Last week we brought you our Q&A with PC Cast and a trailer for her new book. Now we share with you our review of The Avenger, by Bookbabbler Carol..
Time Raiders: The Avenger by P C Cast
Most well known for the House of Night series, P C Cast has written many other romance novels including those of both the Goddess Summoning and the Divine series. She’s ex-military and part of a group of romance writer’s known as the RomVets (Romance Veterans); it was they who came up with the original idea for Time Raiders. When the call went out for authors, PC grabbed the chance to take on this particular story, having heavily researched Boudicca and the period for the House of Night books. While both are similarly steeped in mystical powers, intrigue and passion, there are other very strong parallels between The Avenger and the House of Night series. Significant weight is given to the importance of tattoos – Alex and Zoey are both marked by the Goddesses they serve (and these too have strong similarities). Both suffer from having their souls shattered and each is brought back by someone travelling to the Otherworld (same name), Caradoc for Alex, and Stark for Zoey. It is also interesting that both Zoey and Alex have older, wise mother figures who support and help them along the way; for Zoey it is her Grandmother, for Alex it is the ghost of Caradoc’s mother. The strongest link of all is that it is Boudicca’s daughters, Una and Mairain, who found the House of Night’s Dark Daughter’s.
But what of The Avenger?
A time travelling, ex-military, reluctant psychic female meets an Ancient British Warrior Druid, whilst supporting Boudicca’s army fighting against the Romans; throw in an urgent mission to retrieve medallions needed to save the modern world from an aggressive and cruel alien people, and this is, in its barest form, Time Raiders: The Avenger – an odd mix of historical romance and fantasy with a dash of sci-fi thrown in for good measure.
I was prepared to find the whole thing unbelievable and unreadable. What a ludicrous plot line! What a daft mix of genres! But I was also intrigued as to how an author whose House of Night series I loved, would deal with the ‘problems’ as I perceived them. How would 21st century Alex be accepted by 1st century people, but more importantly how would people converse? In Avenger, Cast uses some clever devices to overcome these difficulties. Alex is a psychic, she sees and converses with the dead, this makes her a Soul Speaker in the ancient world, and a clever little micro-chip implant sorts out the language problem. In the end, books are entertainment and we very often have to suspend our knowledge, logic, and belief, get on and just enjoy the tale. So I did and found Avenger to be a thoroughly enjoyable, rollicking, romantic, historical adventure, and once I started I couldn’t put it down.
The mix of Druid mysticism, Celtic lore, and an ancient way of life with savage battles, political intrigue, and a near impossible mission, keeps this love story moving long at a pace. Cast’s writing is relaxed and easy, making the changes from modern America to Ancient Britain easy to accomplish. Occasionally the phraseology is a little awkward, especially in the love scenes but it’s a common problem of the genre, and in the end doesn’t detract from the story. Given the restrictions for a book of this sort, the relationship between Alex and Caradoc doesn’t overwhelm the other plot lines, as so often happens in romantic novels. In The Avenger, we can enjoy all the elements of the tale, including the romance. As for teen readers, given the elements that have been published in House of Night, there shouldn’t be any objections to older teens reading this.
My only criticism is detail, bits are ‘missing’. For example, what happened to Caradoc when he time travelled? P C Cast has very clearly undertaken considerable research into this period and The Avenger touched the edges of that research. It was a bit like a Chinese meal, you are quite full when you finish, but an hour later you want more.
I loved this tale but feel that hidden in the pages of The Avenger is a much longer, more detailed and, dare I say it, more serious book. I very much wish she’d write it.
Thank you, Carol – great review. If this has tempted you, it’s available to buy in our shop now.