"Shadow Walker," Allyson James

Pros: Intense, emotional plot with plenty of twists and turns
Cons: Dammit, now I have another series to catch up on somehow…
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group


Stormwalker Janet Begay is outrunning one of Sheriff Nash’s speed traps when the ground opens up beneath them both, sending them tumbling into the caverns below. Escape, however, is not as simple as getting out of the sinkhole. There’s something down there that’s taken an interest in Janet, and something up above that wants something from Nash.

Meanwhile, a malicious hotel inspector does everything he can to put Janet out of business, and it doesn’t help that all the repairs from the last year have fallen apart in record time. Who could have slipped a spell past her and her dragon boyfriend Mick’s wards? Come to think of it, why is Mick acting so weird lately? At this rate, Janet’s going to have to save everyone, and all with her crotchety grandmother determined to help out.


See, here’s the problem with really good book series: sometimes you discover them in the middle, and you have to go back and fill in the blanks. Or you miss a few books along the way, and have to hurry and catch up. It’s getting so that keeping up with my favorite authors is a full-time job! And having finally read my first novel from Allyson James’s Stormwalker series, Shadow Walker (third in the series), now I’m going to have to go back and read the others. I absolutely love Ms. James’s world, filled with Native American trickster gods, elemental magic, evil goddesses from Beneath, and a bunch of quirky, fun, entertaining characters of all types.

The plot is delightful, pitting something as mundane as a hotel inspector against our erstwhile heroine. And it seems that he might be harder to defeat than some of her past enemies! Meanwhile something is eroding Janet’s hotel out from under her, and enslaving Mick to another’s will. If she can’t find a way to release him, the other dragons will have to kill him to keep someone else from using his power. It’s tough to find a way to save someone who’s far enough gone that he’s trying to fry you to a crisp, however.

There are plenty of twists and turns, and some fascinating bits with Janet’s half-sister. Even though my only prior experience with James’s world is a novelette, I had no trouble whatsoever navigating the characters and setting. The author has a knack for including enough information that her books can stand alone. Although of course as always it’s best to start at the beginning.

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