A novel that springs to life right from the start, M. Terry Green’s Shaman, Healer, Heretic introduces the idea of a techno-shaman using technology rather than drugs to access the mysterious worlds of Native American mythology. The author resists any urge to over-explain, bringing readers up to speed through the protagonist’s very natural thoughts about her rather curious healing profession. A former medical student, Livvy uses her shamanic skills to rescue lost souls and care for those whose ailments can’t be addressed by modern medicine. And she does it all very convincingly. But a kachina appearing in her bedroom isn’t meant to happen. Soon other things are invading the middleworld and breaking bonds in the underworld. Life on the edge seems almost ready to tip over the edge. And Livvy, led by the curious kachina, might just be a shaman’s only hope. Fast-paced, brightly up-to-date with nicely interwoven mythology and a genuine touch of modern medicine too, the story pulls readers into Livvy’s heresy, brings fascinatingly different shamanic characters together on a common quest, and tells a pleasingly complete story in a world that’s perfectly prepared to uphold a series. I enjoyed the author’s willingness not to tell everything—enough to keep the reader intrigued, to respect the reader’s intelligence, and to leave scope for further tales. How did Livvy end up as a shaman? How did shamans end up using technology? How do different views of the otherworlds combine? Ah, there’s so much still to learn and I know I shall enjoy reading more.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
This is absolutely fantastic writing; very original and completely immersive. I would definitely pay money to read the rest of this; you've managed to explain things very well while still leaving a lot of room for mystery and reader interest. Overall Strength: 5-stars; exciting, well-written, immediate hook, very original. I love the characterization of all the characters so far. Hook: 5-stars; I wanted to read more from the first two pages, and the rest of the chapter just fed my interest more. Prose: 5-stars; extremely good pacing; good level of detail (not too little, not too much); vivid descriptions; and absolutely fantastic use of showing rather than telling (the hair, the shirt, the necklace are all described as part of the plot, not as an info-dump). Originality: 5-stars; I can't think of any other novel that starts off with a blue-sparking, flute-playing shaman before then segueing into a faith healer job trying to save a comatose woman from her estranged lover - it's almost like the literary equivalent of a really good-yet-trippy dream. Also, "Nacho" for an orange cat just tickled me so much. Bravo.
Overall I found this interesting. I would like to know more about Livy-- I gather that she is a special sort of Shaman and would like to know what makes her special. It is well written and an intriguing idea.