Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
After his family is killed by thieves, sole survivor Trey McAlister is taken in by a nearby Comanche clan. Trey has a gift for magic and the clan’s shaman, Singing Crow, makes him an apprentice. While learning to control his powers, Trey bonds with a young warrior and shape shifter, Grey Talon. When they are sent out on a quest to find the missing daughter of a dragon, they encounter the same bandits who murdered Trey’s family, as well as a man made of copper who drives Trey to dig deeper into the magics that created him.
It doesn’t take them long to discover a rancher near Cheyenne, Wyoming is plotting to build a workforce of copper men—and has captured the dragon’s daughter they’ve been searching for. Trey and Grey Talon must draw on all their knowledge and skills to complete their quest—one that grows more complicated, and more dangerous, with each passing day.
“Native Wind” is an interesting mix of Western, Steampunk and Native American mythology. That’s definitely not a mix I’ve come across before, so I was hopeful.
Grey Talon is a very unusual shifter with his ability to turn into any animal he’s ever laid eyes on. Trey’s shaman magic was also very interesting and I loved the time Trey spent practicing it.
Both MCs were very likeable and their bond was obvious. I liked that they were a couple from the start of the book, which left more room for plot outside the romance. There was no need for explanations and flashbacks, their love for each other felt completely natural.
There were a couple of unique minor characters as well, like Copperpot, the metal construct, or Singing Crow, Trey’s shaman teacher.
The great villain, however, was needlessly evil. I don’t like it when the villains only ever do evil things and the MCs only ever do good things. I like my shades of grey. At times, it was also hard to understand certain actions of Grey Talon and Trey. They didn’t always make all that much sense.
The world building was a little lacking. While there were a lot of scenes of Trey talking about and practicing his magic, little things were left unexplained. I’m still uncertain just how Grey Talon communicated in animal form.
I would have also enjoyed a bit more Steampunk. Sure, there was Copperpot, who became a loyal companion of the two, but that’s about it. The world itself didn’t have many steam powered machines.
I’m not sure I entirely understood the part dragons play in this world. They’re definitely nothing like any dragons I’ve come across in literature before.
Overall, “Native Wind” had promise but didn’t quite live up to it. The plot didn’t really grip me. I wasn’t exactly bored, but I never quite felt the urge that I absolutely had to know what happened next. I probably won’t read the sequel.
The cover by Stef Masciandaro shows a drawing of our four heroes, with Trey shifted into a dog and a dragon looming in the background.
Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon
ebook, 216 pages
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by DSP Publications
ISBN 1634765532 (ISBN13: 9781634765534)