Wednesday, March 7, 2012
ARC Review: TRAITOR'S SON
The Author: Hilari Bell
The Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Book Jacket Summary:
When Jason catches the small bag that a girl throws to him at the Canadian/Alaskan border during a gun fight, all he can think is that the bag must contain drugs. But if the brown powder is some sort of illegal substance, it’s certainly nothing he’s ever seen before.
Jason is half right. He’s never seen this stuff before, but it’s not drugs. The bag contains magical dust, a substance so powerful it can heal the earth.
So powerful certain creatures think nothing of killing him to get it.
The second book in the Raven Duet brings a bit more than the first. There are still many questions that the reader desperately wants answered, only to be disappointed. I think that's the point of this duo. In the first, Kelsa blindly follows Raven on this dangerous journey to heal the ley line going from Utah up into Alaska. She gets as far as the Canadian/Alaska border before she hands off the pouch to Jase, a native boy she thinks might get the job done.
The first hundred pages or so of TRAITOR'S SON is a lot of recapping, telling the reader what is already known, if he/she had read TRICKSTER'S GIRL, the first book. Also, in those hundred pages, you get to know Jase, his family drama, and the unfortunate "3/16" label he's been saddled with by everyone he comes in contact with. For me, this is the more intriguing part of the story. Maybe it's because Raven, being a Trickster, is not all that forthcoming, and the little bit of info she/he does drop on us is stuff we already learned with Kelsa in TRICKSTER'S GIRL.
(whispered sidenote: I got a weirded out feeling, knowing that Raven had a little sex change from book one to book two. I get that he/she needed to be whatever was needed to get the help he/she need, but it still weirded me out that he was a hot boy in the first book, and then a hot girl in book two.)
By comparison, TRAITOR'S SON had quite a bit more action throughout the book, what with Otter Woman showing up before Raven did. The pacing flows better in this book than the first, and even if you haven't read the TRICKSTER'S GIRL, you could pick up TRAITOR'S SON and follow it reasonably well. That said, there were bits of confusion within this book reminiscent of the first. Many questions continue to go unanswered, but the end ties things up well enough without being cliffhanger-y and still leaving the door open for more in this series if the author should want to go there.
Will I as a reader follow? Maybe. I can't say either book was a fantastic read, but they weren't horrible. Just different, and don't we all like something a little different every now and then? So, if you're looking for a departure from the usual dystopian/fantasy fare littering your bookshelves, take a gander at TRICKSTER'S GIRL and the soon to be released TRAITOR'S SON.