Book Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter – Angeline Boulley

Book Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter – Angeline Boulley


Release Date:
March 16th 2021
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Pages: 496
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Review

Firekeeper’s Daughter is a book that caught my eye because of that absolutely beautiful cover. The story follows Daunis a young biracial woman who struggles to fit in with her community. She hopes to go off to college and study medicine, but with recent family tragedies, she decides to stick around for another year to help her family grieve. When she meets Jamie, the new star of her brother’s hockey team, Daunis feels there might be a light at the end of the tunnel but when she witnesses a murder and becomes tangled up in a criminal investigation, Daunis finds herself becoming a confidential informant for the FBI. As she attempts to uncover who is bringing drugs into her community, what she finds could tear her world apart.

This book has been everywhere recently and it absolutely deserves the hype. This own voices story is incredibly gripping and I loved following Daunis as she attempts to protect her community and the people she loves.  I really enjoyed learning the history and traditions of the Native American people. There is a strong sense of community in the story and there were a whole host of fascinating side characters. I particularly liked the Elders and Aunt Teddie. The characters in the story are all really well developed and I definitely found myself rooting for Daunis. She was a brilliant protagonist. She’s smart and determined, but also struggling with her identity and place in the world.

As Daunis delves deeper and deeper into the mystery of who is bringing the drugs into the community, I found myself coming up with lots of different theories as to who was responsible. They all ended up being wrong and I definitely did not see that ending coming. The story has a really hopeful ending and I am so excited to see what happens in book two. If you’ve been intrigued about Firekeeper’s Daughter I would absolutely recommend picking this one up.

Book Review: Her Last Holiday – C. L. Taylor

Book Review: Her Last Holiday – C. L. Taylor


Release Date: 27th April 2021
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an E-ARC via Netgalley
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

You come to the retreat to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?

Review

C. L. Taylor is one of my favourite thriller writers so I always go into her books with the highest of expectations. Once again I was completely sucked into this fast-paced tale full to the brim with suspense. The story is set around a Soul Shrink retreat in Gozo that went horribly wrong: two people died and another committed suicide. We follow Tom Wade, the man behind Soul Shrink, who has just been released from prison, his wife Kate as they attempt to put the past behind them and Fran the sister of the girl who committed suicide. Fran is trying to uncover the truth behind her sister’s death, so when Tom and Kate announce a new Soul Shrink retreat, Fran signs up. But what she uncovers might be far more than she bargained for.

This was such a compelling read. I made the mistake of starting this quite late at night and then ended up glued to the book for several hours. Taylor has a brilliant writing style and a way of sucking you in right from the very first page. The story was full of twists and turns and like all C. L. Taylor books had an ending that I absolutely did not see coming. The plot is pretty fast-paced and that definitely had me turning pages faster and faster.

C. L. Taylor always writes such fascinating characters and Her Last Holiday is no exception. The different perspectives were so intriguing as we follow Kate, Tom and Fran in the present and Kate and Jenna in the past. The characters were all complex and well creating, dealing with a variety of things: Fran with the loss of her sister and all the things she did not get to say, Kate with the breakdown of her marriage and everything she has worked for and Tom with the death of his clients and his time in prison. The characters are brilliantly created and because of them, the story was so engrossing.

Her Last Holiday is a fantastic new page-turner from C. L. Taylor. If you’re looking for a story to get completely lost in, this is definitely a must-read.