Most of you who read my blog regularly know that I am part of a thread on Goodreads that allows authors of Speculative Christian Fiction to share and critique each others’ work. While I wasn’t asked to critique Chris Wachter’s book Lander’s Legacy, I read the review of someone else who did, and I was looking forward to it for quite a while.
Add to that the fact that I just finished two 800-page books, and I was ready for something a little lighter–and shorter. At 201 pages, Lander’s Legacy was a lot easier to get through. And it was a delight. Here’s the Amazon summary:
Raised by his secretive grandfather, Pop-pop Ian, high school junior Lander’s history had always been shrouded in mystery. His after-school hours were spent in the woods flicking fire on his fingers, tracking Ian, or standing still as a statue, invisible, observing the wildlife that never noticed him. Until the day Ian dies. His final words direct Lander to a buried box. Within it, Lander finds stones that glow when he picks them up and a letter telling him to seek out a man called Castor Elm. Alone and pursued by menacing strangers, Lander sets out on a journey to find not only safety and friendship, but the truth of why his grandfather called him special … the truth of his legacy. A legacy that will take him to the center of the earth.
Turns out–and I don’t think I am creating too many spoilers when I share this part–Lander and his people are from the center of the earth. That one fact is the biggest fact that one has to swallow when buying into the story, and like others who have read and liked this story, it took me a while to buy it. But I did, eventually. The first half of the story spends time setting the stage for Lander, the main character in the story, how he was raised by his grandfather, oblivious to the others of his kind. When his grandfather dies, Lander is forced to head across country to find his people. That sets in motion actions that put them all in danger.
By the time the reader gets to the second half of the story, the action really takes off. I was able to put down the story several times during the first half, but I was locked in and had to finish the second half in pretty much one sitting. And the ending! Chris, how dare you leave us like that! I won’t tell you how it ends, but suffice it to say that she sets it up for a book two that everyone will be looking forward to.
Nothing to complain about here. Good characterization, great action, great storytelling. And as a Christian book, Wachter does a good job of incorporating spirituality into an action story. I highly recommend it.
Five out of five stars. Go get it.