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Stormwalker #1


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Book One of a the Stormwalker series. Allyson James also writes as NYT Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley

Half-Navajo Janet Begay possesses extraordinary power which is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she's caught in the storm's evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can't seem to touch with her powers. He can wield fire and not get burned, and Janet's never sure where he goes when they're not together.

Together they investigate mysterious disappearances, which Janet fears are tied to her mother's people, the mythical gods from below the earth. They are helped along the way by Coyote and Crow, but these shapeshifting gods have their own agendas.

330 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 4, 2010

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About the author

Allyson James

51 books1,319 followers
Allyson James writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and erotic romance (paranormal and futuristic). She is a nationally bestselling author, a multiple RITA nominee, an RT Award winner, and a Prism winner. She also writes romance (paranormal and historical) as Jennifer Ashley. See Allyson's website for current and upcoming books. See also Allyson's GoodReads bookshelves for all books under all pseudonyms.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 474 reviews
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16k followers
June 28, 2015
I really enjoyed this novel with the sole exception of one character - Nash Jones actually goes out of his way to terrorize the protagonist of this story, Janet Begay.

Their first meeting is after an accident in which a truck was knocked off the road and Janet's motorcycle crashes. Nash shows up and immediately arrests Janet for reckless driving that killed the man in the car even though she totally didn't. His theory is that her motorcyle crashed into his truck causing it to flip over because apparently he suffers from an extreme case of STUPID! He insists she's lying, locks her up for the night in a jail cell without letting her contact anyone and then interrogates her the next morning. During this interrogation he insists that she is unwelcome in HIS town and that he's going to see to it that he PUTS HER BACK ON THE RESERVATION WHERE SHE BELONGS AND THAT THIS TIME SHE'LL STAY THERE.

I'm sorry, what?!

He finds out the very next morning (because it was THAT OBVIOUS) that she'd been telling the truth and he never apologizes. Just drops most (not all) of her stuff off and threatens her again.

It doesn't end there. He continues to brutalize, intimidate and abuse his power with Justine. When a gang of bikers break into and trash her hotel, with the intention of rape and kidnap, he ARRESTS JANET and once again tells her that he's going to put her back on the reservation.

He insists that she has no magic and that he doesn't believe in her mystical Indian crap.

Then, at the end of the book, a WHITE WOMAN - just in case you didn't pick that up - she is the whitest fucking woman on the planet and she looks exactly like this:

white woman

Okay, so where was I? Oh yes, the WW attacks a Latino girl with a knife. Janet fires three defensive shots to save this girl's life. So what does Nash do? He ONCE AGAIN arrests Janet for assault and firing a weapon without a permit. He's dragging her off saying that he's going to put her away for a LONG time. She gets possessed and tears apart his car.

You find out later that he's STILL booking her for firing a weapon without a permit and for damage to police property but that he's been OH SO NICE to drop charges of assaulting an officer. His reasoning? Well she totally fired the weapon where he could see it. He can't just ignore that!

You're probably wondering how long the white-bread, church-going blonde got for attacking another woman with a knife. If you guessed absolutely fucking nothing then you'd be absolutely fucking right. He charged her with nothing. Nothing at all. Don't you guys know? White chicks can't go to jail! They just don't belong there...

So what's the sum of Janet's response to this treatment? The most you ever hear her even THINK about this treatment is that he doesn't really have the right to send her to a reservation and she doesn't really like him saying that. FUCK! REALLY?

She saves his ass, finds his long lost fiancee, puts up with all his shit behaviour and never once calls him up as the racist, angry, asshole that he is. In fact, his treatment of her is just completely dismissed as no big deal. He's considered one of the 'good guys' of this story and he and Janet has some kind of weird sexual attraction thing going on.

Apart from this aspect which absolutely drove me insane, this book was quite a good read. It was interesting, well-written with good characters and a good mystery. I actually quite enjoyed reading it apart from the above and I fully intend to read the next book in the series, Firewalker.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,257 reviews8,675 followers
September 10, 2017

I nearly DNF-ed this at 10%.

After being attacked on the road by a demon, Janet Begay is arrested for involuntary manslaughter/assault with a deadly weapon when an innocent bystander is killed in the attack.

Except not really.

She's never Mirandized. She's never actually told she's being arrested. She's just cuffed and thrown into the back of the local jackhole sheriff's SUV and told she's being taken in for questioning. When they get to the station, Jackhole tosses her in a cell, says he'll talk to her in the morning after she "cools down," and leaves.


In the morning, her long lost ex-boyfriend shows up and busts her out . . .

Of jail.

And they just let her go, with Jackhole doing a decent imitation of the sheriff from DUKES OF HAZZARD when those darn kids get away again.

It's ridiculous.

This is frickin' 'Merica. You can't just throw someone in jail. And you sure as hell don't let someone jailbreak them out once you put them there.

I can't remember why I kept reading. I think it was simply the vain hope that it would get better.

And it did, I guess. A little bit.

But mostly it was just MEH.

If Native American folklore is your thing, give either of these a try:

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1) by Faith Hunter Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) by Patricia Briggs

They're wayyyy better than this sad mashup of pagan gods, complicated familial relationships, and diabolically diabolical Bad Guys.
Profile Image for new_user.
238 reviews188 followers
December 3, 2010
Yeehaw! Marty, I've found another series to follow!

I enjoyed Stormwalker- what more need be said?

I can say that Mick is hot. Mick's got skeelz. While some may argue that their most passionate moments are past tense, I love that Janet and Mick have history. They have more to stand on than hormones, and I like the sensation of dropping into a rich, fully-developed story over starting from scratch (i.e. uninitiated narrators) where the information and experiences one can absorb from page one to book end is limited. Allyson James conveys setting through clear exposition, but since her world only tweaks ours, she doesn't have to resort to obscene infodump blobs of text.

Speaking of worlds, thank you, James! Thank you for research and context for our Native American heroine beyond the woo-woo stereotype that contents romance authors. James smoothly marries Navajo mythology like the four worlds with a modern understanding. From Coyote the trickster god -he peeks through Janet's windows, LOL!- to Janet's last name, I can see James' care with context. James even incorporates some modern-day racial tension, a note of relevance I appreciate.

