Review: Shaman, Priestess, Pawn by M. Terry Green

shaman priestess pawnReviewed by Jen

It’s been a while since the last time I visited this world and it took me some time to reconnect with it. I’ve long been a fan of these books and one of the things that I like best about them is the author’s willingness to evolve the series from story to story.  The environment keeps changing and the characters keep growing.

In this installment, Olivia is on a mission to learn more about her craft from an ancient group of shamans in South America. She travels with SK to find the them on a dangerous journey. And when they reach their destination, they’re surprised to find that Livvie isn’t their priority. SK is.  As we learned in the earlier books, he is more than a standard intercessor. He’s the so-called Water Baby. And that means something big to the Mayans; especially their leader, who has plans to use him for her own ends. [Read more…]

Review: Shaman, Sister, Sorceress

Reviewed by Jen

Let me start by saying, if you haven’t read the first book in this series, I urge you to give it a try.  It’s called Shaman, Healer, Heretic. Scoot! Go buy it now.  This is book three, and while you could probably pick up on what’s happening, you’re better off starting from the beginning.  And I really think you’ll enjoy it.

This installment picks up just days after the last one left off.  Olivia has ventured out on her own after finding out she can’t have a relationship with the man she loves.  She doesn’t know where she’s going, but something compels her to visit a Hopi community where something nefarious is underfoot.  The place is ripe with other shamans –and they are all interested in Livvie.  Quickly, she is pulled into their internal battle over some missing tablets and plot to remake the world.

She doesn’t want to be part of it.  But one of those tablets could hold the key to a possible future with SK.  Plus, Livvie is an honorable woman.  She can’t turn her back on people who really need her.

As with the first two books, the writing and the story here are well crafted.  I like Livvie and I really feel like I know her at this point. We’re introduced to a wealth of new secondary characters, and I struggled a little with that in the beginning. But it did not take me very long to get to know them all and see their evolving places in the story.  The action is good –and the plot is unpredictable without being unwieldy.

The book did have a slightly different feel than its predecessors, I think. We’ve abandoned the city and its cast of characters in favor of the Hopi and their different culture.  It took me a little longer to connect to the story.  Maybe it was just because I missed SK. Certainly, once he showed up, I felt much more connected.  And speaking of SK… this wall between him and Livvie needs to come down. I know these aren’t romance novels, but let’s cut these two a break! I really want to see them make a go of it.  I wish there had been a little more movement in that part of the story.

All that being said, I thought the book was good and I read the whole thing in one sitting.  It’s self published, but you would never know that unless someone told you. It’s high quality… and I am thrilled that the covers have a new look.  I hope that will prompt new readers to give them a try.

Now, the wait begins for book four….

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Shaman, Sister, Sorceress
by M Terry Green
Release Date: September 28, 2012

Review: Shaman, Friend, Enemy

Reviewed by Jen

A sure sign of a really good book is when you forget that you are reading.  You get so wrapped up in what’s happening that there ceases to be words on a page; and you’re just inside the story.  That’s how I felt reading this book.

The story picks up several months after the events of Shaman, Healer, Heretic.  Livvie is still working as a shaman, but her life has changed drastically. Gone are her days of poverty and derision. Her bravery and her special abilities have made her famous and put her skills in high demand.  Min and SK are riding high along with her as she lives a life she never dreamed she’d have.

But as good as things are, Livvie can’t find happiness until she can make peace with her mother. The woman has been dead for years, however, and that means the only way Livvie can reach her is by using her shamanistic abilities.  To say such a summoning is frowned upon would be an understatement, so Livvie works in secret to bring her mother’s spirit back.

At the same time, a dark practitioner has her sights set on taking Livvie’s place as the top shaman in town.  She is targeting her almost every time she crosses to the other side.  And each time they face off, it gets harder and harder for Livvie to escape.

I really liked the first book in this series, but this one had something that one didn’t: romance.  You know I am a romance reader at heart, so that made me enjoy this one all the more.  I won’t spoil the particulars of the relationship, but I surprised myself by how quickly and totally I got behind it.  Of course, there wouldn’t be much of a story without conflict –and this love story definitely has landmines all over it.  But forbidden romance is one of the best kinds!

One of my only complaints about the last book was that I wanted to know more about Livvie’s background and we definitely get that here.  I liked learning a little about how she became a shaman and the events that made her who she is.  Again, the characterization is really good and I felt like I knew these people: not just Livvie, but SK, Min, and even the villain, Dominique.

There are a couple of scenes where Livvie lashes out that seem a little out of character.  She is unkind to people who love her and even under stress, that seems to go against who she is.  But other than that –and the ending (which wasn’t what I wanted)–  I thought it was very, very good.  Fortunately, book three will be out this summer!  4 1/2 stars.

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase:  Amazon
Shaman, Friend, Enemy
by M Terry Green
Release Date: October 2011

Review: Shaman, Healer, Heretic

Reviewed by Jen

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

Click to purchase: Amazon
Shaman, Healer, Heretic
by M Terry Green
Release Date: January 22, 2011