@Read Epub ô Strangers (The Reckoner, #1) ⚾ eBook or Kindle ePUB free
@Read Epub õ Strangers (The Reckoner, #1) õ When Cole Harper Is Compelled To Return To Wounded Sky First Nation, He Finds His Community In Chaos A Series Of Shocking Murders, A Mysterious Illness Ravaging The Residents, And Reemerging Questions About Cole S Role In The Tragedy That Drove Him Away Years Ago With The Aid Of An Unhelpful Spirit, A Disfigured Ghost, And His Two Oldest Friends, Cole Tries To Figure Out His Purpose, And Unravel The Mysteries He Left Behind A Decade Ago Will He Find The Answers In Time To Save His Community Strangers Is The First Novel In The Reckoner Series By David Alexander Robertson, Award Winning Writer, And Author Of HighWater Press Acclaimed Children S Book When We Were Alone How many Canadian detectives are there How many are First Nation How many are teenagers I somehow doubt there are a whole lot there David Robertson writes Cole as a typical teenage boy, except, as we go further in the novel, we discover he is not typical That when he saved his friends from a burning school, by lifting a wall, it was not a one off That there is than we know about Cole.And then there is Coyote, disguised sometimes as a man, and sometimes as a coyote, who is trying to prompt Cole into some sort of action That is often the problem with young heroes You have to push them to do what they are supposed to do.The last quarter of the book pushes the story along, at a good pace, and if the whole book had been like that, it probably would have gotten four stars The opening of the book is a bit on the slow side, but then, since this is looking like a trilagy, perhaps that is just to get to know the characters.Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review I loved the premise for this a YA dystopian future with an indigenous mythological background including a spirit guide coyote who s often disparaging to our young protagonist It sounded great, and for the most part it was a fun read We follow Cole as he returns to his small town to find it in complete chaos Still reeling from a mysterious fire that killed a number of children ten years ago, coupled with a recent series of murders that have occurred and a deadly disease that s also killing off the community, the residents are highly strung Cole is forced to confront the demons of his past and relive the fire as he become determined to stop the dark forces rising in Wounded Sky once again Cole is a good protagonist Naive enough to appear likeable without the precocious personality I hate in YA characters However, it s his companions that really stand out for me Coyote Choch is that all encompassing, often exasperated driving force behind Cole, pushing him to fulfil his potential He often provides the grounding influence Jayne the ghost is also a strong presence, and the two of them together work well at keeping Cole on track The first half of this was rather slow, without much driving force behind it although the world building was good We spend a lot of time getting to know Cole and his companions who I loved without really moving forward plot wise The second half was fast paced, although I found the ending a little rushed without a really satisfying conclusion I had a lot of unanswered questions Wonderfully unique premise, with strong secondary characters A little faster paced narrative and a stranger conclusion would have made this great, and not just good.
4.5 stars rounded up The only reason this amazing indigenous young adult mystery with a little supernatural story doesn t get a full five stars I hated the very last page For me the story was perfect, up until a sequel tease was put in While I knew it was a series, and will look forward to encountering these characters again, the way the last page sets up the sequel cheapened the entire story for me Almost as though it lessened what had just happened because was to come It s a real shame and very frustrating to adore a story so much and then have it feel like a marketing device instead of the beautiful ending Certainly there is way to set up the sequel without degrading the existing story so much I suspect that David Alexander Robertson didn t want it set up this way and that the ending was of a hook the publisher desired to try and sell the next book That s just my guess but there s likely some truth to it PlotOur lead boy is an indigenous teen who was moved off his reserve at age 7, to the city Winnipeg, Canada following the death of his parents and some tribe children While a hero to some, when he returns to his tribal home lands ten years later he is seen as a horrible reminder of what happened the ten years prior And of course it s easy for people to wonder how he was involved in the incident ten years before I m vague here because I don t want to give away any of the goodies in the mystery that unfolds in Strangers The overall mystery plot was well done, and while a little predictable it was certainly good enough to keep me intrigued and engaged CharactersThe voices of our characters, especially the teenagers are very well done I felt like there was a solid background established about the reserve children and what it meant to live outside the group and in the city As this is a very important distinction for the story and our leading teen boy I felt it was impressed upon us just enough Additionally all of the characters, young or old felt like real people I