Books like these are the reason I am willing to try work from self-published authors. I have to admit, I was a wary of the title and the cover, but I am so glad that didn't stop me from reading this book. It's fresh. The pacing is good. The plot is unpredictable without being unstable. And it has a great cast of characters which only pulled me in more, the further I read.
Livvie is a shaman. Armed with a special gift that allows her to send her spirit to another plane, she makes her living helping people whose spirits are trapped. Some clients are in a coma, some have serious physical illness, and others have psychological issues she can help them overcome.
As the book begins, things are a bit "off" on that other plane. At first, the changes are small. But when an ancient Hopi god --a kachina-- manifests himself in Livvie's bedroom, things begin to snowball. There is a powerful, destructive entity wreaking havoc on the other side. Even as skilled as she is, Livvie can't fight it alone. So she reaches out to others of her kind, hoping together, they can defeat the beast.
There were a lot of things I liked about the story. One was the plot. It was never boring; it never lagged. And while the progression felt natural, it never felt formulaic. The characters were three dimensional and nuanced. I liked Livvie, though I would have liked to know a little more of her backstory. Her shaman-middleman, SK, totally stole the show, though. I loved how his personality and his feelings were revealed over time. And by the end of the book, he was easily my favorite character.
There's not really much in the way of romance, but there are romantic interests. There are definitely feelings going on (but I won't spoil the particulars.) The world-building is very cool. And it's obvious that the book was professionally edited.
My only (minor) complaints: I wish we knew more about why Livvie left her medical career to become a shaman. We get bits and pieces of her history but not really enough to paint a complete picture. Maybe the author is saving that for later books. --I also didn't love the part of the storyline involving the potential love interest Joel and how that turned out.
But overall, I really enjoyed the book. And I'm looking forward to starting the next installment. 4 1/2 stars.*Book provided by author for review