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Outriders (The Birthright Project, Book 1) [Paperback]

By Kathryn Mackel (Author)
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Item description for Outriders (The Birthright Project, Book 1) by Kathryn Mackel...

Delivering a unique world filled with supernatural intrigue, environmental significance, and suspenseful battles, this fantasy thriller--aimed at high school and college-aged readers--centers around three outriders who must fight to reclaim God's birthright.

Publishers Description

A new ark. An ancient enemy. Young warriors fighting the darkness.

Delivered through the polar ice by a whale, their journey is nothing short of miraculous and their mission is nothing short of impossible. Their quest is to reclaim God's birthright and preserve the original creation that is being mutated out of existence.

This daring team roams the blighted earth. They are Outriders, young warriors who wield swords and wits to protect the birthrighter camps.

When rookie birthrighters arrive from the Ark, however, the battle turns into something no one expected. Not only must they battle the merciless warload Alrod and his horde of gigantic mutants, but a new and more powerful enemy has revealed itself, a darkness that threatens to destroy the world they've been charged to save.

Book One in an unforgettable new series...a fantasy thriller with a heart of faith and an irresistible spirit of adventure.

From Publishers Weekly
In the first installment of a new series, Mackel, a screenwriter for Disney and Fox, turns her pen from horror (The Departed) to faith fiction fantasy with noticeably better results. After the Endless Wars in which genetic engineering runs amok, humankind is thrown back into a primitive age. But deep in the ice lies an ark full of people, the "birthrighters," safe from mogs, sorcerers, stronghold princes and "a world trapped in gloom." Some birthrighters, via whale transport, come out from under the ice and establish camps with the goal of advancing the gospel of Christ and to gather whatever is left from the original creation to preserve it against corruption. They must battle the evil inhabitants of Traxx, who serve the powers of darkness. Mackel offers many rich details of her imaginary world, including some interesting botanical information. A nice touch of romance is woven throughout, and she leaves readers in suspense about the motives of certain characters. However, in setting up her series, Mackel offers an abundance of confusing terms without enough supporting explanation, and readers must deal with too much information from many points of view too quickly. Overall, this is a promising series debut, though fantasy has been a tough sell in the faith fiction market. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Outriders (The Birthright Project, Book 1) by Kathryn Mackel has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Publishers Weekly - 09/26/2005 page 64

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 9, 2005
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
Series  Birthright Project  
Series Number  1  
ISBN  1595540393  
ISBN13  9781595540393  
UPC  020049130278  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kathryn Mackel

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Across many markets--CBA, ABA, and Hollywood--Kathryn Mackel is known as a creative wordsmith who can write fast-paced action with well-developed characters and imaginative plots. She is the author of both adult and youth fiction and is an accredited screenwriter. She pioneered the supernatural sub-genre known as "Christian Chillers," including the critically acclaimed The Surrogate, The Departed, and The Hidden. Her fantasy offerings include books 1 and 2 of the Birthright Project, Outriders and Trackers.

Kathryn Mackel currently resides in Boston Boston Boston. Kathryn Mackel was born in 1950.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Contemporary

Reviews - What do customers think about Outriders (The Birthright Project, Book 1)?

Wonderful fantasy series  May 9, 2007
Kathryn Mackel invites us into a post-modern future where the future of mankind is bleak at best. The land has been ravaged by nuclear war and deadly toxins have made much of Earth uninhabitable. Evil men hold seats of power and they have perverted God's creation through DNA manipulation, a process known as transmogrification. Innocent men, women, and children are continually taken captive and subjected to these horrific tests and experiments. Man has forsaken his Creator, and evil ravishes the land. However, there is hope.

A remnant of believers has built a modern day ark that is hides beneath the polar ice caps. They teach and train their children in the ways of the Lord, with the hope that they can impact the world above. As the children mature they are sent to the surface to live as Outriders and Trackers. Their mission is to scout the land and teach a lost world a message of hope it so desperately needs. Can they make a difference before mankind is truly lost?

This is a wonderful fantasy series that is chocked full of action, suspense, and heart. Mackel gives us a frightening glimpse into the future of mankind that is both original and eye-opening. The story seems to wander a bit at times, but overall the plot development is cohesive and effective. Mackel's strength is in the action sequences which are thrilling and full of excitement. Violence and gore are effectively used to draw readers into the heart of the battles. The heroes of this story are teens and young adults who have nothing to rely on but their training and a deep faith in God. Their faith is inspiring and encouraging as time and time again they trust in God, no matter how difficult the task.

