Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book Review: "Soundings: Water Elemental" (Janine Donoho)

Maggie Updike, an eco-psychologist, lives in a small, close-knit community along the Puget Sound, divorced and childless since her young daughter's death some years before. When she discovers a strange young girl washed up on the beach near her home, she finds herself strangely drawn to the child and to the man who eventually arrives and claims to be the girl's father.

Meanwhile, not everyone in the small town is happy about the developments, especially Jax Smith, the sheriff and a close friend of Maggie's ... with hopes to be more than that. The girl's odd behavior and bizarre tendencies defy easy explanation, and it will take trust and a belief in something greater than what can easily be seen to fully understand the reality the townspeople are facing.

Author Janine Donoho presents the contemporary fantasy novel Soundings: Water Elemental

Donoho writes with precision in a style not unlike that of an older generation. In fact, the lush descriptions and close character development in Soundings reminded me of a less dense, more "user-friendly" (if you will) work of literary fiction.

The work, while officially classified as contemporary fantasy, contains elements of many other genres, from light suspense and mystery to small-town romance. Themes explored include loss, grief, love, lust, what is versus what could be, memory, bereavement, psychology, and more.

Maggie is a particularly complex and compelling heroine. Haunted by a slew of demons, some of whom even she can't quite quantify, and driven by not only her professional commitment to her clients but also her compassion and fierce loyalty to the friends she sees as her family, she withstands --- and causes --- some of the most unexpected plot twists in the novel.

Readers used to the very traditional happy ending in a romance novel (although it should be noted that with an ongoing murder investigation underway, this hardly qualifies as "just" a romance novel) may be caught off-guard by the way Soundings concludes. Though surprising and, perhaps, against the usual grain, however, the ending is true to the deep tone and characters throughout.

A beautifully written, marvelously imagined contemporary fantasy for modern readers!

# # #

Author: Janine Donoho
Title: Soundings: Water Elemental
Series: Elementals
ISBN: 978-1-62015-733-6
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please do not hesitate to leave a comment or a question. Include links to your blog, website, Twitter, and other social media so I can link back!