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Tag Archives: Native American

Strangeways by Robert J Brunner

I have to admit that when I received the request to do an honest review of the book Strangeways by Robert J Brunner, I looked the book up. I found out first that Brunner was a police 911 dispatcher. This was intriguing as it could add some realism to the book. As I further checked into the book I found it dealt with a prison, an FBI agent, death and an ancient god. Alright I would say I was hooked at this point, but that would not be truthful as I after I started reading the book I did get hooked.

Strangeways opens with a prologue that in itself is a bit of an enigma. The book introduces to a period in the early 1900s in which we find a man, Charles Hobart, in a small town staying in a boarding house. The Hobart is first seen as another potential traveling salesman of the period, a Bible salesman. It isn’t till an evening dinner with the residents of the boarding house things finally come out. The reason is in the town, well he wants to buy himself some property.  The property will be used not for a home, but for a prison.

The reader now “time jumps” to more of a current period in time. We find a prison guard out for rounds of a darken prison just at lights out. The guard will stop to talk to an inmate and take another one out of his cell and down to the showers, the inmate stinks. The guard will soon become first in some mysterious deaths that will begin to plague the prison. As the klaxon rang members of a response team come rushing into the shower area where the guard is screaming. Officer Peter Coyle’s incident report will be found not long after the death has transpired and will help setup what is to come.

It’s not long after that we find special agent Tom Griffin of the FBI on his way to the prison as he will be sticking his nose into what is happening at Strangeways Prison.  He was called by an old colleague who is now the prison’s warden. Griffin will not even make it inside the prison before a strange event will meet him.  He gets out of his car to see a large wolf eyeing him down like could be dinner. Things move on from this point and Griffin will keep his open mind. He may be expecting many different possibilities that may have been the cause of the prison guard’s death. The problem is, Griffin will not want to believe what is actually going on. He is a logical man, what is happening around him, regardless of the signs is something he is not prepared for.

Strangeways will take the reader in to the world of the prison, named the same as the book. As you read you will find that the prison is on Native American land. The area has been known for strange phenomenon and in truth may be the reasoning for the name of the prison. However, what transpires within the walls of the prison is far more than any would expect. The big change in this book is that it is not related to Native Americans but instead a Norse God.  This God has become popular within the pages of comic books, and super hero movies. His name is Odin, The All Father, and many will be shocked by the portrayal of the character. I for one was at first, but I then did some research on Odin and will just point out he is the God of not just of wisdom and poetry, but that of WAR and DEATH.

Author Robert J. Brunner puts together a book that will leave many readers struggling to put it down after they start reading the book. His characters are well developed from those of the prisoners within the prison to those on the side of Law and Order. There are characters you will find yourself miss reading and others that will be evident by their actions. The scenes within the book are well painted through his word play and are properly descriptive without going to intense during the violence. I found the book to be well worth my time to read and provide this review.

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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Reviews

 

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Obsidian Tears by Doug Lamoreux & Daniel D. Lamoreux

Yellowstone National Park is United States staple that attracts thousands, if not more, visitors each and every year. People enjoy not just the beauty of the Old Faithful Geyser but also the natural beauty that abounds the park itself. The one thing that many visitors, and maybe even some staff, do not know is the large history behind the land the park is located on.  The history includes that of the Native American’s and obsidian made artifacts have been found in the park. Why do I bring this up? I mention the obsidian as it is part of the title of the book, Obsidian Tears. The book is written by brothers Daniel and Doug Lamoreux and that deep black, glassy rock will play its part in this book.

Obsidian Tears will introduce the reader to Chief Forest Ranger Glenn Merrill who many readers may have met in the first book in this series, Apparition Lake. As in that book the reader will find Ranger Merril dealing with some alarming events around Yellowstone. The problem is these events are not just the threat from environmentalists, or campers’ causing mayhem, but something is brewing under the ground. There are earth tremors that bring signs that maybe the long dormant volcano under their feet is becoming active. There of course are the unexplained deaths that claim not just animals, but that of tourists and a ranger.

I wish to add that the book opening is quite interesting as well as it sets up some great foreshadowing of what may come. The Lamoreux brothers do a great job taking the reader back to a different time as we find the young Arapaho medicine man, Nakos, on a vision quest. The events that take place during this question and what will follow a few hundred years later will become clearer as you follow the story.

