The first book in the Stormwalker series, published May 2010.
Janet Begay is a Stormwalker, capable of wielding the raw elemental power of nature’s tempests – a power that threatens to overwhelm her. Only her lover, Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker, is able to siphon off her excess energy and calm the storm raging within her – even as their passion reaches unimaginable heights of ecstasy.
Janet and Mick have come to the desert town of Magellan to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the police chief’s daughter. The barren land around it is full of vortexes, the gateways that connect the human world with the mystical realm of Beneath, and after encountering skinwalkers and receiving hints from a shape-shifting coyote and a smart-ass magic mirror, Janet learns that her own powerful, scary-as-hell mother is involved.
She’s also uncertain about Mick. He can wield fire and never get burned, and Janet can’t seem to touch him with her storm powers. But Janet must trust him, since she and Mick find themselves venturing where no human can survive alone – and only together can they overcome the greatest danger they’ve ever faced.
Janet is a young Navaho woman, making a living riding a motorbike and taking gorgeous pictures. Which she sells in galleries and such. Janet is also a very powerful Stormwalker, able to harness the power of the storms in her vicinity: wielding lightning, wind and water. She knows evil walks the earth in the form of skinwalkers, nightwalkers and demons. And of course her mother, a goddess trapped Beneath when the other gods and goddesses emerged onto this plain of existence. They can reach through vortexes into our world, possessing people and skinwalkers to do their bidding. Which is how Janet was born. Janet’s mother possessed a young white woman, who then seduced her Navaho father. The woman did not survive giving birth to a child with that much magic in her, and her father took her with him to the Navaho reservate, to be brought up by his powerful shaman mother. Janet never felt welcome there, or that she belonged to the family. After all, she was a disgrace, born out of wedlock and to a white mother. And her quiet father never stood up against her grandmother. So when she was able to, she bought a motorcycle, and took of to parts unknown, wanting to see the world outside the reservate.
When she first got into serious trouble, right after a scary encounter with her real mother, she got saved by Mick. No last name. He was the first one to ever listen to her, her first lover, her first boyfriend. But his secretiveness drove her mad, he would go of on his own, and expect her to stay in the motel they were, or meet him somewhere, and just wait for him. Never telling anything personal about himself. She loved him very much, and he thought her how to control her power, and could absorb it into him when it would become to much. A Firewalker himself. And so, after 5 years together, she left.
But now Janet is back in Magellan, a powerful place with lots of vortexes and other magical stuff, and she is in danger of her mother. And suddenly, there is Mick again, rescuing her from the stodgy and stubborn Unbeliever sheriff, who wants to lock her up for any reason. He doesn’t want her to investigate the disappearance of his former girlfriend, that is a job for the police, not for some sham psychic! Even though the police hasn’t been able to find her for a year now, and the girls parents have hired her.
To keep busy, Janet has bought a derelict hotel in town, determined to fix it up and have it running in time for the tourist season. Unfortunately, a lot keeps going wrong, not to mention finding a body in the basement.
Janet’s mother keeps sending creatures after her, trying to capture her alive to bring back to her. She needs Janet’s earth magic to open the vortex and free her. Which is something Janet is determined never to do, not even to safe the life of the man she loves so much.
I absolutely loved this book, and have started on Firewalker, the second one, immediately. This is a great urban fantasy series, Allyson James has build a wonderful world. I love her books under the name of Jennifer Ashley, and her writing style is just so lively and descriptive, you feel like you are there. Seeing, feeling the desert. The book just keeps twisting and turning, throwing surprises and really original things at me. And for someone who reads as much as I do, that is a good thing to find.
I loved Janet, who, being Navaho, is a different kind of heroine. It is obvious Allyson James has done some research, and I loved those tidbits of knowledge scattered in the book.
Janet is strong, smart and loyal. She just knows things, and is a very powerful Stormwalker. She can sense magical abilities in other people as well, but she just doesn’t know what Mick is, which drives her crazy. How can she trust him, when he won’t tell her anything? Janet just keeps going, fighting her own fights and helping others.
And then Mick. What is not to love about him. Sure, he is very stubborn and takes charge even if she doesn’t want it or need it. He is gorgeous, and I love what he is. Nope, not telling it. Just find out for yourself. He is a Firewalker, and fights with fire, both in his human shape as in his natural form. Almost immortal, if he can change back fast enough.
There are some great secondary characters, like Coyote. Does he need an introduction? And then the sheriff, Nash Jones. Very stubborn and arrogant, and a big magical surprise which comes in very handy in the end. He totally dislikes Janet and everything to do with the supernatural, which he doesn’t believe exists. But of course, he will learn otherwise the hard way. There is Maya, whom is in love with Nash, and a very hot tempered Latina. She also dislikes Janet, until a specific girls night involving a bottle of tequila. The she seems to melt a little. Very little.
Janet also has to face her Navaho family again, and come to terms with her grandmother.
All in all, a really good book. Lots of likable and loveable characters, both main and secondary. A lot of surprises and originality. A great writing style. This series will definitely be on my keeper shelves, and I will read more by this author.