Shadow of Time is a slow starter! The first few chapters seemed to go by at a very slow pace, the story of Hannah, a young newly qualified teacher, and her brother Ben's vacation, it seemed it was going to be another YA novel of angst, swoons and crushes with of course the obligatory bit of the paranormal thrown in!
How wrong can you be! All of a sudden this book just opens up and the story that unfolds is well thought out, intricate, amazingly researched and feels relevant and almost real. I confess had I not been reading this book to review, I would have probably stopped reading it, but as it was I had to plough on, and I am so glad I did.
Hannah is vacationing with her brother in a cabin for the summer very near to a Native American reservation, they have spent their childhoods holidaying here, and so have close connections on the reservation, and Josh was one of those childhood friends, younger than both Hannah and Ben he was always a little brother to them both, in fact his name for Hannah was sister.
But in the four years since Hannah's last visit Josh has grown from a gawky young boy into a stunning young man, whose personality and apparent wisdom belies his young years.
Hannah falls for Josh in a big way, and it would seem Josh reciprocates those feelings, but dark forces are at work, forces beyond the comprehension of the Hannah, Ben and their friends, forces that Josh seems to be burdened with.
It is at this point that the story starts to tell itself in a spell binding way, and to reveal too much here really would be a spoiler, because one of the best bits about this novel is that you really don't see any of it coming!
The Author Jen Minkman has obviously spent an enormous amount of time researching native American tribes and culture, and has mixed this with her own large dose of the paranormal, this results in a thoroughly readable novel. I have never before read a book focussing on Native American tribes (if of course you discount Ms Meyers' offerings), and I would have possibly not chosen to, but it is a fascinating read. Shadow of Time is a novel and so there is plenty of artistic licence used, but you still get a feeling for a time, a people and their history.
This is NOT another Twilight, but it is a love story in most purest form one might say, a love that can span lifetimes! I don't fall into the YA category, and haven’t done for a few years, and while I would agree this book, because of the characters and some of the themes most definitely is a YA novel, I enjoyed it because the story is good enough to skim over some of the pizza eating, movie going and general YA love story pining that doesn't’ hold my interest anymore.
Whether you be, 18 or 38 you will enjoy this book, if you love a well crafted, highly researched book with a layer of paranormal which at the time of reading appears believable.
Any criticisms? There are moments when the action skips, and I would have loved a little more detail, but this is a long novel and you cant fit everything in! The supporting cast are also a little too believing and accepting, but this does mean the story can trot along at a good pace.
All in all, I genuinely loved this book, after an initial few chapters of thinking it was going to be a chore, I was a little disappointed when it finally ended.
A more than well deserved four stars.
About the Author…..in her own words…..
Jen was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career & youth counselor at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!).
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.
Find out more about Jen
Jen's Blog: http://jenminkman.blogspot.co.uk/