The thing is all the mystery around the park will eventually become tied to a mysterious box that is found within the park. I will not go into much detail on how, or where it is found, but just say they did have to look under something to find it. The item in that box will get things moving very fast within the pages of the book. These events will lead Ranger Merrill to search out his Shoshone friend, Johnny Two Ravens.  Along with Johnny, Merrill will also end up realizing he will need the help of a young professor of Seismology, one Dr. Betty Chmielewski or Lew for short.

The book is well written as the brothers certainly know how to work together and develop their characters. Along with the characters it does appear they have done a lot of research on Yellowstone and the history around the National Park. The book does have some violent acts, but for the most part we read more about the aftermath then get to read about the full details. I for one love this type of storytelling when it comes to violence as it engages the brain even more. The best thing about the additional engagement of the brain is it brings you more and more into the story you are reading.

Obsidian Tears is a very well written book and truly fits as book 2 in the Apparition Lake series. The reader gets to catch up on what has happened in the life of those characters they may have enjoyed from the first book. You also get a sense of what is going on within a park of Yellowstone’s size from the daily patrols that take place to dealing with some of the visitors. This is what makes not just the drama of the main story so special but you get a sense of the happenings at the park, which draws you in even more. A truly enjoyable read and I’m sure like many others, I hope for more.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2018 in Reviews

 

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Nothing But Echoes by Anne Montgomery

NOTHING BUT ECHOES Cover ArtI do not normally re-post too many reviews, but sometimes one must just make an exception. In this case the closure of a publisher is a good reason to re-post a review. Author Anne Montgomery had such a problem and her book, The Magician, has found a new home and a new publisher in Sarah Book Publishing;. The book also has found itself renamed and is now titled, Nothing but Echoes. The book is still intact from its form I originally reviewed and due to this I am re-posting the review to bring attention to its new name. I do this as no matter what the book is called it is a great read.

The one thing any reporter loves is a mystery. The ability to cover secrets others have not been able to find will bring a reporter to the edge when it comes to getting the story. It’s what entices Kate Butler to her current assignment of uncovering information about the magician.  This mysterious man was found with more than your common funerary items around him when found in 1939. He was also found to be taller than most for the period, which raised questions about his heritage. The Hopi tribe that was helping with the dig almost knew immediately how important this man must have been when the Moochiwimi sticks were found.  Those sticks meant only one thing; this man had been a magician. This is the story that will be uncovered in author Anne Montgomery’s book aptly titled, Nothing but Echoes.

Who was the magician? Where did he come from? Why was he so important?

These are questions Kate will try to uncover as she searches into the man’s past. Her only problem is her main source of information, Dr. Perkins, suddenly will not work with her. Dr. Perkins had been a great asset on her story of the Native American ball courts but now he was nowhere to be found. There had been requests for a DNA source have been routinely turned down by those who wish to protect Native American remains. The Hopi tribe had refused her request as they wished to protect the remains not see any part destroyed for a DNA test. It is possible Dr. Perkins had received pressure not to help Kate, and thus she had to find other sources.

Her friend Jack Cooper had come along with her on this trip and it’s possible his skills as a police officer would come in handy.  She will also be assisted on her quest by Dr. Jerrod Crane and colleagues of his that will help point her in other directions. There is one problem, as Kate visits the museum for the first time another takes interest in her, and her quest to find out about the magician. This man may be up to something and able to get information she cannot.

Along with the quest to find out who the magician was, there are other elements weaved into the book. These elements take us back to the life of the magician. The way the people of the era lived is explained, and they actually come to life.  We will also get to see who this magician was and his impact on the people of that area.

Names such as Woodrat, Deer Runner, Mul, and others will be discovered to belong to those who are central characters in that second feature of the book. The book will intertwine the two stories in such a way that they will complement each story contained within the book.  Montgomery uses as much realistic facts and content as she can during the writing of the book that helps bring the story to greater life.

There is drama, secretive plans, and subterfuge in both stories in the book.  The book reads in such a manner that you will not find yourself confused over the facts in the story. You will instead find yourself holding your breath at periods as the story switches from one period to another. You wonder should I skip a chapter and read a head. The answer is simply NO! Nothing but Echoes is a book meant to be read and enjoyed by those who are fans of History and I have to add Mystery. The elements add up to a great book that tells not one but two great stories. As a bonus the article that Kate is writing even toward the end of the book. So you will see Kate gets her story, but the events to get there are not easy as most reporters will tell you.