Janet's fun to read. Here, another author takes advantage of the awesome power of the weather, but Janet's infinitely cooler than the rest. She doesn't just slap the storm on the wrist- she is the friggin' storm! How cool!

Moving along, unlike other urban fantasy heroines, she's a real biker chick. She loves her bike, and most importantly, her Harley carries her everywhere, mostly the open road, natch. I love that a kick-butt heroine has a kick-butt interest, minus the disdain omnium that some heroines have. Janet isn't hard.

Still, people are leery of her for various reasons, some because she's new to Magellan, AZ, others because she resurrects old grudges; she has to earn trust. In this deserted, unassuming desert town populated by tight lips and secrets, she wins information in her missing persons investigation through friendships and water cooler chatter beyond the stiff, almost one-man police force. James crafts this atmosphere deftly until I could taste the sun and dust, along with a memorable cast of characters whom readers will come to know so well they can predict Sherrif Jones' stiffness and Maya Medina's bite.

Though leisurely paced, readers can't help but anticipate Janet's next encounter with this lively bunch. Who will reveal a crucial secret? Janet never muses for hours over decisions or emotions in endless introspection, rehashes, or ruminations on the universe, so our journey's blessedly smooth and driven with further punch by her shocking chapter endings! Oh, she's wily, that Allyson James. Action's shocking too!

In short, I loved the wild investigation, the character development, the Native American touches, the action, the sexiness, and even the unique secondary characters' storylines! I loved it all! I'm looking forward to further developments -of the hotel too! Home improvement's fun!- in book two, Firewalker , already out! A very solid four stars!

PS. Thanks, Catherine, for recommending I try this author again! :)
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,880 followers
March 16, 2011
Ok, ok, we've read it all before! You want your heroine to be able to control the weather? Try Ill Wind and the rest of the Weather Warden series. The worldbuilding is so much better there. Want a mysterious boyfriend of unknown species? Try the Fever series. At least there you won’t be able to guess what Barrons is after about a hundred pages. Want a murderous parent with way too much power? You’ll have more fun reading Magic Bites and the rest of the series, Vicki Pettersson’s Zodiac series or Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane series. You want shapeshifters? Oh, come on, I don’t even have to tell you that one! You want something new and unusual? Try reading Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series because you definitely won’t find it here.

Now, with all that out in the open, let’s find something I did like, something that will make Stormwalker worth reading. The writing was very very good. I liked the dynamic and language use. There were some very interesting characters and some (but not many) hilarious moments. This is not a book that will stand out and become one of your favorites. You’ll definitely have fun reading it, but I’m guessing you won’t remember half of it after a week. If you are in love with Urban Fantasy, you don’t want to skip this one. It’s only the first installment, and let’s face it, many of these series need a second, and sometimes a third chance. Just remember Magic Bites and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Also, if you are like me and you already know all the books I mentioned above by heart, you have to read Stormwalker simply because there's nothing left to read. :)

So, to conclude, 3.5 stars is my real rating. I WILL read Firewalker soon. I really hope I’ll like it more than I liked Stormwalker.
Profile Image for Ian.
1,341 reviews188 followers
July 21, 2018
I've been plodding my way through this book for about a month. It never really captured me but it didn't annoy me enough to walk away either.

There are skinwalkers, the coyote (of Native American traditions), gods, demons and obviously the eponymous Stormwalker. So yeah, it's tapping into that same rich vein as Mercy Thompson and Jane Yellowrock but it doesn't quite work.

As T.S. Elliot wrote,

"This is the way the world ends,
not with a bang but a whimper."

And that really sums up this book. It's OK without ever managing to be great.
September 16, 2015
DNF at 40%.

So this is a book about a bunch of horny people who are trying to save the world from the usual clique of evil demons and freaks of the underworld. And when I say horny I mean HORNY. Janet the stormwalker is horny, Mick her big bad biker/dragon boyfriend (my boyfriend is a dragon! I've know him for 5 or 6 years but I never saw it coming! He has fire magic, dragon tattoos all over his body and there is that huge, strange, dark shadow about him sometimes but I would never have guessed! I keep mentioning dragons but I know they don't exist!) is horny, the Coyote God is horny, so are the electrician and the local sheriff... I don't mind horny but when you get to the point where even the freaking magic mirror is obsessed with sex you just feel like screaming "STOP" at the top of your lungs! This was just too much.

Apart from that Janet pretty much left me cold and so did Mick (actually no, Mick didn't leave me cold, I just didn't like him). They have the most screwed up, unhealthy relationship ever but it doesn't seem to be a problem for Janet. Mick disappears for days without telling her anything (oh right, he's a dragon and has to go off and do dragon things that he can't tell her about!) but when he comes home they just have mind-blowing magical tantric sex (whatever that is) and that's that. At some point she even feels guilty about asking him where he's been... Kick-butt heroine? I think not. This girl is hopeless.

The other problem with this book is the writing. When I started reading I actually double checked that this was really the first instalment in the series. The author throws the reader into the story and keeps mentioning past incidences as if they had happened in a previous instalment. It's fine to talk about events from the past but here the whole thing was badly done. It was really confusing and I kept feeling like I had missed something.

I had decided to give Stormwalker a try after reading "Double Hexed" (a novella from this series) in the Hexed anthology. I enjoyed it quite a lot and thought the setting and premise for this series were engaging. Unfortunately, the poor execution, uninteresting plot and inane characters really spoilt it for me. One more series I can scratch off my list, yay!
Profile Image for Catherine.
523 reviews538 followers
May 20, 2010
I was pretty underwhelmed by this book. The description made it sound interesting, but the characters were kind of a let down for me.

Janet Begay is a Stormwalker. She can ride a storm and draw power from it, but usually she ends up with the short end of the stick. She's helpless to resist the power of the storm and usually ends up sick and exhausted after it passes. She doesn't like that aspect much, but she's learning to deal.

Janet heads to Magellan with the excuse of helping the police chief search for his missing daughter. Janet is committed to finding the missing girl, Amy, but also has a more pressing motive for arriving in town. Magellan is home to a vortex that Janet's mother wants unlocked. She plans to use Janet as her tool and make her a willing slave. Janet knows that the time has finally come to stop her mother once and for all.

