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Monday, 11 July 2011

Irena's Review: The Avenger

Author: P.C. Cast
Release date: 12th July 2010
Genre: Fantasy / Romance
Target audience: Adult
UK Publisher: Nocturne

For Alexandra Patton, the Time Raiders project sends the reluctant psychic back to60 AD Briton-a world where she can barely understand the accents, let alone its culture of brutality and superstition. Armed only with her "freakish “ability to talk to the dead, Alex must use all her gifts to entice Caradoc, a savagely sexy Druid warrior, into helping her succeed in her mission. What they discover along the way is pure passion. Now, torn between duty and the man of her dreams, should Alex return home if given the chance? Or dare she risk everything to begin anew in this strange and mystical land?

Irena’s Review:

Alexandra Patton is a young woman who can see and speak with ghosts. It is a special ability that weighs down on her, so she isolates herself in the peaceful solitude somewhere in the American Prairie, where she doesn't have to meet too many people - and ghosts. She is a tough woman and she used to be in the army, but there came a point when Alexandra became overwhelmed and vulnerable, and she had to put a stop to her old life. Now, she is sought out precisely because of her ability and she is asked to travel back in time and bring back an artefact that will save the planet from the destruction of an evil race called the Centaurs. Reluctantly, Alexandra finds herself in old Briton only a few days away from a great battle led by the legendary Queen Boudica. It is a world that fits Alexandra like a glove, but nothing is easy in life and Alexandra must make choices.

This novel is definitely a light, yet highly adventurous read that takes one back in time, to 60 AD Briton, to be precise, when the Romans tried to defeat the Celts, but one Celtic woman, the famous Queen Boudica, fought like a lioness to free her people. The novel focuses on the history and on the old Celtic pagan traditions really well. As I recently watched a documentary about Queen Boudica, I am happy to say that the historical aspect of the novel was quite accurate and informative. I also enjoyed reading about the old Celtic connection to earth and to their Goddess. The author made the Goddess real and all descriptions of encounters with this benevolent supernatural being, as well as of the development of Alexandra's gift, were vivid and well described, adding an ancient magical feel to the story. There were quite a few such moments in the novel and they are a very gripping, as well as important addition to the story.

Alexandra is a great, energetic and brave character who also possesses vulnerabilities and flaws that make her all the more human. The hero of the novel, Caradoc, is a Druid and a warrior, and he is quite an attractive character. Like Alexandra, he is brave, strong and quite spiritual, and their bond is deep and strong. What bothered me was that their connection was never truly explained. It was evident that they were always meant to be together, and they already had a connection when they were separated by time and did not know about the existence of one another, but the bond did not have a clear basis. Perhaps it was some ancient Celtic thing, but honestly, I would have liked to know a bit more about it. So, I was bothered by the lack of a basis for their deep bond, but I did like their relationship very much. Other characters were a nice addition to the story and I think that Queen Boudica was presented quite faithfully.

This is the third novel in the series called The Time Raiders, but it can be easily read as a stand-alone novel. From what I've gathered, all the books in the series feature time travel because artefacts from the past have to be gathered to save Earth from Centaurs, an evil alien race, but each story features a different heroine and hero. The Avenger was definitely an entertaining and adventurous read for me. It is a nice mixture of fantasy and facts, and it is a perfect summer read.

I will definitely read more from this author.

Becky says: This sounds like a light read which might be good if you're feeling under the weather and not looking for anything too heavy. I don't think it is really for me but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Irena.
Both our thanks go to Nocturne for sending the book for review.


Bookworm1858 said...

I like the time travel aspect because I'm kind of obsessed with time travel. I'm surprised it's so light since when I think Boudica, Celts, and Druids, I think dark, heavy warfare; but the lightness would surely make this more fun and fast to read.

Pepca said...

A mix of history and fantasy always intrigues me. This sounds a good book to read. Great review!

theeclecticreader said...

The only books I read by P. C. Cast were the night series and though they weren't bad they were not my favourites (the second one is better than the first).
I think I'll try this one to see how P.C. Cast writes on her own.