Hunting for the obscurest of talismans will bring one woman to the gates of her own salvation.
Angie Merrick is dying. Agony unlike any she’s known fills her body and steals a little more of her life every day. Not one doctor can help her, but when modern science has failed, a light of an extinct Native American people lures her back to her first love: research of the Jahehn. An ancient talisman was once one of her greatest searches, and becomes the perfect distraction when there is nothing left but waiting to die. With her life being ripped to shreds in more than one way, Angie seeks one last connection with a people she helped to reveal to the scientific world.
Except death is not stalking Angie. A timeless pact created through the spirit world is demanding her compliance and unknowingly fighting it is causing her seizures. The search for the talisman takes her to the one place where she could find answers and possibly not die from powers she doesn’t understand.
She could live if those who fear exposure hadn’t decreed Angie must die by the very spirit their pact was sworn to protect.
This tale starts with showing how normal Angie is--whatever normal is lol--which is a great contrast to later on in the book and something I really appreciated. She's got an ex who was a total arse--won't say why or what happens because the shock you'll feel on Angie's behalf is well worth it--and, after seeing him at the supermarket, let's just say she found out just how much of an arse he was and is. This is an everyday scenario--people have ex's, they go shopping and bump into them. The reason I appreciated this so much is because she goes from this to something so big and fantastical that it made the unbelieveable all the more believeable. We all have that dream (don't we?) of something grand and wonderful happening to us, mere normal people.
Angie has been in pain for a year. The doctors don't know what's wrong, but she has a strong sense she's dying. When her friend and co-worker, Mark, realises how much pain she's in, he wants to help her on a quest to find a talisman. He loves her, and off they go.
Except when they get to the place they need to be, several people don't want them there--specifically Angie. She has no idea why, except for the fact they'd prefer the talisman be left unfound, and she can understand that too. But she doesn't want to find it for material gain, just for herself, just to see it. She's worked hard to discover artefacts and this last one on her list before she dies would make her life's work worth it.
Then Loren's point of view comes in, and boy, you're in for a treat from there on out. Things become clear to us as the reader but not to Angie, and although I felt a bit mean knowing why she was in pain, I also had a perverse satisfaction in knowing something she didn't. Cruel, I know.
As more and more is revealed, the tension mounts. Angie must believe in the fantastical before she can be cured, but how can an ordinary woman believe such a thing when it's so...out of this world?
I'm being very cloak and dagger, but I don't want to spoil anything. Just know you're in for a treat with this book!
...a stake through fragile dreams.
In seconds, he faded through the trees out of sight.
Almost amber red, his eyes seemed to reflect the sunlight around them. (I just have to say this means the sunlight around the people (them), not the eyes! It reads out of context standing alone, but I loved the image I got from it so wanted to mention it here.)
Angie was awake when nighttime dark warmed to morning gray.
There was a gleam of sun as it peeked over the horizon, glinting on the water and warming the trees, a show just for her.
"Go away." (I laughed here, even though it was a scary moment. This was another of those lovely things "normal" people say. Actually, I prefer "real" people.)
He spun before they spotted him, retracing his steps to the campfire. (Oh no!)
A read that shows the arc of one woman's journey from the turmoil of receiving shocking news from her ex to finding out news a million times more shocking, which put things into perspective. A great plot, great characters, and rich in legend.