Sunday, 24 November 2013

'Race The Wind' by Lauren St John (***)

Normally I'm the one who completely refutes the claim that the sequel to a book is never better than the first one, but this time, I'm afraid to say that this is not the case with the second book in Lauren St John's The One Dollar Horse trilogy. Don't get me wrong- I didn't hate the book, I just felt that it didn't possess the same excitement as the first one did. I'm not sure whether that was to do with the fact that the book in itself was shorter- maybe this extinguished some of the tension and excitement I felt in the first book? Or was it to do with the fact that the seemingly gripping plot twist was entirely predictable?

I'm sure I'll probably be the only teenage reader of Race The Wind saying this, but I found the relationship between Peter and Casey extremely annoying- not to mention a completely unnecessary addition to the already complex plot line. In my head I was constantly confused about whether they were a couple or not, whether they were arguing or not, and whether or not Peter was completely in his right mind when he left Casey at the end to get on a plane, after revealing to the reader that he was in love with her. Now, I know that teenage love is confusing, but surely there is a line drawn somewhere between the complex and the infuriatingly annoying.

Although I find that the main message of the book (dream, work hard and all will become possible) is a really important message and one that should be repeated, especially to the children and teenagers of today, repeating it a second time round sort of made the book unsurprising and the constantly nagging feeling in my head that I knew Casey was going to win, I knew that Storm was going to come around, I knew that everything was going to be okay. Most of the time I enjoy that in books, but this time, there was something about it that just didn't work.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a horrific book to read- I gave it three stars for a reason! As with the first book, I liked the characters, the plot (although patchy in places) was still good to read and it's the kind of book that takes you away to a different place. Also, the fact that it's including grimy London and the beautiful horse-ridden countryside is still something I enjoy reading, and although I didn't think this book was as good as the first in the trilogy, I think some will probably disagree with me! I am looking forward to the third book, as I am excited for what it will bring!