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Shadow of Time: Dark Dreams: YA Paranormal Romance Kindle Edition
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`Shadow of Time' begins with Hannah after her year of teaching French at a high school and when she joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom's log cabin in Arizona. There she encounters Ben's childhood friend, Josh, who has grown up into quite a young man. She soon is torn between friendship and a more intense connection with Josh, with feelings seeping out from her inner core. Whether it is either providence or fate she is tormented by restlessness and demons from the dark, awaking in her soul and coming alive at night. She is plagued by nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and about terrifying shadows which are hunting her. Josh is also forever present both within her dreams and every single waking hour ~ it is all so mysterious as secrets start to unravel.
I found this intriguing tale so very interesting to read, and I absolutely loved how Jen Minkman combined myth and legend, with a sprinkling of magic and historical depth. The history of the people makes the magic and mystical elements of this story even more `real' and it also adds emphasis to the main character's chosen path and journey along it. I felt an intimate connection with this book as I not only could empathize and relate to various events and characters, but look upon Hannah's life's path and compare it to our own lives...which are as ever changeable as the daily weather.
Ultimately satisfying, profoundly meaningful and fulfilling this sensational read is something that I would highly recommend to all who love thrilling suspense and dazzling mystery. When we examine our current situation and explore various paths ahead for our future, we must also turn to the past for answers and sometimes even guidance ~ even if it is so that we can move forwards. This is a wonderful spellbinding read of intense multi-layered significance and great magnitude.
*I won a paperback copy of "Shadow of Time" by Jen Minkman through a Goodreads, first-read giveaway*
Okay, I'm just going to come right out and say it: SHADOW OF TIME is my favorite paranormal romance ever! What did I like so much about it? Its seriousness.
I don't mean to make SHADOW OF TIME sound like a bore. It's not in the least. It's an involving, well written story with characters I cared about and rooted for at every turn. It's exciting, with threads of mystery and action/adventure underlying the romance in a stimulating way. It's also movingly sweet and tender. And the paranormal elements are c-r-e-e-p-y!
No, by "serious" I mean that the book carefully situates its romance plot in Native American history so as to make the characters' future matter not just to them and their friends/families, but in a bigger way.
When I first realized SHADOW OF TIME's hero and heroine were a Native American man and a white American woman, I was a little worried. I'm not a fan of Native American romance as a subgenre. (Not aware that there is such a subgenre? Oh yes, there very much is. Google it and check out the hundreds of books Goodreads-shelved as "Native American romance.") Here's Sherman Alexie lampooning the subgenre:
"I was a little Spokane Indian boy who read every book and saw every movie about Indians, no matter how terrible.
"I'd read those historical romance novels about the steroidal Indian warrior ravaging the virginal white schoolteacher.
"I can still see the cover art.
"The handsome, blue-eyed warrior (the Indians in romance novels are always blue-eyed because half-breeds are somehow sexier than full-blooded Indians) would be nuzzling (the Indians in romance novels are always performing acts that are described in animalistic terms) the impossibly pale neck of a white woman as she reared her head back in primitive ecstasy (the Indians in romance novels always inspire white women to commit acts of primitive ecstasy)." (quoted from the essay "I Hated Tonto (Still Do)," which is available on the LA TIMES website)
That pretty much says it all. So, I thought, is SHADOW OF TIME going to be one of these? That would suck.
Well, it's not. Not in the least. I don't want to go into too many details, because they'd be spoilers, but I will say this much: Minkman has done her research. Serious, in-depth research into Navajo language, mythology, place, and history. The romance she's crafted is inextricably woven through with the tragedy, bravery, resistance, survival, and present-day life of the Navajo people. The Native Americans in SHADOW OF TIME are not exoticized. They're normal people trying to lead normal lives in the complicated junction where Native American culture meets the steamrolling force of white America.
That's what I mean by "serious." This is a book that combines the joyful escapism of the romance plot with some serious historical heft. It's satisfying on multiple levels at once. What a treat. I loved it.
Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. It's appropriate for adults and young adults, including (I think) readers on the younger end of the young-adult spectrum.
The author sent me an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an impartial review. This review is cross-posted from The Active Voice.
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Such a shame as I'd have bought a sequel with pleasure anyway.Read more
(I won a copy elsewhere but my kindle refused to load the file so she gifted me a copy here instead.Read more