Thursday, December 19, 2013

@AttwoodRandy @CuriosityQuills #Review HEART CHANTS by Randy Attwood

Heart Chants review
Author: Randy Attwood
5 out of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Suspense
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: those interested in Diné culture, those who enjoy a good story
Book Available: January 3, 2014 (subject to change)
Trigger Warnings: kidnapping, murder, rape

My Thoughts: This book provides a peek into the legends and lore of the Diné, or as they are commonly known, the Navajo. Their creation story is beautiful.
In the beginning was the wind. And when the earth came, the wind cared for it. And when the darkness came, the wind breezed across it beautifully. And when the dawn came and laid its lightness over the darkness, We, the People, were created. And the wind kissed our faces.
Phil McGuire's portion of the story focuses on two young women—Hsu Chi and Zonnie—whom he takes in to try to protect, Hsu Chi from anti-democratic Chinese gangs, and Zonnie from whoever or whatever has taken away two of her friends, also Navajo, from their college. Attwood has obviously done a great deal of research into the Diné culture, legends and lore and shows the reader exactly how beautiful that culture was, and how much the European settlers destroyed in their hubris. I do not know if there are any reparations to be made for the damage we did to the native cultures here, but I find it been heartbreaking how much knowledge has been lost. It would behoove us to find those who have kept this knowledge and preserve it before it is gone forever.

I found the talk Ko-yo-teh had with the old man at the filling station very funny, especially when the old man repeated the message he had sent to the moon in Navajo: “Watch out for these guys; they come to take your land.” Sad, of course, but also very funny. It fits in with the overall theme of the book, which is well represented by this quote:
I'm convinced the deepest passion mankind has is the need to inflict belief on another person. Belief in God, belief in these words as God's words, belief in this interpretation of these words, belief in these acts in the name of God. If it's not religion, it's politics.
Overall this is a fairly clean book, but I did note some editing errors, mostly extra, missing, or repeated words, awkward commas, and misused words, such as “rationale” for “rational” and “statute” for “statue”. Not enough to lower my rating or lessen my enjoyment, obviously.

Like all of Randy Attwood's stories, this one is absolutely amazing. I kept having goose bumps from reading it. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a good story, especially if you are interested in Native American stories and culture.

Series Information: Phillip McGuire Mystery/Suspense novels
Book 1: Tortured Truths, I edited this book. I did not write an official review, but it's an awesome story.
Book 2: Heart Chants

Disclosure: I received an early ARC e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Burnt-out foreign correspondent Phillip McGuire, who gave up journalism, is now happy owning and running a bar in Lawrence, Kansas. He's happy with his new house in the country. But he's not happy. When two Navajo female students are missing from Haskell Indian college, he agrees to shelter a third. And then a mysterious beautiful Chinese woman stumbles into his life. And all the while, Coyote is working on the largest sandpainting ever created and advancing his plan to reopen the gates to the Navajo's Holy People.


  1. Thank you, Katy. I'm still shooting for Jan. 3 release by Curiosity Quills, but also want to get several typos and errors fixed, which might delay release. And thanks for pointing out the two you mentioned. Sure is nice to wake up to a review such as this!


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