Where to find Anne Montgomery Online

 

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Reviews

 

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Apparition Lake by Doug Lamoreux & Daniel D. Lamoreux

ApparitionYellowstone National Park is something of legend due to its beauty and majesty. It is known to be one of the first, if not the first, national park in not just the United States but the world. The scenic beauty of the land it encompasses draws visitors from all over the world. Many of them come to see the beauty of the famed Old Faithful Geyser and many of the other natural beauties. Of course with all that beauty people can be forgetful there is danger to be found as there are bears and other wildlife throughout the park as well.

The book Apparition Lake by Doug and Daniel D Lamoreux will take the reader into much of the beauty of Yellowstone. Their descriptions of the park will leave a yearning to go and visit the park as you read a tale that focuses on the chief ranger, one Glenn Merrill, and some vicious bear attacks.

The book opens with a scene out of the old west. A period in which the Native American’s had been forced to choose the life on a reservation, but not all accepted that life. A band of the Shoshone had disagreed with their leadership and gone back to the land that would become Yellowstone. This opening will help the reader get a glimpse on what has been lost to many and that is the ways of the old believes of Native Americans. A strong belief in Mother Earth and how we as a world need to remember all beings are part of a greater world.

The reader gets to witness an event which involves members of the band performing their own part. There will be drums, warriors and much more  in the ceremony. Silverbear is the one who leads the call to the Great Spirit asking for help against the white man who has been insulting Mother Earth by killing animals for their pelts. These devils were not killing to use the whole animal and this was against the Native American beliefs. They needed help and they were calling to their ancestors to deal with the white man. The opening passages will take the reader through this fascinating ceremony, before bringing you back to a more current timeline.

As we read into the modern world we find out about a bit of those potential dangers within the park. That danger is man who thinks it is ok to get very close to a bison and ask it to pose for a photo. An animal of that size does not understand English, let alone an invasion of its personal space. So a tourist is set for a short run and the description of the event left a smile on this readers face. Even up to the point where the tourist meets the chief ranger and gets a reminder of the dangers to be found with irritating a full grown bison.

During this point we are introduced to a theme that can be found throughout the book. The theme is that ignorance about park wildlife seemed to be a rule with many. A rule that could lead to dangerous repercussions and possibly death as readers will find out will happen to soon. The first being one of the bears of the park, but later things will get worse for the park, the rangers and those taking advantage of the wildlife.

What is Apparition Lake beyond the title of the book? This is something that readers will learn is another of the mysterious wonders of Yellowstone, at least in the book. The description by the brothers is well done and the lake itself is a bit of a mystery. The things that begin to happen around this lake will lead to far reaching events for those within the park.

The events I’m alluding to are things such as a man being mauled by a huge bear. This attack leads to the man’s death but although his wife witnesses the attack, and a photographer is snapping away at photos there is no proof it was a bear. How does that happen? What would drive a man to be so scared he dies in such a manner? Other attacks will get more gruesome, but never to disturbing. The reader will get the sense of the attack and its aftermath. It will be up to the reader to learn how the chief is going to solve these attacks. Along the way he will get help from some Native American’s in the area along with a wildlife biologist.

Apparition Lake is so well written it is hard to get a sense it was done by two people, and just not one writer. The stream of the book moves along well and it shows the brothers must have collaborated well in framing this book. The descriptions of Yellowstone may make readers wish they could see the locations themselves. The characters in the book are well developed, and this includes a local news reporter that has it out for the chief. To end this review I have to add that Doug and Daniel D Lamoreux had written the book previously. This is one of those rare times I don’t want to see the original book as I think this one is a great read brought to reader thanks to Creativia publishing.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Reviews

 

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Shaman The Awakening by VR McCoy

ShamanDreams are something most of us have in life. They can be scary, thought provoking, warnings, and sometimes erotic in nature. They are often something we keep private unless we feel like sharing with others.  They are something we have the ability to control, well so we think.

There are stories in Native American folklore of those who can walk within dreams. These individuals are able to implant themselves into a dream and control what happens. They could fill your dream with so much fear it literally scares you to death. There is then the flipside to that coin in which the dream is so sensual you are filled with great emotions. The question then becomes what to do with such a gift if you happen to be one of these people.

This is the question that is asked as you read the book, Shaman – The Awakening, by author VR McCoy.

The book introduces the reader to an inmate of a mental hospital, one Christian Sands. A former contractor for the FBI that had some falling out with his bosses which landed him in this hospital. Christian begins to tell his story after a brief background on who he is.

