3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Unusual, immersive and beautiful.... highly recommended.,
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This review is from: Walker (Kindle Edition)
It's rare to read a book that combines knowledgeable information about spiritual subject matter with a gripping story. They can end up preachy or plain boring. This is neither.
Hunter McKenzie is a boy lost. Then he loses everything in a terrible accident, during which he dies and then, by some inexplicable miracle, comes back to life. Losing everything brings him from his home in America to his Grandmother's house in Exmoor, where he finds that he'd lost far more than he ever dreamed. The knowledge that he is born to be a shaman, a walker between the worlds, and a vital training that might have made him equal to the terrifying task ahead.
Hunter's character is beautifully rounded and his journey as he meets a new kind of life and discovers a new way of being is engrossing, intense and emotionally compelling. The wonderful cast of Ferish (Jane's truly different and fabulous take on fairies), Punkies, spirit guides, deer and, of course, the shamans he meets - Rowan, who guides him, Ruth, his Grandmother, the delightful Mr Twitchen - fill the book with life, personality and depth. But, most surprisingly, it is the landscape which comprises the most compelling character in the book. Richly described, lovingly portrayed, vibrant and all-encompassing, it floods the story with an extra depth of beauty and meaning.
The stakes are high, the solutions never easily achieved and the tension remains acute throughout. Despite all the out of body shamanic travelling and the liberties taken with the notion of shape-shifting, I did not at any point feel my disbelief was failing to suspend on any of the books spiritual aspects, indeed they only added to my delight. I will say that I would have liked to have seen more of Ruth, to my mind she disappeared from the story a bit suddenly, and I felt that her often irritable treatment of Hunter was a tiny bit overstated. Secondly I thought the transformation made by Rowan toward the end needed just a little more, only a dab mind, to root it in reality, I liked her character arc before that moment and from that moment onward but I felt that, even though the circumstance of her change was realistic, it needed extending a little, to have her fight a little more, mainly because of who she is in the book and how she's portrayed. But those are minor issues and did not spoil my enjoyment of the story at all. I probably only noticed them because I'm prone (after University and much writing myself) to over-analysing, which is a fault.
I heartily and thoroughly recommend everyone read this book. You will laugh, you will very likely cry, you will feel very deeply the beauty of the earth and the tragedy of our mistreatment of it and you will assuredly enjoy every second of the enchanting and gripping story within its pages.