m not sure how much time the author has spent on a reserve in Manitoba, Canada similar to the one he describes it s fictional but it felt genuine enough to me Now I have no indigenous background or backing to base that on except that I live in Canada and went to school with a few kids who came into town for education from reserve lands So it may be there is something I am missing But for this white girl and her limited knowledge it didn t feel forced or over done Magic It s funny at first I didn t really see our lead guys dreams and other odd things that happened as magic They just felt like a part of his native background and spirituality It wasn t until about halfway through the story, when some amazing things are revealed, that I realized there was a lot going on I liked that there was a slow, build up progression to the magic or supernatural powers Again it felt authentic and fit in really nicely with the character and plot development Maybe what I really want to say here is the pacing is perfect No matter what aspect of the story you look at Strangers has a pacing that keeps the pages turning, while still engaging the reader in the setting and characters Age and RomanceBesides the last page issues my other not quite five star issue with Strangers is the perpetuated romance that has transpired between our lead boy and a friend who is a girl at the age of 7 While many times during the story it is emphasized that at the time our lead boy was taken off the land he wasn t old enough to understand at the same time it seems there are a lot of references to the love that he and a girl had They were seven years old I m sorry but I remember my boyfriend at age 7 and trust me there was no romance there, just two kids who liked to hang out and happened to be of different genders Additionally I would have felt comfortable with the whole story if the age of our kids had been say 10 at the time of the incident That would have put 7 years between the time of the incident and leaving the reserve to our lead guy returning home More than enough time for everything to have passed that did and a little comfort for me on the age in which you might actually start to lust about someone or imagine marrying them in a genuine way Were I to say there was a flaw in this book it is this age differential that I would point out It s not a deal breaker for me, and probably not worth a reduction in stars by a whole star however, it was annoying enough that it did bug me each time the pre romance was discussed between our characters Because let s face it, no 7 year old is waiting for any other 7 year old into their late teens to date because they one time were close friends It s really just absurd OverallI m so pleased to have read this Canadian written, indigenous focused book this year It is probably one of the most diverse books on my reading shelf for 2018 I love what Robertson did with this story and cannot wait for the second book even if I hated the set up If you are looking for a solid mystery, teen read with some indigenous diversity I think you will enjoy this book I hope it gains attention as Strangers shared an insight into how difficult it can be in a tight knit community if you are suddenly the outsider and how much of a stranger that can make you to your own people.For this and of my reviews please visit my blog at Epic Reading Please note I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley This is an honest and unbiased review. Strangers comes from the mind of David A Robertson, an award winning writer of children s books, who has taken his first foray into the YA genre.So welcome to the nowhere town of Wounded Sky A peculiar place inhabited by denizens still haunted by the tragic fire that broke out at the local school where so many children died Dark secrets abound and tragedy isn t far behind as the story unfolds with a sombre, morose tone.The main protagonist is Cole, one of the few survivors, who is suffering from deep psychological issues stemming from what he witnessed on that tragic day Cole is forced to return to Wounded Sky to face his demons and hopefully save his town before it is too late Being YA fiction, Cole is characteristically imbued with the requisite special powers to battle the dark forces coalescing for now in the background.Let s us not forget to mention the seemingly omniscient coyote spirit guide, Choch and the effervescent ghost, Jayne, who both come to Cole s assistance when he needs it most.I struggled with the first half of the book as the author meandered with the plot, but fortunately he noticeably tightens his writing in the second half and ends on a stronger note.Strangers is the first book in The Reckoner series, so there are many unanswered questions and mysteries that are not resolved There are also a few plot holes, such as who actually killed one of the victims, as the main murderer denies having a hand in that murder Also, why did the murderer camp in the forest and perplexingly, leave highly sensitive material lying around in the tent The principal issue is that the dark forces behind the scenes aren t revealed in any way The research facility on the outskirts of Wounded Sky is only mentioned in passing eight times I was hoping that the book would conclude with a few revelations in this regard to set up the sequel, but it was not to be.A solid effort with much potential, which will hopefully launch a strong series going forward.