Breadcrumb Trail

by Adam Dreece

Breadcrumb Trail CoverI’m really confused by Breadcrumb Trail. I mean, it’s not like the story itself is confusing or anything, but let me explain myself. After finishing Along Came a Wolf, I was intrigued on the world that Dreece crafted, expecting big things to happen. And, it seems that the author agreed with me; he seems to expect big things to happen as well. Many significant things get hinted at, making me believe that there’s excitement to be had, but none of the big reveals held much weight, despite the author working at length to tell us why we should care.

The first book seemed to be effective at providing ample introductions into the steampunk fantasy world, but Dreece often backtracks and slows things down in the second, seeming to assume that no one read the first, or at least not trust the reader to remember events. In doing so, Dreece effectively makes Breadcrumb Trail stand alone, but he lost out on a major benefit of having a sequel: You can jump right into the action. And it’s quite unfortunate; the pacing of Breadcrumb Trail suffers greatly, especially when compared to the first in the series. Even the action scenes themselves are odd, with significant moments getting glossed over “off-camera.” (The worst offending situation was probably the dispatching of a big, scary cat, which happened while Dreece was describing something else, and then we moved on without thinking about it any longer.)

As with Along Came a Wolf, I really tried to love Breadcrumb Trail, but it was much harder this time around. It possesses a very straightforward main story, surrounded by complexity, and marred by issues in pacing and a distinct lack of subtlety. Had the two stories been combined into one, I think at least some of the problems could have been avoided, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for the next instalment in the hopes that things get more exciting. (And, I can say that there will be a third book confidently, as there was a shameless cliff-hanger finish.)