Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review: Shaman Healer Heretic

Shaman Healer Heretic

By:  M. Terry Green

Publisher:  Self published

Publish Date:  January 19, 2011

Format:  Paperback 328pgs, Trade size 5"x8"

Genre:  Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st book in An Olivia Lawson, Techno-Shaman Novel series

Recommendation:  Yes, for people who enjoy American Indian beliefs with gods and spirit healers, with a journey to fix things gone wrong.

Book Synopsis:
Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn't exactly part of the drill.  When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics.  A Hopi god visiting the real world isn't just wrong - it's impossible.

Or is it?

Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries.  As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one.

Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions.  As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost.

First Sentence:
Livvy forced herself to exhale slowly but didn't dare open her eyes.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Livvy wakes in her small apartment in Los Angeles, to a kachina beside her, which is impossible.  Livvy is of the new ways in shaman healing, a techno-shaman as it's called.  Being of the "new" ways, if a kachina were to appear to anyone, they would be drawn to where they are comfortable and to the old ways.  She's young, but a talented one with a one-of-a-kind spirit helper, one that only appears once a generation.  Moving away from the kachina, Livvy's cell phone rings.  It's SK calling for her help a woman no other has been able to help.  The healing Livvy does includes going to the underworld through the middleworld to find a lost soul and return it to the world, but this cases isn't the easiest and things in the underworld are off.  Livvy stumbles across other troubles and has to visit the underworld and middleworld, but notices with each visit things are not right, actually getting worse.  Until she meets up with a terrifying creatures that could kill a shaman, then all are afraid to return.  Are all that Livvy has occurring to her related?  Could she help make a difference with things she learns and sees?

I found I really really enjoyed this book!  I was surprised.  Yes, it sounded like something I would enjoy, but at the same time I was nervous going in.  And I was so pleasantly happy with what I found.

I started off with lots of questions on the world and characters.  Truth be told, I wasn't 100% sure what a kachina was.  I thought I knew as my grandma has them all over her house, and after Goggling I found I was right.  But I wasn't sure how all this played together in this world.  As I read it all became clear, and quickly.

I loved the use of Native American beliefs and gods to crate the middleworld, underworld, and spirit guides.  Even the use of the kachina.

There was always something interesting happening, keeping Livvy going.  We got to see the way of the shaman as we also see what was not right to.  The picture was drawn with not normal, but telling us was normal was at the same time.  Nicely drawn to give us two views at once.  This kept me curious to what I would learn next and what Livvy would be drawn into next as she unknowingly got drawn into help with shamans getting trapped and dying.

I didn't suspect any of the characters until close to the end.  There were things I thought might be against what I thought they should 'believe' in.  And in that, I got surprised as the author hide the guilty party.  Oh, I loved that the character wasn't stupid and left suspicion around them self.  In books I notice the "bad guy" leaves clues that they are the guilty one, now if they really wanted to get away with what they did they wouldn't.  This is done wonderfully to surprise me in the end.  Well done!

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
Do remember this review is of my own thoughts and opinion.


Blodeuedd said...

Ahrm, kachina? I am not even sure that I have head that word

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I have to be honest... I am very leery of these types of books. I do know about Kachinas and so if it isn't done with respect, I know I would hate it. Hm... would have to think about this one, but I did enjoy the review!

Anonymous said...

“In books I notice the "bad guy" leaves clues that they are the guilty one, now if they really wanted to get away with what they did they wouldn't.” – Oh, my gosh, that is so true! I hate it when it’s really easy to guess who the villain is.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Blodeuedd, I added a picture of a kachina to the post, because they are so beautiful. :) They are the god like forms. I was kind of worried when the book started with it, and wondered how it would all work in, but it worked out nicely. :)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Melissa (Books&Things) - Yes! I have to agree. I was a little worried about the Kachina in the beginning and wondered how it would blend in with where the story was, but it worked out very nicely, and surprised me. It really was a wonderful surprise. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

StephanieD - This was my favorite thing about this story! I never picked who was the "bad guy." But toward the end, you saw where things started to get away from that person, and start to question one little flaw. I was actually surprised to see who it was. :) This author did a wonderful job with this! Thank you!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

What a lovely review..i enjoy Indian lore and beliefts...and I like that it has twists

Bex said...

Ohh, sounds interesting. o: I'm glad you liked it! I love when you can't pick the bad guy! Great review!

M. Terry Green said...

Hey Melissa! I just wanted to pop in and thank you for this very kind review. I adore that you put in a picture of Tawa! Reviews like this mean a lot to writers, something that I think gets overlooked in the busy world of book blogging. So, thanks again, and happy reading. Terry

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

Sounds like an interesting book. So far the only book that I have liked with Native Indian beliefs was the Mercy Thompson series. But it's not the focus.

carol said...

A techno-shaman? Sounds good. Just the word kachina though reminds me of an old Nancy Drew mystery.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Thank you Kimba! I was really happy with the way the lore all worked together here. :) So glad you liked the review. Thank you for stopping by.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Rebecca (Kindle Fever) - Thank you. I really enjoyed that I couldn't peg the guilty party until the end. That was so nicely played out. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Terry, Hi! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I'm so glad I could do a wonderful review. I was so happy I enjoyed the read, I'm always nervous going into a new book or series. And this was a wonderful surprise for me. :) And thank you for the complement. Glad you stopped by.

Glad you enjoyed the picture of Tawa. :) I felt he had to be shared as well, after finishing the book. :) Thank you again.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Jennifer L. Bielman, you know I still have to start the Mercy Thompson series! I have the first book here, but have yet to start it. Thank you for stopping by and so glad you enjoyed the review. :)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Carol, Glad you liked the review. :) You know what, I have to admit as a kid I really didn't read Nancy Drew. :) shame on me. Thank you for stopping by!