Krista Michelle Breen: Quicksand - The Mysterious Disappearance of Dakotaroo
Krista Michelle Breen: Snowfall - Summer Cabin
Groundskeeper's Cottage Press $12.95 (CAN)
Kindle - Quicksand £1.94, Snowfall, £3.21
Krista Michelle Breen's website
Thank you to the author for sending me these books.
The Dakotaroo series is a new one to me. It's by Canadian author Krista Michelle Breen, and consists of seven books, of which I have one and six to review.
I like a book which takes me somewhere I don't know, so I enjoyed the background to these stories, which switches between Canada and Montana. The first book, Quicksand, deals with the disappearance of heroine TJ's horse, Dakotaroo. Although she's frantic, her nearest and dearest don't always seem so keen to help in the hunt for the horse. The mystery is eventually solved, and the book ends with Dakotaroo taking part in a grim and strenuous race with TJ's new friend Michael. The race really is grim: if you don't like books in which characters die, this book doesn't pull any punches. That said, Quicksand was an enjoyable read. Heroine TJ's agonies at her horse's disappearance are believable, and the race at the end is exciting, if flinch-making at times.
Book number six, Snowfall, sees Michael taking his and TJ's horses back to his Montana home to keep them safe (why, I still haven't entirely worked out). While there, his sister Tianna's horrible new boyfriend, natural horsemanship "expert" Corton, pressurises Michael to take them up to the family's summer cabin in the mountains, as he wants to take parties of tourists there. The trip goes horribly wrong, and the book ends with Michael and his friend Ben trying to find a way over the mountains: Tianna and Corton have already left on their own escape attempt.
Snowfall I found harder to like. It leaps in assuming you know what's happened in the previous books in the series, and as I didn't, I found myself floundering at times, wondering who on earth the Knights of Deicha were, and what they had to do with anything. Neither did I have much idea who the new characters were, and how they fitted in. The ending is a cliff hanger, which had me wondering if I'd missed something somewhere- I think not. If you had the other books in the series, presumably it would all make sense. Once the book moves to Montana, and the ill-advised expedition into the mountains, I was on firmer ground and enjoyed the adventure. The author is good at the pacier parts of her narrative.
Regular readers will know that I twitch when there are punctuation errors, and there are a lot of them here, as well as other things that should have been picked up in the editing process.
This is a difficult series to comment on: the adventure-led parts of the plot I enjoyed. Be aware if you do want to try them out that you'll need to read them in sequence if you want to stay on top of what's happening.