Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review - Trickster's Girl

Trickster's GirlTrickster's Girl by Hilari Bell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a paranormal/science fiction story with a twist, as if blending the two genre's isn't enough. The protagonist, fifteen year old Kelsa, is trying to deal with her father's recent death from cancer in the not too distant future. And while science has given us many new labor-saving and entertainment devices, including flying cars that do need a road, we also have more sickness, more government controls and more terrorism. Including a botched attempt at eco-terrorism that is destrying trees in the Amazon rainforest and moving north toward the forests of America.

Kelsa meets a strange yound man who calls himself Raven. At first she takes him for a stalker, especially when she finds he has dug up the plot where she placed her father's ashes. Over time he convinces her that magic is real, that he is a shapeshifter who can ustilize magic, and that he needs her in a quest to heal something broken in nature to save both the forests and humanity itself. It's delightful to see a heroine engaged in a quest to save the world.

Raven is the Trickster from American Indian legends. This story blends legendary creatures from across histories and cultures with science fiction (they are actually from other dimensions that touch and interact with Earth). Raven claims that she is one of the few humans living, perhaps the only one, who can use magic to cure the damage mankind has done to the Earth. She reluctantly takes up the cause and finds herself a pawn in a battle between Raven and the other dimensional creatures who have decided mankind deserves to die and do not want the damage repaired in time to save the Earth. They are willing to do anything to stop her, including destroying both her and Raven.

I was pulled into the mythology and the future world where people have learned to accept being tracked by their DNA and needing permission to move from state to state. (I really liked that Canada did not have as many hang-up in that area as the United States did). I loved the shape-shifting trickster and how the author blended different legends, and I realized before Kelsa did that the Trickster had more secrets up his sleeve than he revealed. The tension grew when we learned he was long-lived, but not immortal, and that if his enemies managed to stop him, humanity was doomed. I also loved her determination, and her feelings for her father and how that played into her quest.

My problem with this book came at the end. Tension built as I watched themmove across North America, one step ahead, or sometimes behind, their enemies. And then, suddenly, Raven ran out of energy. The explaination for why this happened felt weak, and led to a let-down ending where Kelsa passes on her quest to another and returns home. This is another book that is obviously crying for a sequel. Unfortunatly Kelsa's story is gone. The trickster has to move on to find another unlikely human to continue the job of saving the Earth.

View all my reviews

No comments: