I finally finished this book, which took forever, and I'm frustrated. I mean REALLY frustrated.
Here's the gist of the story: When Claire is very young, she witnesses the murder of her mother, a medicine woman in the "mystic land of Aztlan," by a man in a dark cloak with very intense blue eyes. When she reaches the age her mother was when she died, she goes through the journey of finding herself and trying to discover her mother's killer, all while trying to learn the deep secrets of the Ecclesia Dea and the truths about the deaths of young women in her community.
The storyline itself was interesting and that's what kept me reading - I wanted to know what was going to happen next - but I'm disappointed in the actual writing of the book. The author tried WAY TOO HARD to make this an "American Indian" book. At one point I even said: "If I read the words mesa, adobe or ponderosa ONE MORE TIME, I think I'm going to explode." And the fact that several parts are repetitive - we get that the mother died when she was young, you told us at the beginning ... and then again ... and then again ... and then again. Every time something bad happens or she freaks out about something, we come right back to the fact that her mom died - and repeat the details. (And this isn't the only thing that is repeated over and over again; another example is who Francesca is. WE KNOW!) Some of the conversations just feel awkward, like they were forced - I assume it's so the author can give information to the reader without it feeling like an info dump, but I would rather have that info dump than the first conversation she had with her boyfriend at the restaurant.
I like how the author describes the characters, but they still feel kind of flat to me. I didn't care much for the main character (for all kinds of reasons), but I did like Elizabeth and Francesca. They were interesting characters that I wanted to know more about.
The mystery wasn't really a mystery, not completely. Like when watching an episode of Columbo, you already knew who the bad guy was, which was really neat, especially with the twists that were stuck in throughout.
I am completely torn. It could have been a 5 star book. I expected so much more from this book and this author.
(Until I went to write this review, I had not noticed that the book description on Amazon could use some editing too. I may not have agreed to read the book had I seen that before saying yes.)
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. No other consideration was offered, expected or received.