Janet has some trouble with Sheriff Nash, Amy's fiance, and one of the suspects in her disappearance. Nash basically goes on a power trip and locks her in jail and won't believe her when she says something bad from the magical world is headed her way. For some reason everyone seemed okay with the fact that Janet was held in jail without being arrested or in-processed. They were still okay when Janet was busted out of jail and taken back to her hotel. What?

The guy responsible for the jail bust is Mick, Janet's ex. They've been apart for years (at Janet's instigation) but they've never really gotten over each other. Janet's an extreme pushover where Mick is concerned. She's very willing to just give up trying get her way and will let him do whatever he wants. She also very easily decides to resume having sex with him - only to help draw off the power of course! I wanted to like Mick, but because I was stuck in Janet's head I never got to know him well enough.

Janet didn't know anything about him when they first got together and she still didn't know anything about him when she finally left him for being too secretive and smothering. She didn't even know his last name and he would disappear on her and then show back up like nothing happened. She put up with that for six months before she finally got it together enough to leave him. She just seemed like the biggest idiot to me. She also seemed extremely young in all her thoughts. I'm not referring to the flashbacks either. Her internal whining and insecurity reminded me of an extremely immature teenager with her first boyfriend. It was very off putting.

I also couldn't help but think she was the most dense individual in the world for not figuring out what Mick was hiding. Now I don't blame her for not knowing why he first integrated himself with her, but I do think it was blatantly obvious what Mick was in addition to a fire wielder. When the author drops so many blatant hints again and again it doesn't make her protagonist look like the sharpest tack in the box when she doesn't figure it out. It just makes her look stupid.

I wish I would have liked this book more, but I just couldn't make myself enjoy it. I doubt I'll be picking up anything else in this series.
Profile Image for Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker.
596 reviews363 followers
May 16, 2010
The characters:

Janet, Mick, Coyote, and the cop Nash Jones

The story:

Janet Begay, a half Navajo Stormwalker, can call the power of any storm and manipulate it to her liking. The Navajo and Stormwalker side of her is from her father. Her mother, an evil Goddess in a place called the Beneath, wants Janet to join with her so they can rule the Beneath AND with their combined powers, take over the world.

Janet not only has the physical struggles against the evil that has been unleashed by her mother but she also has to struggle internally with the insecurities of being only half Navajo and the daughter of an evil, power crazy Goddess.

Adding to her internal struggles, Janet does not know whom to trust. There is Mick her on again off again, super hot boyfriend who performs disappearing acts at all the wrong moments. Then there is the sarcastic, witty Coyote God, appropriately named "Coyote", the town cop named Nash Jones who seems to have a vendetta against Janet or the super hilarious Magic Mirror with a wisecracking mouth that will make you laugh non-stop.

Lost In The World:

The descriptions of the hotel, the desert, the small diner, even the railroad tracks made the setting so realistic. The author does a great job of making the reader feel like you are there.

Will I read the next book in the series?

Not only will I read it, I'll probably pre-order it. I really liked the book and especially how strong minded but vulnerable Janet was. I loved the relationship between Janet and Mick. The book had all the elements I love, it was scary and surprising, it had romance (and hot sex) and it had paranormal elements that were perfectly woven into the story line making it seem so realistic.

Profile Image for Alaina.
6,084 reviews215 followers
April 18, 2018
First: Prepare for like the shortest review I've ever written because I need to shower and head to work. I'll probably add more to this review later.. but I also might not because I'm lazy. Enjoy!

Second: Thank you Jessi for the great recommendations you have given me! I've really enjoyed them all so far!

Stormwalker was a really enjoyable book and a great start to this series. It is about Janet Begay who has a really cool power. However, she also has someone that can control her when she's caught up in her power.. and that is Mick. He is sexy AF and of course these two have a history! They were my sort of everything and I completely shipped them together.

Then there's Nash, who I absolutely hated. Besides him being an asshole throughout the book I actually really enjoyed Janet has an MC and Mick being her like kryptonite. I would've probably loved this book a hell of a lot more without Nash being in it but I guess we need to focus on him just to hate him every now and then. Loved the action and mystery in this book. I'm also happy that I got some answers from the weird ass questions forming in my head while reading. Again, I loved it and I am so happy for this being recommended to me!

I can't wait for the second book in this series!!
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,649 reviews214 followers
January 14, 2019
This isn't the first Stormwalker story I read. There've been two shorter ones in two anthologies (Double Hexed in Hexed, A Little Night Magic in Hot for the Holidays). I think I prefer that form to this. So many things didn't work as well as those stories.

What I'd rate five stars is the premise itself. It so good that it can take this series a long way up without even trying.
Janet Begay is a stormwalker, she can draw power from it and the earth. The things she discovers about her legacy are right there in the beginning of the book. Her mother is a goddess from Beneath, a realm that created skinwalkers. She can't come out, but she has enough power to possess young women. And she wants out.
Janet wants to prevent that and throughout the story she has to fight Nightwalkers and skinwalkers. She is not alone in her fight, though. For the first time in her life she feels as if she belongs somewhere and with someone.

As for the stuff that didn't work for me, there are so many. Some of them are just personal preference such as Janet's imagination when it comes to three (!) men or dumb sentences like this one: 'I'd thought he might be a mix of Asian and white, or Latino and white, although none of those explained his very blue eyes.'. You know, because people like that don't exist.
Then we have weird behaviour. Janet's electrician, Maya Medina, can't form a sentence without either yelling or swearing or threatening to hurt someone. The less I say about the sheriff's behaviour, the better.

I didn't enjoy the romance. Mick appears after five years and they pick up where they left. There are moments when Janet is annoyed about all the secrets and other things, but it feels as if it's only on the surface.

Overall, I think the premise is awesome and it will probably be the reason I'm going to read more.
Profile Image for Vered.
123 reviews19 followers
January 11, 2011
An unexpected treat. Very good story, great h/h (strong yet not bitchy annoying heroine) and fun secondary characters ( I love you Nash!! ). But there was something more, something about the writing itself - sexy writing. Not just the sex scenes (oh and those lovely dreams), but there was something about the writing that just makes you feel mmmm mmmmm mmm.. And that's the best I can do at this hour, and after a long long day.

