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My Need to Read

I love to explore genre fiction, and while I usually go for books with a romantic thread running through it, I just love great character and world building. And since I can hardly stand to let go of my favorite characters, I like series.

Stormwalker - Allyson James Rating: 3.5Not a bad series start! This is a very western-America-centric book, starring a Navajo stormwalker (you guessed it; she can control storms) named Janet Begay. Janet's proud of her Dine heritage and as such the book is flavored with Native American....uh...flavor. ^_^ Her big challenge in life is dealing with her evil-goddess mother's unwanted attentions; apparently, Janet's inherited some of her mother's considerable powers, and mommy dearest wants to use her to open up a sealed portal to the "Underworld."The premise sounds a smidge cliche, and it sort of is, but overall I thought the execution of the story was quite interesting, as was the main character herself. Janet was fairly easy to root for. She realizes when she's been/being an idiot and seems to be a realist about her plight in life....which is nice to read about, especially in the midst of so many other maddeningly daft or annoying UF heroines that abound.Now, this being said...I don't know why exactly, but something about this book kept me from being crazy about it. The supporting cast wasn't as big a draw for me as it tends to be in books of this type. But then, said characters were mostly buttheads to Janet, so that could have colored my view a bit. ^_^ But really, they just weren't very interesting. Neither was the main "villian" here, Janet's mother. By the climax of the story, I wasn't so invested in the characters (with the exception of Janet) that the pages were whizzing by. Too bad.I'll also mention that, while I'd still classify this book as UF, there are some heavy PnR elements involved. The ultimate focus is on Janet's struggle with her mother and all that accompanies her heritage. But a lot of time is spent revisiting Janet's past history with her on-and-off lover, Mick. And once he comes on stage, there's a considerable amount of heat. Again and again. ^_^Yep, so this wasn't a show stopper for me, but it was a solid series starter. As for the potential for future installments...we'll see. Sometimes I can see a WIDE range of exciting possibilities after finishing a "first book". But with this one it was tough. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though...could be that Allyson James has a lot up her sleeve. Looking forward to it.