Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Review: Shaman Healer Heretic

Shaman Healer Heretic by M. Terry Green


Shaman Healer Heretic is an exploration into the mystical, the mythological, and the technological. Yes, the technological can intermingle with the mystical; souls and gadgetry do mix. The clash between the scientific and the spiritual come to a head in this book, provoked by the appearance of a mythological being that thrusts the hidden world of the techno-shamans into the open.

That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from

Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn’t exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn’t just wrong–it’s impossible.
Or is it?
Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one.
Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions. As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost.


In this high-tech Internet age, the battle of spiritual versus scientific comes as a particular issue. So many believe it has to be one way or the other. Shaman Healer Heretic blends the two sides of this coin together in the profession of techno-shaman, using the hard engineering of technology to create goggles that allow these mystics to access the spirit realm, home of souls and even gods.


I did not read Shaman Healer Heretic. I listened to it via As a result, I experienced less of the written-word aspect of the execution of this novel. Instead, the writing style was balanced by the author's vocal performance of her work, as Green did the narration. Her writing style itself was very straight-forward, understandable without being overly simplistic. Her vocal performance is engaging with slight differences in the voices of characters, most notably between female and male characters, of course. Still, even with the small supporting cast that gathers toward the end of the story, the combination of her vocal characterization and the clear writing style made it possible to tell exactly who was speaking in conversations, even while listening to the recordings while distracted by other tasks. Missing a few words here or there did not hinder my enjoyment or comprehension of events.

My thoughts

I was enthralled by Shaman Healer Heretic. That being said, I think I may have been more in love with the idea of techno-shamans than with the book itself. That is not to say the book was bad. Far from it. The plot was compelling, the characters lovable and relatable, and the setting believable. I am unsure if my slight dissatisfaction comes from the book not being longer and fuller, for being a touch simplified, or if I had built expectations that were too high from reading the back cover description. Perhaps I am only seeing the possibilities of the modern world sub-culture Green has created in introducing the techno-shamans. While I very much enjoyed this book, I was not blown away by it. I did not experience any dizzying highs or devastating lows in listening. I did find myself guessing at what was to come, to have myself proven partially correct.

The plot was very well wrapped-up, leaving the characters and world open to development. True to the philosophy I take in writing, elements were not thrown in frivolously. A detail that may seem unimportant or overlookable early on comes back for a major reason as the plot reaches its climax. I haven't yet decided if I will pursue the series further. I do feel like I have been enriched by reading Shaman Healer Heretic (or rather, by listening to it) but I feel like it was a meal served with too small a portion.

Would I recommend this book? 

Shaman Healer Heretic was a good read, but sadly, it was fairly forgettable once I was finished with it. It’s not one of those books I’d end up thinking of fondly a few weeks later or that left me pondering about after it was over. I give Shaman Healer Heretic a lightning-calling 3 out of 5 stars.

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