Step into the universe of the massively popular online MMORPG game Star Stable, and follow four friends who discover their magic powers and learn that every girl can be a hero in this fantasy trilogy.
Soul Riders tells the heroic tale of four young girls who have been chosen by destiny to save the world from the ancient demon: Garnok and his band of dangerous Dark Riders. Lisa is a teenage girl who is still coming to terms with the tragic loss of her mother in a riding accident and has sworn never to go near a horse again until she met Starshine, a mysterious blue-maned steed who comes to her in dreams. New on the island of Jorvik, Lisa befriends Alex, Linda, and Anne. Under the guidance of mystical druids, they discover they each have a special bond to their horses that gives them magical powers. While trying to balance school, family, and friendships they have to figure out what it means to be a Soul Rider. They are attacked by the Dark Riders and the mysterious Mr. Sands discover that their horses are in danger. Instead of relying on their combined strength, they decide to split up on their quest to find answers and learn to fight back against their enemies. However, will it be too late before they realize their mistake?
Jorvik Calling is the first installment in the epic, fantasy trilogy, Soul Riders, about magic, friendship, and horses bound to thrill all young equestrian fans.
Araya did a wonderful job bringing this book to life with her narration. She portrays each character so well it was easy to imagine each person when she read through the dialogue. Together with Dahlgrens fantastic writing I lived through every part of this adventure. From the hard reality that Lisa’s mother was no longer with her, to the thrill and peace that riding a horse brings, and the thrill of newfound powers! Even the mundane feeling of moving to a new house, especially in the heat! (Having this experience myself, I really felt for her.) This book made me miss the horses in my past fiercely ❤ and brought back wonderful memories I got to relive.
It was nice to receive this as an audiobook as they provide an entirely different, more immersive experience. This audiobook provided music at the end of each chapter. Personally I would have preferred if that wasn’t part of it as I have heard many audiobooks before without it and it does not take away from the book in any way. However I did highly appreciate the snipets regarding Lisa and her songs. As the reader you aren’t left having to guess what the songs would sound like. At the end of the book they were generous enough to provide the entire songs. Which was nice to listen to while writing this review.
The girls we follow quickly form a tight nit friendship that brings a well rounded harmony to the story. Bonded with friendship and magic, their relationships with their horses are deeply rooted and not easily broken. As the Dark Riders will come to find out. With other books in the series its not surprising that this ended on such a big cliffhanger. There is definitely room for the adventure to continue.
The only thing I had difficulty with regarding the audiobook, was that the narrator’s voice seemed to jump. One sentence would be very quite and the dialogue would be twice, if not three times, as loud! The inconsistency threw me off a little bit which broke concentration and made it difficult to listen to while putting my little one to sleep. I was constantly turning it up and down. Not sure if this was just an app issue? It didn’t really seem like it but maybe.
This felt very much like a Middle Grade book rather than a YA book. The personalities and actions of the girls were a lot more innocent than that of your average teenager in high school. Of all the YA books I have read (and oh how I have read) the attitude of the main characters is vastly different. You won’t find as much depth to these characters as you would in the YA Fantasy books we normally read. This is not a bad thing ❤ Soul Rider had a lot of focus on the adventure at hand. It covered a wide range of topics from loss of a loved one, to friendship, to companionship with animals, to overcoming fears! It goes on and it’s part of what made this story so touching.
I think that this book would be better suited for Middle Grade readers or even younger children. Although anyone with a love of horses and a love of magic is going to love this book.
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*