Wind Catcher – a review

 

I seem to be reading more YA books than normal, and enjoying them. Wind Catcher has to be one of my favourites to date, and it was the native American elements that first attracted me to these authors. Jeff Altabef was generous and offered me a free copy of the first book in the Chosen series.

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Wind Catcher (Chosen #1)

by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef

2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner

Lies.
Betrayal.
Destiny.
A choice that changes everything.

My name is Juliet Wildfire Stone, and I am special. I see visions and hear voices, and I have no idea what they mean.

When someone murders medicine men in my sleepy Arizona town, I can’t help but worry my crazy grandfather is involved. He’s a medicine man and more than a just a little eccentric. He likes to tell me stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but none of it makes any sense. I thought I knew the truth, but in order to clear his name I dive into his alien world and uncover an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep me safe—me! And I can’t help but to start to wonder whether there’s some truth to those old stories my grandfather has been telling me.

I just want to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but apparently I’ve never been average. Could never be average. I didn’t know it before, but I’m a Chosen, and those voices I’ve been hearing… well, they’re not just “voices.” I’ve started to develop abilities, but they might not be enough. A powerful entity called a Seeker is hunting me and he’s close—really close.

I thought I knew the answers but truth is, I don’t. Betrayed by those I love, I must choose to run or risk everything in order to fulfill my destiny. I hope I make the right choice. Don’t you?

REVIEW – ****

I follow Jeff Altabef, on various media, and he kindly sent me “Wind Catcher” for free. Having read the blurb and the first few pages, I would have willingly paid – writing costs as does any job. I am glad that I ignored those reviewers that criticised the narrator/protagonist’s “wavering” about her ‘chosen’ role and wanting to be normal. I may be retired, and a man, but I remember all the teenage anxieties I went through of wanting to be normal. Okay, I ended up rebelling but that was my ultimate response to being bullied, after constant failings to conform, so I felt for Juliet.

For me, Juliet was a well-rounded character and I had a sense early on that there was a deep respect for the weird, traditional native ways of Sicheii, her grandfather. Like so many of us, there was a point to reject those ways and gravitate to conformity. She needed, like the best protagonists, to go through several life-changing events before she was ready to face her antagonists. Clearly, Jeff’s daughter Erynn added her own experiences to ensuring this character worked. This was a coming-of-age story, although the growth was something most of us never experience.

Only when a heroine is ready can she face her antagonist. So, we get a great ending when all the pieces come together, bringing closure to the key plotlines. However, Book 2 is set-up cleverly and with the right questions left unanswered. Like, will she find romance with the right guy?

Overall, I enjoyed Wind Catcher and was unable to put it down. The Native American elements felt right to me – although I am not an expert. As a mystery writer, the tension and the intrigue kept me guessing even with the subtle hints. I can’t wait for Brink of Dawn and Scorched Souls reaching the top of my to-read pile. Recommended read.

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