Reviewed by: Toni
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Any story that begins with Kokopeli, the phallic Native American God of Fertility who was demoted to a flute-playing jokester by Spanish priests, can’t be all bad. Therefore, this story immediately had my attention. I would’ve liked a little more background telling how Ed, son of Kokopeli’s by a Hopi mother, came to be raised by white foster parents in Philadelphia, however. There are mentions here and there that gave some explanation but not enough. Color me naïve, but it surprised me that an 18-year-old would have his own home and live apart from his parents, even if there was a teenaged sister in residence. It’s inferred some catastrophic illness made the nation dystopic and making most humans sterile but there again no further explanation since apparently all this was covered in Book 1. Ed and any child of a supernatural/human pairing are the only ones left to continue the human race…and there the conflict between gods and men begins.
Though this novel seemed more a bridge between Book 1 and 3, merely connecting the beginning to the end with a series of confrontations and nothing climactic, it is well-written, both from a reading standpoint as well as grammatically. The dialogue is realistic and the characters, both human and animal, are handled in such a way that when something happens to one of them, the reader will definitely be touched. Ed’s use of music in supporting his magic is descriptively explained. Ed handles himself well in crises without most of the teenage angst, especially when the girl he loves leaves to go on a concert tour with the A-Chords and he’s left behind. Even when he finds a way to follow the band, Quinn’s relative cold shoulder reception to his arrival doesn’t faze him.
One character I really enjoyed was Uktena, the Horned Serpent. For a supposedly fearsome creature, Uktena showed some very human traits as he grumbled about his place in this drama. His relationship to Max, Ed’s dog, definitely betrayed the bloodless serpent image he sought to present to everyone. The scene when Max wants him to mend his broken bunny toy was heart-touching.
WARNING: There are a couple of deaths in this one that will undoubtedly wring sympathy from the reader, but both scenes are well written without an overabundance of emotion, gore, or pathos.
Native American folklore is a genre still barely touched upon by writers and it’s refreshing to discover an author who has decided to explore it. Looking forward to Book 3…and thanks, Jim, for not writing this in the First Person Present.