It's defenitly a go read book.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books593 followers
June 10, 2010
Okay, wow. This book is fantastic! I'm not a huge fan of Urban Fiction, not by a long shot. I love Briggs' Mercy Thompson and I love Moning's Mac Lane. But most others, not so much. But this book? Fantastic. Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James is a great writer, she has written several of my favorite paranormal romances ever, and some studly Highlanders while she's at it. And I will be waiting on bated breath until Nov. 2nd when Firewalker is released.

Janet Begay is a Stormwalker. She can harness the power of a storm. And she uses it mostly for protection. Unfortunately her mother is one pissed off goddess from Beneath who wants Janet to open the vortexes around Magellan, AZ and release the old gods and creatures. Janet has moved home to Magellan to both renovate a hotel, and help the police chief find his daughter who went missing while planning her wedding. The sheriff was her fiance and also a suspect. Janet does nothing but piss off Sheriff Nash Jones for some reason or other and he makes her life hell. Unfortunately so does her mother who keeps trying to possess women in order to get them impregnated...just like she did to Janet's birth mother. However Janet isn't so easy to manipulate, so her goddess-mother keeps trying for a new child, but her magic is too strong and it kills all the other women.

So bodies are showing up left and right, and Janet is being hunted by Nightwalkers, Skinwalkers, and the law. Meanwhile, her lover from 5 years ago, Mick, is back in the picture...the question is why? And why now? I won't spoil what Mick is, but they call him a Firewalker. He, a friend named Jamison, and the trickster god Coyote are Janet's only allies. (The prequel "A Little Night Magic" in Hot for the Holidays is about her friend Jamison (a cougar shifter) and he has a couple of cameos in this series).

I am soo hooked to this series, and I am so angry because the reason I don't like UF is that there is never an ending. So now I have to read to find out what happens next. Well, good job Allyson James, since I am now addicted to your newest series.

See full review on:
Shelved as 'dnf'
July 17, 2017


I can't do it. I just can't. It's so hard to get into the story and though I just paused for 5 minutes, I just didn't wanna pick it up again. There's better stuff to read than waste my time on this, so I'm gonna move on.
Profile Image for Torzilla.
278 reviews131 followers
April 28, 2010
Wow. Just wow. I had originally thought that the Native American female lead was soon becoming overused. I thought: okay, the concept of the story sounds interesting, but this Janet character probably wont stand a chance against Mercy Thompson or Jane Yellowrock. How very wrong I was.

If anything, I must concede now that Janet holds this certain type of allure that neither Jane nor Mercy have. I've always been attracted to the types of characters who have some elemental powers, and Janet Begay's specialty is definitely something that interests me. As a Stormwalker, she has the ability to control any storm around her--even if it gives her the worst hangover-feeling after. Imagine Storm from X-men, except instead of commanding storms around her, Janet needs a storm in order to tap into her power. This lends to interesting situations that reveal just how cunning and resourceful she can be.

There is no random man that Janet stumbles upon during her journey. Instead, readers are introduced to a sexy, arrogant, frustrating fire-wielder named Mick. Can I just say that Mick is one sizzling ex-boyfriend? In the beginning of the book, when he finally saunters into the current scene (and into my heart), Janet slowly begins to explain why the two separated in the first place, and I felt myself sympathizing with the poor girl. Who would ever want to be smothered while dating someone? I know I wouldn't. Yet despite this, I still wanted to grab Janet by the shoulders to give her a good shake. Actually, now that I think about it, I wanted to do the same to Mick also. Gotta love it when characters are ignorant...especially in the good way.

But Tori, you might ask, how can characters be ignorant in a good way? While the tension betwixt the two characters is frustrating to a certain extent, I think that on some level, the two know that they--despite differing feelings--care for each other, which comes before all else. There is this certain appeal, for me at least, when two characters have a history together. Allyson doesn't instantly deliver a relationship with a happily ever after for either characters, but she does offer a relationship with instant gratification. Readers aren't forced to be wary due to anything being rushed. If Janet and Mick decide they want to have sex, then we can rationalize it by saying that, due to a past together, they are reconnecting. Humans do it all the time. It was perfect for the two of them.

I'm almost tempted to guarantee that this plot will make you grow animated at some point, but I won't. Read the book, and see for yourself if you had the same reaction I did. For me, it was when I reached the end of chapter 17. I won't go into the details about what happened (because it is way too juicy to spoil for anyone) but all I could think and gasp and then scream was: "What, what, what, WHAT?!" In fact, I'm still flabbergasted. Biggest. plot. twist. ever. I loved it!

Allyson James has a new and interesting series well worth reading. Not only are the covers for this series beautiful (sorry, had to mention it), but her characters and plot are so unique and interesting that one would be deemed crazy for not giving this series a shot. You hear me? Get this book pronto!
Profile Image for Rhonda.
222 reviews61 followers
October 27, 2010
FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!! 3.5 STARS
This book was a lot of fun, I liked Janet our heroine. Smart, and strong yet a little vulnerable too. Janet is a Stormwalker able to harness and use the power of storms. Her mysterious boyfriend Mick is a badass Firewalker and he's very much in love with Janet, willing to sacrifice his own life for hers. Maya a tough girl electrician who is working for Janet, they have a very strained relationship. I loved the bantering between Maya and Janet. I really liked the Native American folklore references, we have skinwalkers, nightwalkers, and a magic mirror that was very funny. This story holds a lot of promise for the coming books in this series.
The only real problem I had with this book was Mick. Since the story is told in the 1st person POV, we don't get Mick's POV. It took me a almost 2/3 of the book to really get a good feel for him.
There's mystery, action, paranormal activity, and a love story here, and I look forward to Firewalker coming later this year. and getting to know these characters even more.
Profile Image for Shera (Book Whispers).
579 reviews285 followers
June 2, 2010
I've been putting off this review for a while now, because I had mixed feelings about how to rate it and what I actually thought of it. Like all things time is all you need. After reading it I though this book rocked, then after a bit I thought it was kind of average.

Native American themes and ideas have always interested me. Not too many PNR have included Native American themes and ideas, so I was an eager reader for Stormwalker.

