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review 2017-04-22 12:27
Coyote Sunrise- Nikki Broadwell

Provided one can suspend all logic to the point of accepting the idea of ‘shape-shifting’, meaning the metamorphosis of one species of creature into another, there is plenty to enjoy in this book. The concept is found in a vast repertoire of paranormal writing, so obviously, a great many readers embrace the concept. Alas, I don’t. However, illogically perhaps when I can’t abide the idea of species shifting, I love writing that ‘humanises’ the world of animals. And surely it is this augmentation of the animal world to point out our cruelties, our savagery, that is the point of this book.

I like the way that Broadwell uses animalistic mythologies to bring together a wealth of political, cultural and social concepts, which generally enfold ideas of individual liberty and equal rights. The humanising of animals, and the animalistic tendencies of humans are explored in depth, if rather repetitively. Some of the plot elements were certainly over used, to the degree that the read would have far more punch if reduced by a third in length.

The page to page reading experience is very good, with first class character development, and Broadwell’s storytelling and writing crafts bring out deep, individualistic, emotional currents. I haven’t read the first part of the saga, but felt no penalties from that. There are no hanging story lines that aren’t properly explained.

I was particularly drawn to the script by the fact that the author clearly feels that we live in a world which has become too much the environment of mankind, to the detriment of nearly all other creatures. A return to native cultures living in harmony with nature, away from those that simply steal from nature whatever they desire, may be utopian; but at least it can exist in a world of books, a world of imagination, and if it can be imagined then just perhaps it is somehow possible. Broadwell is a little soft on the main predator species, but hopefully book three will get down to the business of removing men from the cayotes world, or at least those mentally sick killers that don’t respect the idea of, and reach out for, a fair balance of nature.

Those humans that see sport in the hunt should be the sport of the hunt.

 

AMAZON LINK

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review 2017-03-24 00:00
Saffron and Seaweed: a Summer McCloud paranormal mystery (book 2)
Saffron and Seaweed: a Summer McCloud pa... Saffron and Seaweed: a Summer McCloud paranormal mystery (book 2) - Nikki Broadwell ** This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review**

In this second installment, Summer McCloud and his cop boyfriend, Jerry, leave Ames to have some vacation in the beach town of Watch Hill, but as they arrived, they discover a dead body in the water and the mini holidays gets complicated.

The plot is good and I like the idea of a team made up of psychic skills (Summer) and detective abilities (Jerry). It is a really great combination. I think I enjoyed this one more than 'murder in plain sight'.

The fast pace is one of the best things of this book. It drugs you in, wanting to know more. Everything happens fast and the dialogues go straight to the point.

Nikki Broadwell has created a great scenario, mixing paranormal elements, with some politics, converging in a thriller with some twists and turns.

That being said, now I have to explain why this book wasn't my cup of tea.

First of all I need to say, the way they face the dead woman discovery upset me a bit. I don't know how to explain it... in some point Summer was even worried because a storm was coming, and she thought something like"I hopped we could spend some time in the beach. I wanted to work on my tan". Seriously? Is not a priority to know what happened? This probably affected me more than it should but I think, sadly, it determined the rest of my reading.

The other thing I don't get is that they should be a great team: psychic and cop together? Come on! piece of cake! But, no, they are not. They are constantly ranting in a childish way, and dismissing the obvious, or worse, jumping to conclusions without a clear cognitive development (not clear to me, anyway)

For the reasons above it didn't work for me but this is just my opinion and it could work for you perfectly, because, the thing is, I am very picky with suspense themes, so this is a problem of mine and no one else's.

