Author: Lynne Cantwell
Series: The Pipe Woman Chronicles (#1)
Publisher: L. Cantwell (March 20th 2012)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review purposes.
Buy your copy: Kindle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“The winter solstice 2012 won't be the end of the world. It will be the beginning of the end....
Naomi has a pretty sweet life. Respected as a skilled mediator, she has an almost uncanny knack for getting people on both sides of a dispute to agree. And her handsome boyfriend Brock has just proposed to her. But a white buffalo calf is bowing to her in her dreams. And who is the Native American man who has been following her around?
Naomi doesn’t know it, but things are about to change...” GoodReads’ blurb
This story got me at the mention of paranormal and Native American (what can I say, I’m in a never ending quest for stories involving folk and myth!) and it delivered.
In all honesty, I don’t know enough about the subject to judge its accuracy or lack thereof, but after reading the book I never questioned the lore—and that’s huge bonus points in my book. I feel as if I knew a lot of details about Native Americans, their legends, some of their quirks... and also about mediation and law firms, which is the background for the main character. The author used the myth to build her own, rather than trying to fight against it, so it all blends together. So, great worldbuilding? Check!
The characters were on par with the world and myth developed here. The novel is not long, and it’s the first book in a series, so there’s still plenty of room to evolve and change and also to discover, but even then no one felt “shallow”. I found something to like about all the cast (well, the good guys at least) and while the bad guys were... well, bad, it wasn’t “because villains are needed”. I could get their motivations and, sadly enough recognize their type.
I wish I could run into my very own owl instead of my very own business shark, but ah well. Hope’s the last thing to go and all that (and yes, you’ll get the owl reference when you read the book).
The plot was well handled, well paced, and very current with events (come on! It’s the end of the world!).
There were a couple of things I didn’t like that much, though... or rather, one thing I didn’t like and one thing that made me arch my eyebrow.
The thing I didn’t like was the religious conflict. I loved the idea of the Native American gods coming back to remind mankind of its rightful place, but not the conflict with the Christian God. It might change in future books, but from this one, I think the same thing could have been accomplished without “devilizing” God. And even if the conflict had been so important, the gods’ revenge is leaving out Islam and Judaism, which are both major religions who also encourage their followers to shun other gods and, generally speaking, could be blamed of the same things the book places on Christianity. In normal circumstances, this would be enough to knock my rating down a star, but I’m honestly curious about the story and kind of understand that it’s just fiction, so, a few raised hackles aside, I’m letting it go with a warning.
The thing that made me raise my eyebrow was how fast Naomi jumped to conclusions about her special abilities. If we had seem more cases of her commenting something, and then something happening, it might have seemed more natural but I felt like her suspicions and realizations were a big, convenient leap of faith. Again, since this happens quite early one, it serves to jumpstart the plot, and later on the are no more cases of jumping logic, I’m just commenting on the fact (in case it’s one of your pet peeves).
All in all, if you’re okay with the issues I mentioned, I recommend this book for you. It’s engaging, original, with likeably and quirky characters that I got to care about.