The whole mythology was great. The idea of the element powers of earth and then the powers of the Beneath was well thought out. The explanation that James gives us is that there are layers of worlds. The beneath is a world below are own that has been “locked” away so that the creatures of the Beneath can't take over Earth. (Though I think author explains it better then me.) There's skin walkers which are always fun to learn about in Native American legends. In this case they are ugly rotting things that can take the skin of a human or animal, but in the beneath look like angels. Lecherous magic mirrors are also featured in this read, which had me laughing on numerous occasions. Coyote is also featured in here with a great rendition of what I would think he would look and act like. (Coyote is a Native American god, there's lots a legends about him out there.) That's just a tip of some of the magical things.

Janet is the key to opening up this door and bringing on the take over. Janet's mother is basically a goddess in the Beneath and has been working for years, maybe centuries, to get into earth. Wicked mothers have always been a favorite of mine for evil villains, and this one is evil to the bone. The way wicked mother goes about making a key to earth is really chilling and gave the mystery to the book a little edge, and twist on the dark side that I love.

Some things were a little flat, like how Janet moves to this town because she is trying to solve the mystery of a missing girl. She's been there for a year and is now restoring an old hotel to run. Personally the mystery should not have taken a year to solve, I think she just lacked motivation before which was just lazy. Plus, Janet's moved to the town to deal with her mother, but she has no plan or idea how to do it and has no powers to do it. By moving to this town, she is close enough to a vortex that her mother can send some of her power and influence through. Janet knows her mom has plans to use her to open the portals, because her mother had approached her years ago when she came close enough to the vortex. Yet Janet acts like it's a huge surprise when she finds out she's the key to the vortex! Ignorance is not bliss, or a good plot twist.

The love interest is really yummy and I would like more information on him. Of course I think Janet would like more information about him as well. They had been “going out” for about 6 months and Mick had not shared a thing about himself. In fact, he would go out and disappear for days at a time not giving Janet any details about what he was doing. Then he expected Janet to obey like a good little girl. That's why Janet broke up with him and left. When he steps back into her life right at the beginning of the book, Janet doesn't put up too much of a fight. Of course absolution is given at the end of the book. Mick couldn't tell her anything because he was sworn not to. He was sent to kill her because she was too dangerous, but he fell in love and kept talking his people into allowing her to live. That old ploy, is getting old.

So the romantic growth really didn't impress me. Neither did the fact that it took almost the whole book for Janet to figure out what Mick was. Within the first 20 pages I already knew what he is, even before James threw that BIG clue out there.

A save on the disappointing romance was the fun characters that come along with this ride. Maya the rude mouthed and completely annoying electrician is strangely lovable. The plummer, who is a magic wanna be, is really a fun comic relief that some how ends up adding a lot to the book. The over baring and absolutely infuriating police chief was fun butting heads with, and I would have preferred him as a love interest more. Other characters where really fun. Like the family Janet has been running away from and avoiding.

Bottom Line:

Considering how many books she has out, Stormwalker probably isn't as strong as it should be. Still it's a fun debut in a series and I love the Native American lore and what not. Looking on the plot and idea, this probably could be any other old book out there. A good mystery and awesome characters make this book really great! Sure there's an over whelming amount of you're-under-arrest moments, hotel getting recked scenes, and standard drama moments. This series just might go some where and I look forward to seeing the problems I had with this book being resolved.

Sexual Content: As stated above a lecherous magic mirror. Coyote is featured in here and he is a dirty old boy. Sex scenes aren't over powering and they're pretty light.

3/5 –Pretty good, had a few things that held it back, but still worth it.
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,299 reviews722 followers
April 29, 2010
Reviewed by Tori

Favorite quote: "I swing both ways honey. I'm an equal opportunity mirror."

Janet Begay is a Stormwalker. She is able to harness and manipulate the power in storms. It is a raw elemental power that often overwhelms her. Mick, her black hair blue eyed lover, is the only one who can ignite her passions while calming the storm within her.

Janet has come to the desert town of Magellan at the request of the police chief to look into the mysterious disappearance of his daughter Amy. Located in this town are vortexes. Vortexes are magical gateways that connect the human world with the mystical world of the Beneath. Janet is also here to look for her mother. A vicious self adsorbed goddess who needs Janet to finalize her plans to reenter the human world. Janet has managed to stay one step ahead of her so far; but the fates have determined that Janet must face her mother and make a choice.

Monsters, shapeshifters, a pervie coyote, and a bi-magical mirror...what more could you ask for?

Janet is an enigma. She is able to harness the power of the storms and bend it to her will. But it leaves her full and she must drain off all that excess power. That brings us to Mick, Janet's yummy sexy tattooed lover. Mick is able to absorb her excess power with no ill effects. He is also a Firewalker. He is able to harness the power of fire and use it. He insists he loves her and will protect her with his life. Janet is unsure about him though because even though they have been lovers for over five years...she knows nothing about him.

Janet decides to leaves Mick and settles down in Magellan but some people don't want her there.  Sheriff Nash Jones is one of them.  Amy's lover and a prime suspect in her disappearance; Nash uses any and all excuses to haul Janet to jail.  Nash is an unbeliever of the supernatural and believes that Janet is nothing more then a con artist looking to score on the police chief's misery.

Janet's mother has become more demanding in that Janet join her and has unleashed her minions, Skinwalkers, to deal with anyone who gets in her way. As Janet works through her feelings for Mick and attempts to find out what happened to Amy; she also has to deal with a pervert shapeshifter who MAY want her dead, a bi sexual mirror who is more interested in what's in her pants then helping her, and the fact that she is the only thing that stands between us and total annihilation.

Stormwalker starts with a BAM and continues on in the same fashion till the end. The protagonists, Janet & Mick, are both strong and passionate with an innate sense of justice. Janet is a kick ass heroine that is trying her best to deal with her magic and her personal life. Mick, her boom chick a wow wow boyfriend, is so much more then what he seems. And HAWT. Did I already say that?

This is a fast paced read filled with suspense, romance, magic and a sense of humor. Janet and Mick have a very sensual erotic relationship and they mesh well together. The supporting characters are deep and intense. Each has a hidden agenda that kept me guessing to the end. The conflict between Janet and Nash is powerful and almost painful to read; but they need each other and it's funny watching them try and overcome their extreme dislike to work together.

