Monday, March 22, 2010
NI'IL The Awakening Review...
NI’IL The Awakening
By James Boyle
This debut novel by James Boyle was a thrilling work of fiction about a small town in Placerton, Oregon. The story follows the life of a widower, Dan Connor, who is the police chief left with the task of finding out who or what has killed several residents of his town. He doesn’t clearly agree with the others that it is a rogue bear or cougar out killing people. There is no evidence left at the scenes and he has witnessed some strange things going on around him—an old Native American man at each scene who disappears once approached, a beautiful young Native American woman that disappears as well and a large possum mocking him—and each death or disappearance is related to him. The "thing" in the woods is taunting him.
As soon as I thought I knew what was going to happen, there was another twist and turn in the story. I spent my time guessing what would happen next. In addition to the murders, missing dogs and people, there is a storm that rages through the town destroying all that is in its path. A large gray cloud hovers over this town for a period of time—the storm and the “thing” in the woods—setting the town on edge. People are left without electricity, food and shelter in some cases forced to seek comfort at an emergency shelter.
I felt a range of emotions with each page that I turned eagerly trying to find out what was going on in this town. I couldn’t put the book down until I reached the end. When Stephanie was kidnapped along with Dan’s dog, Maggie, I became angered. I thought he was too smart to allow her to go off alone to risk being harmed. As the search for them ensued I quietly wished for their safety. In the midst of all of this, Dan Connor realizes that he has powers that will allow him to defeat the “thing” that is killing people if he combines his powers with those of Stephanie, his secretary and new love interest. Together they set out to accomplish that by any means necessary.
I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys well written, action packed, thrillers. The detailed descriptions of the Oregon countryside and the mystical aspects of the Native American lore is an added touch to the story. Each character and scene is extremely vivid allowing the reader to become a part of the story. I feel it touches on the power of the human spirit reflected in the ability of Dan and Stephanie to defeat this “thing” that has come to town to harm the residents and find love in the process. This book definitely doesn’t read like a debut novel. I anxiously await the arrival of Mr. Boyle’s next book.