Wednesday 25 March 2015

#bookreview: The Wind Catcher - Jeff & Erynn Altabef

WC Release

This fantasy adventure series is steeped in American Indian culture and so much more.

Winner: Mom's Choice Award -- Silver Metal
Winner: Awesome Indies -- Seal of Approval
Recipient: Readers' Favorite -- 5 Star Review

Juliet Wildfire Stone hears voices and sees visions, but she can't make out what they mean. Her eccentric grandfather tells her stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but he might as well be speaking another language. None of it makes any sense.
When she stumbles upon a series of murders, she can't help but worry her grandfather might be involved. To discover the truth, Juliet must choose between her new life at an elite private school and her Native American heritage. Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep her safe, she starts to wonder whether there's some truth to those old stories her grandfather has been telling her.
All she wants is to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but she has never been average- could never be average.
Betrayed by those she loves, she must decide whether to run or risk everything by fulfilling her destiny as the Chosen.
"Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won't want to escape from. Brava!" - Stephen Fisher, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews
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Wind Catcher: A Chosen NovelWind Catcher: A Chosen Novel by Jeff Altabef
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wind Catcher is the story of Juliet Wildfire Stone and how she has to choose between ignoring her Native American heritage in order to live the new elite, rich life her mother has built for her and submitting to the strange, old-fashioned ways of Sicheii, her grandfather, and the voices and visions in her head. It's a classic coming-of-age story with a side dose of fantasy, dipping generously into Native American legends.

Overall, Wind Catcher is a fine novel told in the voice of a very uncertain sixteen-year-old Juliet, who wants nothing more than to go back to her old life before Bartens, and, when things get decidedly weird in a Native American way, to go back to Bartens and fit in with the rich, popular kids (or maybe just Katie) without worrying about strange symbols, secret societies and whether Sicheii is really a murderer.

Trust seems to be a major theme of the story, as it is in a teenager's life. Can Juliet trust Sicheii, who is acting extremely cagey? Can she trust her best friend Troy, who doesn't seem as supportive as he used to be? What about her mother who's often lost in her own world? When things turn strange, and long-held secrets are revealed, who can Juliet really trust or believe? The Altabefs do a fine job with this theme, allowing Juliet to stumble through misplaced trust and unwarranted fears.

The one thing that put me off about this debut novel by Jeff & Erynn Altabef (hence the lower rating) is the pacing. It felt like it took forever to get anywhere, with Juliet dithering about the same thing over and over again (realistic, I know, but trying in a novel), and when it felt sufficiently built up and raring to go, it was almost over.

Still, if you love coming-of-age stories told in first person, this would be the book for you.

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Novel Publicity.

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