Janet’s mother is a narcissistic villain who has a VERY nasty power which Janet has inherited but remains ignorant of. The only thing I did not like was how easily Janet seems to buckle under authority. Janet's way to cope is to run away. Watching her was a little embarrassing but Ms. James does a wonderful job of using that flaw and making it a weapon.

I cannot wait to read the next in the series.

Rating: 4.5/5
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews610 followers
May 5, 2010
Review courtesy of AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com

There is a lot to like about Allyson James first book in her new Stormwalker series. The stunning cover art by Tony Mauro is just the beginning. The world building involves a Native American twist on the four elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and a mythological history of earth. The main character, Janet Begay, is a Stormwalker. When a storm rages, Janet becomes essentially an X-man (minus the creepy white eyes and comic book spandex).

I did have a moment of disorientation in the beginning of STORMWALKER wondering if I'd missed some earlier novella in this series. Thankfully no. Allyson just chose to throw her characters right in the middle of the story and provide the back-story of Janet meeting both Mick and her mother in flashback chapters. So if you feel like you missed something in the first few chapters, don't worry, it's coming.

Normally Janet endures the mother of all magical hangovers the day after riding a storm, unless Mick is there. Mick is Janet's on again/off again lover. With fire abilities that rival her storm powers, Mick can siphon off her storm energy and leave her calm and nearly sexually sated. When caught up in a particularly heady storm, the experience for Janet is almost orgasmic (see the scene in the jail).

Speaking of sex, there is quite a bit in STORMWALKER. A lot of Janet's magical abilities have sexual repercussions. Tantric magic, for example, created by some spectacularly creative sex, can reinforce magical wards. Ultimately, there ended up being more references to crazy wild sex than actual descriptions. Most, not all, of the sex scenes are relatively brief and only moderately graphic.

And I haven't even mentioned Beneath yet. Imagine the planet as an onion with layer upon layer of worlds, each better than the last. Various gods and humans escaped through to this world and sealed below the rest, including Janet’s psychopathic mother. Some of Beneath’s nastier creatures made it into our world including skinwalkers and nightwalkers (aka shifters and vampires).

As far as the plot goes, I never really bought into Janet's reason for being in Arizona. She explains that she's been hired to find a missing woman, and decides to buy and fix up an old hotel in the process. The how and why are a bit weak, as is the initial reason for her level of dedication. The clues that she puts together are also pretty random, and I still think that the last leap in logic was totally unbelievable.

But I didn't really like STORMWALKER because of the missing woman mystery. I liked it because of the main characters and the paranormal world that they lived in. Janet is this tough biker chick who never got over her first love. She struggles believably with wanting to just be loved and knowing her own self-respect won't allow her to stay with a man who won't reveal anything about himself. Mick, for all his smoking good looks and fiery nature, doesn't seem to know how to love Janet the way she needs to be loved. Each one is trying so desperately to protect the other that they don't realize that they may lose each other anyway. Their whole relationship is volatile and addictively compelling and I can’t wait to read more about them when Firewalker comes out on November 2nd.

Sexual Content: Several sex scenes of various lengths and graphical intensity. References to ménage sex. Attempted rape.
Profile Image for Alex.
414 reviews23 followers
January 14, 2011
I've never been so bored and frustrated for a long time... Janet is such an irritating character!! I really don't know why I read it... The plot has potential (even if I know the weather warden series) but this Jane and Mick... and all this crazy... thing with her straight-from-hell mother (nothing new anyway), her being a half-goddess (=.=) and a great detective who can solve everything and knows best. And Nash: wtf? does he really have to be such an ass?

Maybe it's just me and my private sense of how things should go on...

A lot of things gives me the feeling that they were just forced into the story and were not adding up to the rest... I'm sure I won't be reading the second book. And to think that it was written by the author of "Mortal Temptations" - which I loved! Very disappointing.

And the quote which blown me away (with it's stupidity)

"Dragons weren’t real. Gods, Changers, Skinwalkers, Nightwalkers, sure. Dragons, no. This couldn’t be right."

(because: if you assmue that changers, skinwalkers, nightwalkers and even g-o-d-s, then why the hell dragons would be such a surprise?!)

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Carolyn F..
3,359 reviews51 followers
March 15, 2011
Pleasantly surprised by this book. This is an alias for Jennifer Ashley and I wasn't sure if she would be able to write this type of character. I love her historical romance books and her shifter series but I thought it would be like a copycat of Jane Yellowrock or Mercedes Thompson. I was wrong. I loved all the characters and the romance was a nice change of pace.

Janet is a stormwalker with a not so nice hereditary gift from her mom, a goddess from "Beneath". She moves to where it all began when asked to try to find a missing girl and ends up buying and renovating a hotel. An old boyfriend comes back in her life and she finally figures out most of the secrets that made her break up with him in the first place. There's a dick cop, who drove me crazy because he was so insensitive to anything even her throwing up all over the place. I still don't like him much even after finishing the book and finding out some of the reason he is like he is. I plan on reading the rest of the series.
Profile Image for CJ - It's only a Paper Moon.
2,203 reviews156 followers
April 29, 2011

Once upon a time I read the first two books in Rachel Caine's "Weather Warden" series. I subsequently forgot what those two books were about and thus stopped reading any more of the series. I will go back to it but that's neither here nor there.

If the WW series had been as engrossing and engaging as Janet's story then perhaps I would have stuck with it. I say this because this book shares some similarities with the WW series and I simply want to get that out of the way.

I was surprised about how much I ended up liking this book.


My only issue was that the Amy story seemed very much like a side story until the very end, when it was time to wrap things up and get ready for the final climax of the story. I would have liked to see Janet investigating a little bit more (really just once or twice more) so that I could get a bit more emotionally invested in Nash, Janet and their strange relationship. I also would have liked to know more about the mother. Maybe the Grandmother or Coyote could have dropped a hint or two. However, with that said - everything moved smoothly and quickly without any jagged loose ends or too many out of left field surprises. It was a solid foundation to build a story and it was enjoyable and exciting.


