Title: Outriders (The Birthright Project, Book 1)
Author: Kathryn Mackel
Primary Audience/age group: 12+
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction, YA Christian Fiction
# Of pages: 320
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Year of Release: 2007
Part of a Series? Yes, 1st in the Birthright Project Series
Rating: 4 (View Scale)
Recommend?: Yes!

Description: From the back of the book: Delivered through the polar ice by a whale, their journey is nothing short of miraculous, their mission, nothing short of impossible. Their quest is to reclaim Gods 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 warlord 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 theyve been charged to save.
Review: Outriders (The Birthright Project, Book 1) is set in the future after the Earth has been basically destroyed by war. Surviving Christians were led by God to build an underground Ark from which they eventually send their called believers (aka missionaries) on missions – they protect those that need protecting, send specimens back to the ark, and spread the word about the grace of God. I really enjoyed the characters in this book – they were well developed and relatable. They werent perfect, yet God used them to spread His message and protect His people. I know that after my 13 yr. old son reads it he will anxiously urge me to get him the rest in the series.Rating: 4 for mild violence and intense scenes

Positive: The relationship between the Outriders was very realistic and each character was written in such a manner to illustrate to readers that while we are all different and imperfect – God uses us as we are to change us into who He wants us to be.

Spiritual Elements: The whole book is a fight of good against evil, darkness against light, right against wrong. All the while acknowledging the One True God and His Spirit that dwells within believers.

Violence: There are many battles and intense scenes. Nothing gory or graphic – just intense.

Language: None

Sexual Content: The evil warlord Alrod keeps his eyes open for pretty virgin girls that can birth a child for him because his wife is unable to have children. No details on attempts to impregnate girls are given.

Other: There are a couple instances where ale is referred to being consumed, one time someone is referred to as being drunk on ale.
There are many statements on social issues that you may or may not take issue with ex: at one point the Outriders wondered if there had been some point during or after the Endless Wars when mankind could have stopped this pillage, this rape of the environment and one another for selfish gain.
Alrod gathers people from surrounding villages and morphs them into odd/disfigured creatures.

Recommendation: It took me a while to get into this book, but about 1/3 of the way in, I was hooked. The beginning is somewhat confusing as you try to figure out what environment they are living in and the details of their existence. However, once through that you are taken on an adventure that will have you cheering out-loud for the Outriders.

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