Sometimes our past dictates what we become, some grow stronger; others will often allow that darkness or secret to dictate the direction of their entire being. Only strength will determine how we decide where to turn. That strength comes from acknowledging that secret and bringing it into the light, no longer allowing it to hold you hostage to the pain.
In Shaman, Friend, Enemy by M. Terry Green, we are immersed back into the world of Olivia (Livvy) Lawson, a techno-shaman who has brought shamanism into the open in such a way that the field begins to attract attention. The paparazzi are often at her healings and everything she now does is under scrutiny. Her friends and the other shamans who have helped her in the past have disappeared into their own work and she is back taking care of and healing those who require her skills.
However along with the exposure, she finds she is now being challenged by a shaman she does not know. This shaman seems to be able to find Livvy in the underworld where she does her healing. As Livvy soon finds, she will need all of her friends and her abilities to fight this new threat. This new shaman calls on the old world rituals and the darkness she brings will cause untold damage to the practice as it stands.
Although Livvy’s career has taken an upward turn, her personal life begins to spiral out of control. She only now realizes that she is in love but does not know how to move forward. She has a secret that she has never shared; it goes the very beginning of her shamanism. In order to strengthen her position she must find a way to work through the darkness her secret brings, but her choices do not fit with what is acceptable within her training. Looking for a way, little does she realize that she has given her enemy the very opening that has been sought. Can Olivia find a way to separate her past from her future, and save those she cares for the most? The darkness of this new shaman is growing, and Livvy finds that not only is her life at stake, but that of those she loves and care about the most are also at risk. Can she find the answers before it is too late? Will she risk everything for the one thing she cannot have?
Green is a master at developing characters who draw you in. Her world and the use of the shamanism are exciting and bold. This second book in her series delivers the goods and makes you hunger for more. The forbidden love is heartfelt and creates an ache in your own heart. Livvy has a kindness that permeates everything she does, and she cares to the point of putting herself in danger. This is a flaw and yet should not be, but it drags her into danger because she puts herself in peril for those she protects. Life to her is what is important, and she will risk it all even for strangers. How can you not care about such a character, who embodies the heart of a warrior and the care of a superhero? She only has a small amount of the power that can be used in comparison.
If you enjoy the paranormal and are interested in healing, Shaman, Friend, Enemy is the book for you. There is adventure, romance, horror, and a bit of indiscriminate killing, yet you will also find friendships and family who thread their way throughout the text. As ever, darkness and light are at war, and the ending will leave you looking for more. Olivia is a character who will continue to have adventures, as well as a heroine who will keep you looking for more.
I would recommend Shaman, Friend, Enemy for a book club or reading group. The characters and their events will keep the discussions lively, and the questions sharp. This would be an excellent book for your library.