Janet was a bit naive and at times I found that her experiences didn't really match with her character. Here's a woman who can control Storms, can beat the crap out of crazy bar people and can have vigorous, amazing tantric sex but she can't work up the nerve to ask her boyfriend for a serious conversation. Not that I blame her, Mick is adept at sidestepping the question and sometimes you have to know when to pick your battles. Other than that, her character makes sense and I can't help but like her. She can be a hard-ass, sensitive, stubborn and normal despite her powers. She is down to earth with a bit of a kink :) Who wouldn't relate to that! All of character traits make sense when you look at them through the lens of her experience. Even the aforementioned naivete that bugs me. I understand why she's a bit naive.

Mick is a bit too HUGE (built like a wrestler, he's 6'6" - agghh!) for my tastes but he is one sexy summamabitch. Though his over-protectiveness would at times excite me and irk me (much like Janet's reactions) he is still a great guy to have your back. I'd want him in my arsenal if I had to get into a supernatural fight. Not only that, you can tell he really loves her. This isn't one of those books of Boy Meet Girl, they have awkward relationship, jump in sack and continue to have strained weird relations until someone realizes they love the other. Ok, it's not quite like that. In this case, the stress and the awkwardness comes from knowledge of the other person and also the lack of. Mich is a mysterious character who I could've sworn was a

Nash. Oh Nash. I want to like you but you come off as a dick to me. I get your backstory but yeah, I agree with Maya that you have no business being a Sheriff. Honestly, you are one crayon short of the box. The fact that you irrationally hate (seemingly) the "Believers" and go out of your way to constantly throw Janet in jail is a habit that does not endear me to you. Not even toward the end of the book. In fact, Nash, meet me at camera three


The side characters were engaging and intriguing and I hope we get to meet some of them again. I also hope some of them are more fleshed out. I want to know about the Grandmother.

So, you know. Go read this book already!
Profile Image for Karissa.
3,885 reviews191 followers
December 14, 2014
This is the first book in the Stormwalker series. The fifth book in that series will be titled, Dreamwalker, and is expected to release in June 2015. This was an action packed paranormal romance with a story that was incredibly flawed.

I listened to this on audiobook and it was okay. It was nothing spectacular but the narrator did a decent job distinguishing between character voices.

Janet Begay is a Stormwalker whose mother is a Goddess from Beneath. Janet moves back to her hometown to face her mother once and for all and to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Right after her arrival things start to get tricky. Janet is being attacked by Skinwalkers and her ex-boyfriend (the mysterious Mick) shows up to help. Janet hasn’t seen Mick in five years but is still drawn to him. Together they try and track down the missing woman, all the while dodging evil attacks from Janet’s mother.

I was intrigued by the idea of a character, Janet, who can harness the power of storms. The idea ended up being cooler than what was actually done in this book. I actually struggled to finish this book, it was just so ridiculous. Considering I was listening to this as an audiobook while I languished in traffic, that’s saying something...I hardly ever stop reading an audiobook.

There were a lot of problems with this story and a lot of things I didn't enjoy about the story. My main issue was the relationship between Mick and Janet, which left a lot to be desired. Pretty much if they have any problems they just have sex and then everything is good until they have problems again. So silly.

Sex is a huge part of this book, Janet is pretty much obsessed with sex. Which I don’t have a problem with...except the sex scenes were very poorly done. They are boring and not at all creative. I feel like if you are going to make a book that features sex, you should be able to write about it in a way that is engaging.

Even sillier is the part where Mick tells Janet that he's not sleeping with her again until she decides that she really wants Mick in her life...then...you guessed it...a couple chapters later they get pissed at each other and have sex. Huge eye roll here.

When Mick reveals his big secret Janet gets all whiny and immature about it all. I swear she acted like a two year old throwing a tantrum. I mean is she seriously that blind that she didn’t see something was going on with Mick? I understand she is pissed about the secret thing, however she is the one who lets this guy walk all over her without ever questioning his motives. In general Janet's character is extremely immature and makes a lot of bad decisions throughout the book. I hate dumb heroines.

There was some good action scenes in here and the fight scenes are decently done. However, there were also a lot of parts where things don't quite make sense or are over-explained. There is some awkward dialogue as well.

Overall this was a paranormal romance (PNR) that epitomizes a lot of things I hate about poorly done PNR. There is an abusive relationship (that is pushed as being a loving one), a stupid and dense heroine, lots of sex that is poorly done, and an underdeveloped world. The book does have a bit of an urban fantasy feel to it because there is a lot of action, but there is also a lot of relationship drama and sex that reminded me more of a PNR. I pretty much detested this book and won't be reading any more of this series.
Profile Image for Chatting About Cozies.
1,137 reviews48 followers
May 7, 2019
What a fantastic paranormal romance/urban fantasy novel to escape in to! Each time I picked it up and started reading I became so absorbed I almost shut out all distractions around me. The pages flew by! The heroine is kickass bad with an even badder boyfriend! As the story progresses and different characters magical powers are revealed, the story ramps up in excitement and anticipation for the stormy climax the reader knows is coming! I highly recommend for paranormal fans.
Profile Image for Cindy.
937 reviews19 followers
May 21, 2015
Stormwalker (Stormwalker 01) by Allyson James

Great read-action paranormal. It's a Coyote story, so of course I loved it! But beyond that, it's beautifully written. The plot is page turning and the setting is warmly evocative of the Southwest areas near the Navajo Reservation. The characters are rich and sometimes quirky. You've got to love the magic mirror with lust on its mind, Sheriff Nash who is so rigidly determined to remain an unbeliever, and of course there's Coyote...

The heroine has issues that make 'Mommy, Dearest' look like the Waltons. Her mother is an evil Goddess from Beneath [don't worry if you don't know anything about the myths, legends, and religious beliefs of the Southwest - the author does a fantastic job of providing the information without sounding like you're reading from the Cliff Notes] who wants out into our world. To accomplish this, she takes over young women who move too close to a vortex and sends them out to find a sperm donor for the purpose of creating a child she will then control. So far only one child has been successfully born [that we are aware of] - our heroine, Janet, who has no intention of being controlled.

The hero is Mick who has many secrets, secrets that upset the heroine's world when she finally learns them...

