Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book #Review: Death & Desire by P.H. Turner .@LyricalPress .@pht97

Book Title: Death & Desire
Author:  P.H Turner |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: ebook
Cost: $3.99
Pages: 258
How I got it: Publicis via Blog Tour Company
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: March 17
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Ancient rituals. Up-to-the minute deception. Reporter Taylor McWhorter knows something is going on at the newly reopened uranium mine on the local Navajo reservation. The Native workers are being fired. Rumors of bad Native American spirits and shapeshifters mingle with the stink of leach pit mining. The rough red mountains and steep canyons hide more passes and getaway trails than any maze. And Taylor’s sources keep turning up dead… Until she meets Captain Trace Yazzie, head of the tribal police force and plenty to reckon with on his own. The chemistry between them is enough to incinerate Taylor’s rule about mixing business and pleasure. But with a murderer on the loose, priceless Navajo artifacts turning up in the wrong places, and Trace’s suggestion that spirits disturbed from looted burial sites might be part of the problem, Taylor can’t afford to lose her head to lust. This might be the story of the year. But unless she keeps her wits about her, it could be the last one Taylor ever tells…
I went into this book with high hopes, as a bit of background I'll let you know I originally went to school to study anthropology and archaeology with a concentration in Native American Studies and History. I was hell bent on doing this, until I realized I would spend more years reading about it than actually doing anything fun, so I moved on to the healthcare field.  So when I say I know more than the average person, I'm not kidding, two years of studies before I changed my major.  With that in mind this story was great for a history buff, an art history major, an anthropologist, an environmental scientist and or an archaeologist other than that?? If you're not familiar with many of the subjects talked about and aren't a big fan of googling while reading you're going to get lost.

As a paranormal story it starts a bit slow, while the author attempts to lay the groundwork so you understand what's going on, however it still required you to know the geography a bit which might be a bit difficult if you're not from the US.  The lore of the Navajo was very well researched and I loved the knowledge that was dispensed easily by the characters, and how well it was shared without being heavy handed.  I also loved how the supernatural aspects while being extra ordinary also fit in within the story and the area, almost as if you would expect it to happen in modern day world, simply because the area is so special and vast and different from most modern areas.

This is a concept that has been lacking in paranormal romance, or just romance in a few years.  When I started reading romance in the early 90s  I was in middle grade and Native American lore and culture were "all the rage", so many books came out with the theme, but it's been a while since it's been done and done well. I really loved the glimpse of Navajo traditions, and the history shared, I even loved the discussion of privilege and cultural appropriation that was discussed. It was pretty awesome to see that so blatantly displayed, especially the calling out of wealthy 'art collectors'. Let's call a spade a spade, it's not collecting it's theft and it's wrong.

The subject matter of fracking and the leaching of ore, went right to my little environmentalist heart and made me dance a little.   I loved the discussion of the environment and the destruction of Native lands, which is hidden because well no one really cares about what happens on reservations, that happens to others not to us, and the discussion of the illegal activities done to make a buck, yaasss dear, share it all with the world. I love it!!

While I loved much of the story there were a few things that brought it down for me including:

The world building was very poorly done, as I said because I studied this information when it was thrown out there I wasn't surprised and even had a pretty good understanding of the lore and cultural history and beliefs,  I totally felt the characters' reactions were spot on to viewing something different, however it was like reading a newspaper article, I read her reactions but didn't feel them.  If you're not familiar with the Four Corners region or with the geography of the area, the names of the towns, the significance of the placement of each name will me nothing.

Before long I got tired of the author telling me things instead of showing them to me,. Write the scenes so I can feel like I'm there instead of me getting the second hand account from the protagonist.  While reading I realized the author shared way too much of the science and almost nothing of the other information; instances where she could have been circumspect she was descriptive and where there needed to be details, we barely got any.  SHOW ME that they have an attraction to each other, don't tell me, because I didn't read any attraction, it was there but not enough to make me care about the romance.

The characters felt flat and I was so disappointed because the story had such potential.  About half way in I no longer cared and simply read because I was interested in the rest of the story and not so much in the protagonist,  It was almost impossible to really get a feel for her or any of the other characters because we weren't given any information to make them real.  the female protagonist is our main point of view and she is a bit detached in telling the tale and when she's supposed to feel certain emotions you don't really get that from her which made it impossible to truly feel the emotions necessary to become invested in the book.

When we made it to the conclusion I was both surprised and not surprised because it was well written as part of the story, however you it was so far outside the realm of possible outcomes that would have had you looking around in confusion.  At the end of it I enjoyed the mixture of the lore with some suspense, and the bit of romance we got. I, however wished it had been fleshed out more.  It would be interesting to read more from the author and see if this was just a one time occurrence because of the subject matter or if it's the author's writing style.

I ended up giving it a three because it was mildly entertaining but unfortunately not very memorable, even though this is a concept that hasn't been done in paranormal romance in a while. It's still a bit of nerdy book love so if you're a fan of any of the above mentioned fields do make sure to check it out and tell me what you think.

Have you read this book??  What do you think of it?? Share in the comments down below so we can chat and discuss.

Happy Reading

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