This series is highly recommended for fans of fantasy and science fiction. Much of this material is intense and intended for mature readers, but it is appropriate for older teens. The lessons of strong faith and discipleship found in this series are worthwhile for adults and teenagers alike. (From Christian Library Journal)
A fresh and gripping concept for Christian science fiction  Jan 17, 2007
This is the first of Kathryn Mackel's books I have read, and I am impressed with her imagination. She creates a world that is intriguing and shows definite parallels with a creation fallen from its original beauty due to the curse of sin. She also shows the hope of restoration of the creation by the valiant acts of Christians.

In Outriders, the world has been devastated by a war in which most technology has been destroyed. Bands of warriors called Traxx roam the countryside. To populate their army, they capture the few remaining humans, and through genetic engineering, they turn the humans into grotesque monsters. However, a remnant of humans escaped and has been kept safe in an underwater ark. Little by little, these people, called birthrighters, are released back onto the earth and commissioned to help establish an outpost of humane civilization in this barren world. These birthrighters must battle the warriors of Traxx while they rely in their faith in God. There are clear spiritual overtones in this battle of good and evil, and the use of genetic engineering is ripped from today's headlines. The Birthrighter characters are developed well, and they are shown to have their own internal struggles in fighting against their own selfish desires, while they are fighting the Traxx. There is quite a bit of striking imagery, including an archway of thorns that protects the stronghold of the Traxx warriors.

I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series, Trackers
outriders: book one birthright project  Jan 10, 2007
Awesome read I can't wait to read the next one!!!
More! Give Me More!  Dec 17, 2006
You're going to be disappointed if you read the first 2 books in this series. You might notice that I gave both of these books 5 star ratings and wonder why I'd say this. Well, WestBow Press, at the time I write this, has elected to not publish the 3rd and final book in this series. You're going to be disappointed in the light that Outriders and Trackers are so good that you'll feel a certain emptiness knowing that book 3 is unlikely (not impossible) to be forthcoming.

I love the post apocalyptic sub-genre of mainstream science fiction as well as Christian science fiction in general and this series falls into both of those categories. It exceeded my expectations in terms of plot and character development to the extent that I've actually caught myself daydreaming about the story. Off hand I can only recall a couple of stories that have had that effect on me, "The Stand" by Steven King, and "The Time Machine" by H. G. Wells. "Outriders" and "Trackers" are definitely well worth reading even knowing that the story may never be finished.
A good read.  Dec 9, 2006
This was overall a very enjoyable read, but there were a few points that keep me from fully enjoying the story despite several interesting characters and an interesting world.

First, much of this 'new' world revolves around genetic manipulation and mutation, but the author seems to know very little about the subject even though it's foundational to her version of the future. In the story, _adult_ humans are routinely made into monstrous beings by unknowledgeable men using a seemingly inexhaustible supply of 'potions.' These potions were found in destroyed labs long ago and are really ancient cell-lines. Somehow, despite storage in primitive conditions and at least a hundred years passing, they still work perfectly. Not only that, but they can conveniently be administered by drinking the potion or by putting it under the skin with needles. If you don't give a fig about the scientific impossibility of that premise, you should have no problem.

Second, a big deal is made about how dangerous this world is and how the rooks wouldn't stand a chance on their own for several days (which brings up the question of how all of the first-evers survived for so long). The rooks are saved from death several times by Niki, they are shown as initially overwhelmed by this wide expanse of world, and they supposedly think highly of Niki and the other first-evers. These rooks are supposedly the top of their class and devoted to God, though only Cooper shows a hint of this being true. With all that being true, I had a hard time understanding why all three rooks totally disobeyed Niki's orders right from the start. Yes, Niki was a bit harsh at times, but they deserved worse for their constant disobedience since it was risking all their lives.

It is also established that everyone at Horesh is fairly used to following Brady's crazy battle plans and that they always work. Yet, at the end, suddenly _everybody_ from Horesh starts to disobey his commands during a rather lopsided battle. I kept wondering why everyone started disobeying him now (much to their harm) when they had been obedient for years and knew how important it was for them to do so in order to succeed. It is never explained, nor is punishment ever handed out.

All that said, the book is better than I just made it sound. The above are really minor points, though the story would have been stronger if it had addressed them.

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