Monday, June 30, 2014

Copper Descent by Angela Hartley - Book Review

“Copper Descent” is the tale of Nina Douglas, a Native American girl with a secret. She walks into the dream world, even though her mother forbids it. Nina and her family are the last of their tribe, their village destroyed by Sinuf, a dark god from before the beginning of time. Nina's mother is afraid that Sinuf will find Nina in the dream world and take control of her, turning her mysterious gifts into something dark and sinister. One night the dream world shows Nina a terrible vision of the future. Afraid her mother will be angry with her for walking into the dream behind her back, Nina keeps the vision to herself. Her decision ends up costing her dearly and turning her world upside down. Guilt forces her to make a difficult choice sacrificing a part of herself forever. At last she is safe from the dark wolf of her dreams… or so she thought. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's been a while since a book has really impressed me, especially a debut novel by a new author. This is the case with “Copper Descent.” Right away you’re drawn into the story, and your attention is held by the author’s creative attention to detail. She has a talent for blending the modern world and realistic settings with Native American folklore in a way that makes everything seem plausible. The pacing is great in this book. I never once found myself getting bored or wanting to skip ahead. As is the case with most books the best character is the Villain. In “Copper Descent”, Angela gives us Sinuf, an interesting twist on the classic image of Lucifer with roots in both christen mythology and Native American lore. The effect is an antagonist that is sexy, deadly, haunting and somehow likable in a bad-boy-kind-of-way.The kind of guy that lures women with tendencies towards fixer uppers. I found myself hoping that maybe Nina could turn this cold-hearted serpent around so that perhaps he could redeem himself in the end. At first I found that I didn't really like Nate, Nina's love interest. He came off very immature and just plain rude at first. Later on, when he came back into the story, he seemed to have grown up some and turned into my second favorite character. The story was never predictable and kept you guessing. 

My only complaints are these: The action seemed a bit choppy in the last couple chapters. This wouldn't be a big deal as most modern books seem to be written this way, except that this book was not up until the end. It's not really noticeable except in two spots where it took me out of the story. Perhaps in the excitement of wrapping up the book these moments were rushed a bit to render the scenes a little confusing instead of having the natural flow the rest of the book had. Secondly, the ending wasn't what I was hoping for. There was a bit of a Wizard of Oz ending to it, "You had the power within you all along." Although it was well-written and made perfect sense with the book, the final fight seemed to easily won for my taste and a was little anti-climatic. My last issue with the book is that I never fell in love with the leading lady, Nina. She was well-written and had complexity to her, and had some good dialogue and great hero moments, but for some reason I never really became invested in her. I don't think this is at all the author’s fault, just for some reason she just didn't resonate with me. 

Despite these minor flaws I still found “Copper Descent” to be a wildly creative, well-written, and exciting read! I give it five stars. I would recommend it to anyone with a love for Urban Fantasy, Horror and an interest in Religious Mythology and Native American Folklore.

Now go forth read, and decide for yourself if it's as good as I say it is. And if you love it, too, make sure to tell everyone you know about it. You can find the book or follow the author at the following links.


R.J. Craddock

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