The are several subplots in addition to Janet vs the Goddess - Janet is looking for a missing girl, a dead body shows up in her basement, and she's renovating the shell of an old hotel to open as a business. I really enjoyed it.

FYI 'A Little Night Magic' concerns Jamison Kee and Coyote - good story though it's not important to read it first.

.5 “A Little Night Magic” in Hot for the Holidays
1 Stormwalker
2 Firewalker
3 Shadowwalker
3.5 "Double Hexed" in Hexed
4 Nightwalker
Profile Image for Ana.
345 reviews168 followers
March 26, 2011

The book was pretty great. For anyone expecting a paranormal romance it would be a miss, but for an UF it's terrific.

Janet, our heroine, is a Stormwalker (she can control the storms), whose mother happens to be a Beneath (think hell) goddess. She comes to Magellan mainly to confront her. Also, she is looking for Amy, a woman that went missing a year ago, and at the same time decides to renovate a broken-down hotel. A busy girl Janet. Like that isn't enough her mysterious ex-boyfriend Mick shows up.

He is so yummy. He's an all powerful being, and since he's in love with Janet, he came to help her with her suicidal quest. Of course, just because of all that power he is incredibly protective and unwilling to share his secrets with anyone. That is the reason why Janet left him in the first place.

I like the supporting characters. Coyote, Nash, Maya (I do hope that Maya and Nash work it out, I like them as a couple). Oh yeah, the magic mirror is cool as well.

Coyote - the god who likes sex. He likes Janet, and would be terribly sorry if he had to kill her (his words), but still helps her when necessary.

Nash the skeptic cop, who could be a big asset in the war, and IMO still in love with Maya. Even though he left her, and got engaged with Amy, the good girl. I like the way he and Janet argue all the time. :)

Maya, who still loves him, and does some crazy stuff in order to protect him. She's feisty and not a calming influence. I like, and since she is becoming Janet's friend we will be seeing more of her.

All in all a really good beginning to the series. On to Firewalker.


5 starts
Profile Image for Amyiw.
2,239 reviews63 followers
August 3, 2017
4 1/2 stars
I didn't know how Jennifer Ashley would do with a UF so I kinda avoided this book for a while. I shouldn't have. She definitely does her own UF, which like Nighthuntress, has the main couple coming together in the first book, no triangles or questions about who she is going to pick. The romance is good not great even though the romantic interest, Mick, is hotness personified. I think the tameness comes from a lack the initial meeting, though we get it in a flash back. That love at first sight and build up is not there. Instead we have a reconnecting and questions of where he had been. Luckily the relationship is not what is carrying this story or it would've been a novella.

So the plot is, Janet is a Stormwalker, an elemental. She is a product of an evil goddess inhabiting a human in order to procreate with a earth bound witch. She wants to create a powerful puppet, only Janet isn't much for being a puppet. She comes to this little Arizona town to investigate a disappearance. She recognizes the magics of the area and decides that this is where she needs to be to confront her mother. An old abandoned hotel calls to her, which she decides to renovate, so she stays even though the investigation has stalled. Finding another missing woman, Janet starts to think of the first in a whole different way. Some complain that her investigation took a year and didn't make sense but I thought that it was the finding of the new missing girl that gets her on a different track for the old investigation. I thought this was pretty good and how it linked to her and her mother.

So along with the investigation there is a cast of quirky characters, in addition to the two main characters. Maya the female electrician that is confrontational and surly but has her good qualities. The stickler, magic doesn't exist, Sheriff that tries to be by the books but has his own secrets. The quirky contractor, witch wannabee. Then there is the allusive Coyote who, like in most books, says cryptic stuff and then usually just watches the things unfold. There was a lot of banter that had me laughing and the investigation kept me engaged.

So I really had a probably with whether I wanted to go up or down but I thought about whether I would reread this later. Would I think of it as a favorite story. The answer is, I don't think so. I will read on and I might change my opinion, but this was really good, but I don't think it will call me back for a re-read.

Definitely a really good UF but if you like your UF romance and sex free, this is not that. This is 1st person POV that follows the MC with her significant other but their romance is part of the story.
Profile Image for Cathy .
1,944 reviews52 followers
August 6, 2011
4.5 stars. I got intrigued by this series when I read a story from later on in the series in Hexed, the story was really well done, it introduced terrific characters and the writing was great. It was one of the best stories/novellas that I've read and really proved the whole marketing concept behind the anthology idea because I immediately marked the rest of the series as top priority reads.

And I'm glad I did because I really liked this book, it has everything I enjoy in a story. The main character was smart and brave but not overly anything - she wasn't too pushy or too sarcastic or too bold when she shouldn't be. She was just a cool chick that I might like to get to know. The supporting characters were varied and interesting. The wider story arc was interesting and the shorter story arc for this book only set up the story well and was interesting enough on it's own. It was just solid storytelling, entertaining the way it was supposed to be, well done! It was fun that my hopes that were stoked in the short story bore fruit. It was also interesting to see the characters from the beginning and start to see how they got from there to where they were in the story I read, where many of the relationships had changed and developed quite a bit.

OK, so I realize that that was really general and some of you want specifics. I'm not so good at that kind of review. let me just say that Janet has two terrific kinds of magical powers, her boyfriend, Mick, is totally hot (literally and figuratively) and his secret is sexy and intriguing and won't disappoint you, Coyote (yes, the god) is always fun, the magic mirror is a hoot, Nash is infuriating but a great character, Maya the electrician is another smart, mouthy fun and infuriating woman, and Fremont the plumber seems like comic relief but may be more than that. Oh, and Jamison the artist/Changer appears, who it turns out I read about in another anthology, so I got a nice bonus. There are also some demons, skinewalkers, a version of vampires and some other cool critters and powers. Lots of interesting Native American culture is mentioned, but it's worked really nicely into the story so it flows naturally and isn't at all like reading a historical or sociology lecture. That's my favorite kind of writing, when I'm learning and enjoying at the same time, effortlessly.

So that was a lot of words to say it that it was a fun book. I'm sorry it took me so long to find this author, but now I'm glad that I get to read three books in a row without having to wait a year in between for the next to be published.
Profile Image for Alisha.
204 reviews97 followers
July 24, 2010
Rating: 3.5
Not 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.
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