Review of WAKE OF VULTURES by Lila Bowen
The Shadow: Book One
Tor, October 2015
Nettie Lonesome is a half-black, half Indian female in a world that respects only white and male. Treated as a slave by the couple who ‘adopted’ her, she fights back when a stranger tries to rape her. The stranger initially seems invincible, ignoring even a scythe in the eye but a stick to his heart reveals what he truly is… a vampire. And Nettie is transformed. Those who have killed a monster can see through their disguises. Enlightened, Nettie escapes the farm, cuts off her hair and dresses in the dead man’s clothes and finds her dream job… a cowboy, horse tamer, and male.
When a Native American woman loses her child and then drowns in the middle of the desert, Nettie’s life takes another turn. The woman’s ghost lays a curse on Nettie. She must find the monster who steals and eats children, the Cannibal Owl. As long as she resists the curse, she brings disaster to everyone she is around and Nettie is thrust into a life for which she is ill-prepared and unwilling.Author Lila Bowen draws from Native American legend and the traditions of the American Western to create a story that kept my attention and made me care about the characters. Nettie, with her self-doubts and determination, is a memorable character. Coyote Dan might be a little predictable as the wise Indian shaman-warrior who helps Nettie, but his attitude makes him enjoyable as well.
Stories of tough women battling (and loving) vampires and were-creatures are plentiful and an author needs to do something to stand out. With her western setting and with characters that rise above the genre, Lila Bowen has done just that.
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