Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Review: Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

Only a shaman can rescue a soul.
Only a shaman.

On impulse, Jenna Rosen leaves the party she and her real estate developer husband, Robert, are attending in Seattle, takes his BMW and drives north to Bellingham. Again on impulse, she hops on the ferry to the Alaskan town where her Tlingit Indian grandmother lived and died. But there's more than impulse at work here: Jenna and Robert's 5-year-old son, Bobby, drowned in Alaska just two years ago, and something is drawing Jenna back to the scene. On the ferry, she's given a carved silver charm of a Tlingit spirit called a kushtaka, a stealer of souls. "Tlingits don't have good and evil," a local shaman explains, telling the story of how the spirit known as Raven gave the world the sun, moon, and stars by stealing them from someone else. As Jenna learns more about the kushtakas, helped by this very sophisticated shaman and an understanding fisherman, she begins to believe that her son's soul is being held captive by these spirits, as revenge for her husband's greed. Garth Stein's persuasive prose draws us into a book that mixes fantasy with tragedy and the natural human desire for closure.

I adored Garth Stein's book The Art of Racing in the Rain so I was eager to review this book as well. I have to admit that I wasn't sure if I would like it as much after I read the synopsis but when I began to leaf through it I was hooked. As a horror story this is a very different type of book but Stein is an excellent writer and storyteller. He brings all of his characters to life and creates a beautiful setting in the Alaskan wilderness.

Jenna is haunted be the loss of her son and is pain is palpable. She is in self destruct mode and risks losing everything when she returns to Alaska but she is searching for closure. With the help of a Shaman she is immersed in the culture and beliefs of the Tlingits. The fantasy was a bit confusing for me but the folklore was truly fascinating. The suspense kept me reading and longing for Jenna to be successful in her quest to rescue her son's soul. It was an emotional roller coaster but an amazing ride. I look forward to even more books by this author.

Thank you to Terra Communications for sending this book in exchange for a honest review.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Rerelease date: 3/9/10
Pages: 445
Price/format: $14.99/paperback
Type: fiction


  1. This sounds worth it just to read about the Tlingits culture.

  2. I so loved your review and I loved this one too!!!

  3. This is on my wish list....thanks for the great review!

  4. This one loos great. I didn't readthe Rain book, but this one I might have to check out.

  5. I really enjoyed this one way more than I thought I would. The folklore used in this story was well executed.


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