ARC Review: Wind Catcher-Jeff Altabef & Erynn Altabef


23497656Goodreads/Amazon

cooltext1804448395 copyWinner – Mom’s Choice Award Honoring Excellence

Winner – Awesome Indies Seal of Approval

“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

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.

“This very unique and refreshingly original contemporary fantasy has elements of high epic fantasy woven throughout it, and it will surprise and delight even the most jaded fantasy readers.” ~ Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews

cooltext1804472332 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Evolved Publishing.

Wind Catcher is a tantalizing blend of Native American folk beliefs and the paranormal. Part murder mystery, part science fiction, Wind Catcher crosses genres, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.

PROS:

  • Wind Catcher is a breath of fresh air-an intoxicating and unexpected shift from current YA trends. Native American folklore and spiritualism permeates throughout the story, a living, breathing entity that is so much more than a mere story aspect, it’s a lifestyle. From memories to life lessons, the Native American way is one of nature and spirit. It was fascinating and beautiful experiencing the purity of faith in spirit and how much Native American elders rely on guidance from the elements. There’s something wild yet wholesome and clean about Wind Catcher despite the underlying ritualistic killings and paranormal surprises. I found myself completely enthralled by the story, thirsting for symbolism and folktales. Everything is interconnected and intricately plotted. It flows so naturally that when a twist suddenly appears it’s utterly unexpected.
  • Wind Catcher is NOT driven by a romantic subplot. Love is found in many forms, predominantly in the love between friends, family, and within themselves. While there is some tension, it’s fairly subtle with no blatant flirting. You might be asking why is this a positive thing? Sometimes the story gets lost in the relationship between main characters and the focus shifts from a main arc to a minor one, evolving from say, a paranormal to a romance with paranormal elements. Wind Catcher stayed true to its original plot, one of self-discovery and empowerment.
  • Juliet is torn between the old world and the new, between her heritage as a Native American and giving into the materialism of the white man’s way. Juliet used to value spirit, signs, and superstition, her grandfather’s stories filled her with wonder and joy but now she wants security and all the luxury that money can buy. Juliet loses sight of who she is and has no idea how to balance. When Juliet’s heritage is thrust upon her, she fights with everything she has. Juliet’s growth is astounding, she’s headstrong and when put under pressure, she finds strength within when others would have crumbled in fear. No matter how dire and dismal the situation, Juliet overcomes her doubts and regains focus, sacrificing her happiness for the fate of her people and her loved ones.
  • Troy is protective, loyal, and there for Juliet every step of the way. Their friendship is made of laughter, history, and sticking up for each other with fists if it comes to that. They’re playful, adventurous, and their dialogue is so fluid, they feel like old friends you can interact with. Troy is a muscular, gorgeous Native American guy and he’s crazy swoon-worthy.
  • Mystery drives the plot. The murders, the strange ritualistic clues, the finger pointing and the weird connection to medicine men all collide in a heart-stopping puzzle. Danger is around every corner and as Juliet and her friends dig into the past, violence escalates. You’ll scramble to piece the clues together and rally Juliet on to solve the mystery before it’s too late.
  • The Wind Spirit is an enigmatic force of nature. The connection to Juliet, to animals, and Earth runs deep. Intuition and meditation play a huge role in deciphering the knowledge passed down and what Juliet is supposed to know. What the Wind Spirit wants and what’s at stake is more terrible that you can imagine and there’s a twist that will leave you reeling well after the last page is turned.

CONS:

  • Some scenes were stereotypical and predictable. While including the stigmas and prejudice that Native American’s face, the villain was an expected one and often there was so much foreshadowing and foreboding leading up to these scenes that they were anticlimactic.
  • Small subplots felt unnecessary and incomplete. For example, the issues with Katie’s father, the romance between Ella and Marlon, and the whole animosity towards Lisa weren’t critical to the plot and detracted from real appreciation of these characters, instead they became defined by these tiny stories.
  • Juliet’s issues with her grandfather were frustrating. By not having the courage to confront him, Juliet pushed for answers and stirred up trouble, avoiding the issue and upping the drama. There wasn’t a span of time or scenarios that illustrated how quickly Juliet changed from the girl who worshipped her grandfather to a prep school conformist.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

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