Initially, I thought I would be putting the book down within a few chapters, as it wasn't my genre. Then I thought the story was really bizarre. Once I was two chapters in, I was fascinated and hooked like a fish on a multi-worm line. Kathryn Mackel created this fantasy thriller with hideous creatures, evil sorcerers, wild adventures, and at the core is faith. A combination that makes you think of the world of the spirit, what lies behind our existence, and where our future lies...and with Whom.
Youre 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 Id say this. Well, WestBow Press, at the time I write this, has elected to not publish the 3rd and final book in this series. Youre going to be disappointed in the light that Outriders and Trackers are so good that youll 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 Ive 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.
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.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.
A Second Ark Makes For A First-Rate Read! How to I describe this tale:"Once upon a far, far future time, God led a group of true believers to build and dwell within the safety of a new ark, one that did not float on the waters, but hid underground, protected from the blight and toxicity of a post-apocalyptic Earth. At the right time, a vision from the Lord instructed the dwellers of the new Ark, the Birthrighters, to send out emissaries--young and smart, healthy and brave and well-trained godly ones--out above to the world that was left after the Endless Wars damaged the surface. Four were initially sent, the first-evers among the Outriders. Then more were sent in small groups to staff enclaves of Outriders upon the continent. Their mission was to seek flora and fauna to send back to the Ark for study and protection. The Outriders also spread truth and goodness through the harsh and brutal world populated by "naturals" and mutated and transmogrified plants, animals, and, yes, humans.But things do go wrong for the Outriders, because evil never rests, and lessons of the past are often forgotten...."I am strongly recommending OUTRIDERS by Kathryn Mackel This is a novel that I would classify as Christian Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction. If you're not a regular reader of science fiction or fantasy or science-fantasy, you need to allow yourself that rather thrilling (if sometimes irritating for some) sense of disorientation at the start. You are entering an unfamiliar world...but a spiritually uplifting and exciting one!
At first, submersing in Kathy Mackel's world is like being drenched with a pail of ice water. Normal men and women torn from their quiet villages and turned into hideous giants against their will; riders on giant hornets; bats and rodents the size of horses; all these monstrosities the products of so-called sorcerers unscrupulous enough to transmogrify innocent creatures to satisfy their stronghold lords' insatiable lust for power and influence.Only a small group of people, the Outriders of Horesh, attempts to stand against these evil lords. The Outriders come from the Ark, a mysterious sanctuary buried somewhere deep under the ice. Led by visions and prophecies, the population of the Ark sends out volunteers who build camps, collect specimens, and attempt to reclaim a corrupt world by teaching the truth to a suppressed and intimidated populace, helping them in their need as they are able.But even this brave group consists of mere human beings, each with their own troubles and weaknesses. Niki, for instance, has no idea why Brady sent her north to fetch a group of new rooks in transit from the Ark. She's a warrior, not a babysitter! Things don't get easier when she comes to believe he only sent her away so he can be alone with his love, and that doesn't seem to be Niki! Outriders is a beautifully and tensely written novel that asks us to take a good look at ourselves in the light of truth. Being the first volume of the Birthright Project series, it doesnt answer all the questions it raises, but does it ever draw us in! I loved reading this book, and I cant wait for the second one. Come on, Kathy, hurry it up!