feel the author pulling the strings a bit, fashioning the events in ways that felt slightly off, though only two were big enough to actually trip me up and pull me out of the story.
The first came when 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.
The second instance irked me slightly more as it tarnished a very powerful scene of sacrifice, as the actions that take place seem far too drastic without enough of a justification for it. I don't want to go into details, though as the scene deserves to remain unspoiled to retain what power it has.
These probably seem like minor points, but I think the strength of my reaction can go to show the actual power of the writing itself. If the story is bland and the characters weak, then you'll never get into the story to start with. But when you find yourself drawn in and held anything that can shake loose the tale's hold on you becomes irksome.
Also, if you go into the reading of Trackers with the understanding that nearly everything you see in the story is a metaphor for something in the Christian life, then you'll likely find an even richer layer to the tale. Go read Beth Goddard's interview with Kathryn
to see what I mean.
In the end, Trackers stands as a fine example of Christian speculative fiction, with a wild and imaginative world, real characters, and a story that will keep you guessing and gasping. Go get it
, or leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy.