“Hey, this isn’t rocket science – it’s paranormal fantasy. It’s supposed to be entertaining. It’s supposed to be fun. And that’s exactly what Stormwalker is – an engaging fusion of Native American mysticism, amateur sleuth mystery, fantasy, and (at times) steamy romance. Throw in vampires, a magical realm beneath our own, and the Loch Ness monster and you have yourself not only one heckuva read but also the start of what could be a wildly entertaining [paranormal romance] series!”

 

The story revolved around Janet Begay, a part-Navajo woman who possesses the ability to harness the powers of storms for her own use. While investigating the disappearance of a young woman in a remote desert town, Janet quickly realizes that her mysterious mother – who just may be a god – is trying to manipulate her for some nefarious purpose. After she is almost killed by a skinwalker, and arrested by an annoyingly by-the-book sheriff (who happens to be the missing woman’s fiancé), Janet is reunited with her first – and only – love: Mick, who just may have some supernatural powers of his own. “He was six-feet-six of solid muscle in jeans, a black T-shirt, and motorcycle boots, had a silver earring dangling from one ear, and dragon tattoos snaking down both arms. His hair was black, the wild curls of it just contained in a ponytail. He had the bluest eyes I’d ever seen, and I vividly recalled staring into them the night I lost my virginity…”

 

With Mick at her side – as well as a misfit group of allies that includes a drifter named Coyote, a female electrician with anger management issues, and a sentient mirror – Janet vows to not only solve the mystery surrounding the missing woman but to also face her mother and stop her plans...

 

Heat is a definite motif in Firewalker – Mick is a shapeshifting dragon (called firewalkers), pivotal sequences take place in Death Valley, and sunburns, heatstroke, desert wind, Vegas strip joints and habanero peppers are all referenced throughout. This is a hot, sexy series – that much is obvious – and the “all in,” wild and passionate relationship between Janet and Mick will have male and female readers alike thinking, “I’ll have what they’re having.”

 

Here’s just a taste of that hedonistic heat:

 

“I arched to meet Mick’s thrusts, my nails raking down his back. The tattoo that snaked across the small of his back, from hip to hip, was hot under my touch, my dragon-man barely containing his fire…”

 

But this series is so much more than steamy sex scenes linked together by a superficial storyline. James has created a sprawling supernatural world – very much like the realm created by Patricia Briggs for her Mercy Thompson series – inhabited by vampires, shapeshifters, mischievous gods, etc. that most humans (called “mundanes”) are totally clueless about. In fact, a big part of the storyline of Firewalker takes place between godlike characters that consider humans irrelevant.

 

How can I accurately describe this series? It’s a deeply thematic and utterly readable paranormal fantasy saga disguised as a self-indulgent romance. Underneath all of that mind-blowing, bed frame busting sex is a deeply character driven narrative with intricate and intriguing storylines.

 

I said it before: this isn’t rocket science – it’s paranormal fantasy. It’s supposed to be entertaining and fun. And that’s exactly what this saga is: literary escapism at its very best – for male and female readers!

 

 

 

Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for almost the last two decades and has written more than 6,000 reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, and BarnesandNoble.com. In his free time, he reads.

 

Comments
by on ‎11-16-2010 08:56 PM

I've just ordered 'Stormwalker" and "Firewalker'. Your explanation of the series convinced me.:smileyhappy: I loved character driven urban fantasy with thematic depth and intricate story lines. And, a steamy relationship doesn't hurt! What's not to love! 

by on ‎11-16-2010 09:59 PM

I have read both books and throughly enjoyed them.  I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.  Thanks for writing such a great review of these books.  I also like her other dragon series which are more of a romance than Stormwalker and Firewalker.

 

Toni

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎11-18-2010 10:31 AM

I love this series, I was introduced to this author as Jennifer Ashley and her historical romances years ago because as far as I'm concerned if he wears a kilt he's all that. :-) Then when she joined Joy Nash and Robin Pop in the Immortals series and since then she's gone on in her own right to write more than one paranormal/fantasy series. What always kept bringing me back to her as an author was her narrative and the way she always seemed to bring me right into the story and her characters who are still all rumbling around in my mind. It's a rarity for me as much as I read to remember not only characters from novels years ago but scenes as well. I'll never forget Lord Ian Mackensie in his novel as well as Kim and Liam from her shifters series and Janet from the series you've featured above. And now that I'm finished writing here I can go to the order page and B&N to get my own copy of Firewalker.

 

Thanks Paul great article and I guess it's true. real men read paranormal romance you Renaissance Man you. :-)

Deb

by PhyllisJ on ‎11-18-2010 07:50 PM

I enjoyed Stormwalker and I liked Janet and Mick and all of the other characters in their world.  I got a real kick out of the mirror.  I have Firewalker and am just about ready to start reading it next.  :smileyhappy:

 

Great review as always Paul, I always know whats happened in the book world, thanks to you.  :smileyhappy:

by Tess75 on ‎02-25-2011 08:23 PM

Since reading your review It sounded right up my alley! So I ordered both the Stormwalker, and the Firewalker. I just started Stormwalker tonight. I'm not very far into it since family comes before a good read:smileyhappy: but so far It's good. I've been looking for new authors and paranormal series since I've just about  read all the authors I know. So thanks for the review and I'm sure to find more books to order!

Tessa

by Tess75 on ‎02-26-2011 08:18 PM

Hey I'm back about Stormwalker! Now that I'm further along let's just say wow! This is a great series. There is always something interesting going on. Keeps you guessing what's comming next. I still am unsure were the sheriff stands in all this. There's not a discusion were he throws in that he doesn't believe in anything supernatural. Makes you wonder if he isn't trying to convince himself. As far as Janet I really would have a hard time with Mick. Sure they can't keep their hands to themselves and he does help with her power, but really what's with all the secrecy! Something's got to give between them and he has to open up to her sooner or later. It isn't a one way relationship. All in all the storyline is great. I have a hard time putting it down when I should be doing something else. I am looking forward to finishing this one and starting right onto Firewalker! Has anyone heard if a third book is in the making? Once I get into a good series It's hard knowing that sometime they will have to end!! I'm deffinatly a series aholic:smileyhappy:

 

by Moderator paulgoatallen on ‎02-26-2011 08:20 PM

Tess:

The third book, Shadow Walker, comes out in June! :smileyhappy:

by Tess75 on ‎02-27-2011 07:38 AM

Thank's I'm almost finished with Stormwalker and looking forward to reading Firewalker. I have a couple book's pre-ordered that are follow ups to  a couple of my favorite series. Why is it we have to wait so long?!! I'm just glad there's another book comming out. I love my series and I take it pretty hard when they have to end:smileyhappy: You can get so caught up in a series that it's as if the characters become real. It's like loseing your best friend! I know I sound lame:smileyhappy: I really do have a life. I just enjoy really good book's, and I appreciate the time The Authors put into writing them. Here's to the Author's!!!! Thank's!!!

 

by Tess75 on ‎03-03-2011 09:27 PM

Thought I'd let you know I finished Firewalker. Great reads! There was a lot of action going on and I don't just mean in the bedroom either!! I was right about the sheriff he had some powerful magic going on. Not until she almost killed him and he stood there like nothing happened did he find out about it. Even then it took several more times before he finally became a believer. I have to say everyone in the book defiantly was not lacking in the personality department. I to agree with Phyllis the mirror was funny. It just would not give up. Then again who did. They all seemed pretty viral if you ask me! Can't wait for Shadow walker to come out. I bet it has to do with her sister. 

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