Like many others I began listening to Jim Bihyeh and the excellent readings that Cayenne Chris Conroy gives of Bihyeh's work. The stories feel very grounded and the characters believable even though awesome and massive events are unfolding around them. The lives of the characters feel, sound, and smell real although they are constantly being invaded by forces that they can barely comprehend, let alone have any effect on.
The natural sounding dialogue is to me one of the single strongest parts of this collection and it is truly brought to life by Conroy's excellent acting. He reads each character with a distinctive and immediately recognizable tone that makes the characters seem so much like real people that I found myself forgetting that they were all coming from one person.
There is a sense with Bihyeh's writing that he is not a mere tourist who did some research for his book, visited the rez for a couple of weeks, and then decided how these people really should be instead of how they actually are. There are no noble savages here but there are some decent people.
Bihyeh has written his characters as varied and as flawed as actual humans. This naturalness quickly immerses the reader into this world and makes us give a damn about the characters. This also makes it heart-wrenching when the subtle horrors of Navajo magic begin to take their toll.
This was a solid and enjoyable book,fast paced and to the point. In an age of bloated hyperbole and forced exposition this moves briskly along. Not all books need to be "great" and finding a truly enjoyable book is a pleasure. I'd put this at the top of the list.
Sheriff Collins was my favorite character due to her never say die attitude and physical and mental toughness. Although not as fleshed out as the main character she's still given enough backstory to explain who she is and why she has the skills that she does.
Kafer's performance was fun and spirited. He seemed to inhabit the main character's skin very easily and delivered his first person narration more like an actor than a reader.
It was broken up almost like a movie serial so it had logical breaks that made it easy to return to without losing the whole plot. Due to how I need to listen to audiobooks I rarely have the chance to listen in one sitting and I appreciate books that don't require rewinding.
This is overall a lot of fun with a good heart without skimping on the brutal horror that a giant monster attack would cause. At the same time it is not pornographic in its depiction of this horror but instead uses it to show how brave the characters must be to continue to fight Nemesis.
Report Inappropriate Content