In spite of my rate, you probably should give this story a go, I think it would work perfectly for some readers. So if you are attracted to the synopsis (as I was) and the great cover (it is great) give "Saffron and Seaweed" a try!
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review 2017-03-10 00:00
Murder in Plain Sight: a Summer McCloud paranormal mystery
Murder in Plain Sight: a Summer McCloud ... Murder in Plain Sight: a Summer McCloud paranormal mystery - Nikki Broadwell **This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.**


This story starts with a murder connected to Summer, our heroine, that makes her run away, introducing the reader to an old mysterious disappearance, involving magic, ambiguous felonies, and more murders.
Everything happens very fast in this paranormal mystery, and I love the pace, don't misunderstand me, in fact I really enjoyed the first 50 pages. The pace was not my issue with this book.

My main problem with this one was the incoherence of the story, the inconsistencies.
I don't want to spoil nothing so I'm not giving examples but, sadly, this book has a few nonsenses, like incongruous conclusions and really wrong judgements, ironically coming the most from a cop (our heroine's boyfriend is a cop, a terrible one, if you ask me).

Every time I was enjoying the story and wanting to know what was going to happen, someone jumped to a ridiculous conclusion and kicked me off the book completely.

Maybe I didn't enjoy this one because I have read lots of mystery books in my life and I am a very picky with them. I don't know. I just know it wasn't for me.

I love the suspense, the way this kind of novels makes me think and has me constantly guessing and on the edge of my chair (or sofa, or bed).
I want them to be difficult, to make me struggle to know what is happening and who did what.

In my modest opinion, in mystery, is equally important the conclusion and the way you come to this conclusion. I think this is exactly the charm mystery books has, and what "Murder in plain sight" lacks.

I hate to give bad reviews but this book was not for me, and it's really a shame because the premise seemed very attractive, and I usually enjoy paranormal mystery.

If you are not as used as I am to mystery books maybe you could love this story.
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review 2015-10-06 15:57

First off- this is a five star book that sits somewhere in the ground between murder mystery and paranormal genres. I don't think it quite manages the bridge, though I'm sure that plenty of readers will disagree. The book is clearly marketed as paranormal mystery, so it isn't like anyone should be surprised by the ground covered. However, the book starts a long way from paranormal, in a sort of commercial backstreet of hazy time passed town. Then suddenly, we are in a world of crazies, where the strongest characters are all walking dead or missing.


My view is that Broadwell would have done better by plotting the book firmly on one side or the other of the murder mystery-paranormal trench. Perhaps my view is fatuous, based too much on taste, so enough of that. As to the quality and the style of the writing, they are both top-drawer, as they always are with Nikki Broadwell's books.

 

This plot starts with a whimsical backwater charm, in which the 'witchcraft' is really more to do with a world of herbs and spices and mental illusion, centred in the whimsical behaviours of eccentric dreamers, rather than in paranormal genre characters that are conjured out of evil. The ghosts, when we eventually forced into seeing them as such, seem to be more interesting constructions than many of the living.

 

I enjoyed reading Murder in Plain Sight, even if I really believe that it would have been better plotted as a plain whodunit, with realistic characters that merely play in a world of potions, candles, and woodland exhibitionism. The plots drift into otherworld environs where real paranormal abilities abound is hard to reconcile.

 

The characters are all well drawn, with the principal ones being painted in sufficient and yet never overworked colour. The settings are made visual and some of the inconsistencies in the plot can be explained away by drawing on the paranormal. That Summer seemed to struggle to remember exactly what her mother looks like, or even to be aware of the existence of others so physically close to her is certainly worrying, unless one mentally rewrites early events in the book. Necessary reappraisal in the light of change is reasonable, especially in murder mystery; however it mustn't jar with previous information. Or one can do as I did and simply believe that Summer suffered a severe case of aphantasia.

 

To sum up, this is a case of great writing that within the tight confines of each chapter is very entertaining, and yet somehow the end result doesn't quite all fit together. I am really looking forward to reading other reviews as I'm sure that opinion will vary widely. This would be a great book club read as I'm sure it would generate plenty of debate.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2013-08-04 00:00
The Wolf Moon - Nikki Broadwell Full review will be available in my InD'Tale's in the September 2013 issue. :o)
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