When an ancient spirit awakens a hidden ability within Aika, grateful is the last word that comes to her mind.
Being able to summon monsters and spirits to do your bidding might sound cool in comic books, but in real life it brings nothing but trouble. And between chasing after a medical degree, caring for her ailing mother, and running the family business, she’s got plenty to deal with.
Unfortunately, Aika doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring her new abilities. An ancient, powerful evil has taken her mother hostage, and with cancer eating away at her life, the clock is ticking until Aika loses her forever.
Luckily, a hunky– if occasionally infuriating –shaman has taken an interest in Aika, and is willing to show her the ropes and fight by her side. But the more time Aika spends with Raiden, the more she realizes that he might not be what he seems.
The truth is just out of reach, and once Aika uncovers it, she’ll either find the key to saving their world… or destroy the best thing she’s ever had.
Be sure to read the author’s note in the front of the book to avoid confusion and enhance your reading experience.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Title: Ghosts and Grudges
Series: The Shaman Queen Saga #1
Author: Jasmine Walt
Publisher: Dynamo Press
Source: Jasmine Walt
This was previously published as a co-written book with an RH (reverse harem) twist. Walt decided to stick to her original intention for Aika’s story and republished it with a one-pair romance in mind. And you know what? I like it.
I’m all for RH, but reading this without that aspect really helped Aika. It didn’t take away from the story; by taking out the RH theme, the whole book concentrated more on Aika’s dilemmas and her struggle with accepting her new reality. Now aside from the change of romance, my opinion on the story itself hasn’t really changed. It came off as a fast-paced read because there were a lot of things that got mentioned and then pretty much left there to be accepted. I’m not blaming the story for the pace, because there really are a lot of things that get introduced, and in order to advance to the next level, you have to first accept what information you’re given. So unless there are going to be pages more to accommodate the transition, you’re pretty much rolling with whatever new bump and gravel you’re coming across. It might have been enough for others, but I personally couldn’t connect with the characters because of it.
I really love Japanese mythology and I’m glad Walt thought it was cool enough to do. Aika was someone I had to warm up to because aside from being a hard worker and a great daughter, she came off as a bit of a stubborn woman. In a way, I could be okay with it because she hasn’t had enough me-time to really figure her shit out as an individual, but I’m being honest. It was hard to enjoy her transition. She was very firm with only taking in what she wanted and at times it seemed convenient or predictable, and with everything happening, it just didn’t help me. I liked Kai and the turtle the best, because of what their stories were and how they made me feel. It was just a disconnected read for me but the ending left me intrigued enough to want to know how Aika will be in the second installment of the Shaman Queen saga. Will she be more open-minded? Will she be less angry? Will things be explored a little more in-depth to give off the mystical Asian vibes one gets when they’re enjoying material fresh from Japan?
I’m on the fence with this but I’m always up for encouraging others to try new things. If you like reading about different mythologies that aren’t from Greece, you can add this to your TBR or check out other works that this author wrote. My favorite series from her so far is the Sunaya Baine Chronicles, so totally give your brain new worlds to delve into.