Wake of Vultures (The Shadow #1)
by Lila Bowen
What is it about:
Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She's a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don't call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand.
And just like that, Nettie can see.
But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn't understand what's under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding -- at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin... if the monsters along the way don't kill her first.
What did I think of it:
This is one of those books I pre-ordered because it sounded really cool. Knowing that Lila Bowen is a pen-name of Delilah S. Dawson only made me more eager to get my trotters on it.
And this is a really cool and gritty read.
Nettie is a strong heroine, forged by the hardships she's endured all her life. Still she feels small and insecure. The world Nettie grew up in is a hard and grim one. Then she gets attacked by a monster, and she discovers the world is even darker than she thought. The creatures that hide among humans are scary and dangerous.
I was hooked from the start and rooted for Nettie to stay on top of things and to stay alive. Luckily she encounters some people along the way who seem to want to help her, because there's lots of nasty things coming her way.
I loved the mythology and how Bowen used it. The creatures Nettie encounters are creepy and scary. Luckily there were also some friendlier creatures to bring a bit of light in a very dark world.
The ending of the book was satisfying, but also made me hungry for more. I want to know what will happen next and I want to know the answers to some of the secrets that Nettie encountered.
You can bet I'll be keeping an eye out for book two!
Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Fantasy read in a Western setting.