First Rider’s Call

This is the second in the series from Kristen Britain. As mentioned, I picked the first one up because of a lack of something to read, and it was recommended by the New York Times. And, as previously mentioned, it’s pretty rip-roaring. Genuinely, there is no other way to describe this series.

In 710 pages, our heroine Karigan has two people fall in love with her, travels through time, battles an evil spirit, saves magic, rides across country, and avoids death a million times, as well as saving several hundred lives – in the past, present and future thanks to her time travel.

It’s not all sunshine and happiness though – a few of my favourite characters didn’t exactly come away unscathed. Whereas other characters from the previous book… well… I get the feeling that Britain has kept them bubbling away to become a bigger part later on, or just-in-case (she might need a random character to fill a plot hole, and I know how she feels right now). But I would have liked to see them better rounded in this book – we were introduced as acquaintances in the first book, Green Rider, and now I’d like to be friends. But they’re always on the periphery.

There are plenty of good and bad points about this series. They’re a simplistic story well told I think. They’re not deep thinking and necessarily all that original in fantasy terms (but then there is the argument that nothing in fantasy is original). But they are entertaining for entertainment’s sake. I can read it without too much difficulty and with a lot of enjoyment, but it doesn’t stretch my mental capacity. I am definitely getting the third one though – our evil spirit (SPOILER) hasn’t yet been defeated and I’m eager to see our heroine come up trumps again.

A small note on the evil spirit… I get the feeling that Britain got 600 pages in and realised she had no idea how to wrap it all up, so made a hasty ending; this is one criticism I have of pretty much every book I ever read – the ending is an afterthought. It could be the most amazing piece of literature ever known to man, a shining beacon of language and beauty, and the ending can still be shit.

J.K. Rowling (though I hasten to add that I’m not saying copy her) wrote her very last chapter before she even finished writing the first book. It’s still a rubbish ending, but it’s a good theory. Always know where your story is going! It helps to write an ending worth remembering.

Next on my list? I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. Wish me luck.

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