You will learn that when he first learned about his “gift” he eventually made himself the target of the affection of many women. He just had to dreamscape with them and plant the seed of how great it would be to be with him. These women would bring themselves to him, but after a time he realized what he was doing wasn’t right. It was the start of a progress of growing up for the character that would lead to his job with the FBI.

A job that would put him into the middle of a case that would lead him to further discovery of his roots, and what his gift can really do. A case that will not only test his will, but of those he works with from the harden team leader, Steve, to the burgeoning romance with co-worker Dianne. A case in which women are being kidnapped and as they will find out murdered in a ritualistic way.

VR McCoy will take the reader from snowy Washington D.C, to the plains of the West. The reader will get to visit places in New Mexico, and learn much about the Native American tribes that inhabit the land. You will learn through Christian’s telling of his story how that tribal land can be a beautiful place, but at the same time dangerous. It is land that the natives will protect and do not welcome government employees.

The story will bring you into a team of FBI agents that are much like those you see on popular television shows. They investigate the crimes that other agents are unable to solve and this case will become very personal to all involved. Christian’s gift of dream walking will be put to a full test and often he must deliver the bad news from what he sees, or does not see, to the team. The case will bring a spotlight to the team as things do not follow their normal path and will get more attention than any could have thought.

The story makes great use of the places mentioned in the book and will take the reader into a well-developed land and people. The characters are also well crafted and described so that you get a feel of who they all are.  There is some inter team relationships taking place but when you work with someone so long is it that farfetched it may happen?

VR McCoy also crafts a great villain within the pages of the book.  There are a few twists that the reader should find themselves enjoying. The big thing about this book is how you are kept on your toes, figuratively through McCoy’s writing style. It’s use of modern investigation tactics and the Native American lore makes for a great read.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Reviews

 

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The Magician by Anne Montgomery

MagicianThe one thing any reporter loves is a mystery. The ability to cover secrets others have not been able to find will bring a reporter to the edge when it comes to getting the story. It’s what entices Kate Butler to her current assignment of uncovering information about the magician.  This mysterious man was found with more than your common funerary items around him when found in 1939. He was also found to be taller than most for the period, which raised questions about his heritage. The Hopi tribe that was helping with the dig almost knew immediately how important this man must have been when the Moochiwimi sticks were found.  Those sticks meant only one thing; this man had been a magician. This is the story that will be uncovered in author Anne Montgomery’s book aptly titled, The Magician.

Who was the magician? Where did he come from? Why was he so important?

These are questions Kate will try to uncover as she searches into the man’s past. Her only problem is her main source of information, Dr. Perkins, suddenly will not work with her. Dr. Perkins had been a great asset on her story of the Native American ball courts but now he was nowhere to be found. There had been requests for a DNA source have been routinely turned down by those who wish to protect Native American remains. The Hopi tribe had refused her request as they wished to protect the remains not see any part destroyed for a DNA test. It is possible Dr. Perkins had received pressure not to help Kate, and thus she had to find other sources.

Her friend Jack Cooper had come along with her on this trip and it’s possible his skills as a police officer would come in handy.  She will also be assisted on her quest by Dr. Jerrod Crane and colleagues of his that will help point her in other directions. There is one problem, as Kate visits the museum for the first time another takes interest in her, and her quest to find out about the magician. This man may be up to something and able to get information she cannot.

Along with the quest to find out who the magician was, there are other elements weaved into the book. These elements take us back to the life of the magician. The way the people of the era lived is explained, and they actually come to life.  We will also get to see who this magician was and his impact on the people of that area.

Names such as Woodrat, Deer Runner, Mul, and others will be discovered to belong to those who are central characters in that second feature of the book. The book will intertwine the two stories in such a way that they will complement each story contained within the book.  Montgomery uses as much realistic facts and content as she can during the writing of the book that helps bring the story to greater life.

There is drama, secretive plans, and subterfuge in both stories in the book.  The book reads in such a manner that you will not find yourself confused over the facts in the story. You will instead find yourself holding your breath at periods as the story switches from one period to another. You wonder should I skip a chapter and read a head. The answer is simply NO! The Magician is a book meant to be read and enjoyed by those who are fans of History and I have to add Mystery. The elements add up to a great book that tells not one but two great stories. As a bonus the article that Kate is writing even toward the end of the book. So you will see Kate gets her story, but the events to get there are not easy as most reporters will tell you.

As an additional note on this great book it was selected as an Editor’s Top Pick by Musa Publishing.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Reviews

 

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