Thrilling in Bits- The Wind Catcher (The Chosen #1) by Jeff Altabef and Erryn Altabef


The blurb reads,

Juliet Wildfire Stone hears voices and sees visions, but she can’t make out what they mean. Her eccentric grandfather tells her stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but he might as well be speaking another language. None of it makes any sense.

When she stumbles upon a series of murders she can’t help but worry her grandfather might be involved. To discover the truth, Juliet must choose between her new life at an elite private school and her Native American heritage. Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep her safe, she starts to wonder whether there’s some truth to those old stories her grandfather has been telling her.

All she wants is to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but she has never been average—could never be average.

Betrayed by those she loves, she must decide whether to run or risk everything by fulfilling her destiny as the Chosen.

The Wind Catcher

 

 

There were several things which came into my mind as I read this book. I was very curious about the authors because Jeff Altabef’s teenage daughter helped co-author this one. I’m all about supporting child authors and authors in general. I didn’t have too great an opinion about Jeff Altabef’s other read, Shatter Point. I felt it was a great thriller with a lot of build up, but was muddled because there were too many different storylines pursued which could have been cut. And somehow, even though I approached this book with an open and fresh mind, that same thought gnawed on me. I wondered if all books had that as a distinct characteristic.

For one, I love reading Native American books. The first Indie Novel I had read, The Shadow of Time by Jen Minkman, was a Native American book. I have deep respect for the Native Americans and their beliefs. I find them to be very centered and somehow, I feel they know so much more about life than they let on.

Anyway, the theme about Juliet being a Chosen One, designated as such by the Wind Spirit was intriguing. I wanted to know how she would save the tribe and what or who the Wind Spirit was. But the book lacked details of the Native American twist. Just writing about a conundrum of whether to follow their culture or not is not enough when the book is advertised as a Native American book.

Juliet and her Sicheii ( or maternal grandfather) have to face many challenges because someone is after them. Or more specifically, after her. She is the Chosen. Someone who will help the tribe and look after their future interests. Juliet is in a typical set up. Stuck as an outcast in a school filled with people too rich or snooty to care, she is filled with angst and typically is confused whether to become part of the crowd or to stand out.

This part of the book was well written. I can imagine how it feels to stand out among many people and have the spotlight unnecessarily on you. All the time. And that is where I felt Jeff got keen insight from his co-author Erryn, bringing in the necessary emotions to make this realistic.

However, I felt Juliet was angry all the time. Really. Without a break. It felt like she had the world’s problems all on her as she went on ranting about everything. And feeling out of place. She was also unnecessarily rude about everything that happened to her. And to everyone in her life.

I felt the action started when Juliet (finally!) embraced that this trouble was on her. Someone was behind her. She needed to step up and take action. That is when the book picked up and started to move at a fast pace.

I appreciated the action scenes because they were involving. You wanted to read about what happened. You wanted the Seeker unmasked and you definitely wanted to cheer for Juliert. And find out how she would save all the Native Americans.

But!

There’s always a But!

Somehow, the writers thought it fit to introduce some ET towards the end which completely blew the Wind Catcher and the Wind Spirit out of proportion. It blew open the build up that was happening and left me wondering why they would do that? Why would the Native American build up be substituted for

(spoilers ahead)

A threat to Earth?

I mean seriously? After all that we tolerated from Juliet and after all that Native American culture and Juliet being “The Chosen”, it is substituted for this?

The ending was a let down. If only the explanation or the fight sequence with the Seeker was much more cleverly done, I’d have appreciated this. But the end left me disappointed. Although, the epilogue or conclusion of sorts that there were more like Juliet, made me want to read the others.

You’d definitely be entertained by this book. You’d also definitely be frustrated with this book. And I’m not certain I will continue reading the series.

My Rating: 2.5/5

2 and a half stars

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