Book Review: Stormcaller by R.K. MacPherson

StormcallerGenre: Contemporary Fantasy

Book description:

Power always carries a price…
For Isaura Durand, homeless life on the streets of Seattle posed plenty of challenges. She didn’t ask to become a witch. She didn’t understand how it would change her, but when she awakens to her power, Isaura finds herself plunged into a brutal struggle with dark forces.
Thrust into the heart of Seattle’s eldritch world, Isaura uncovers a series of ritual sacrifices designed to unleash magic’s true power upon the world.
Allied with a grumpy Norwegian mage, a Native American shaman on a Harley, and a beautiful medic, Isaura must overcome her own demons and her growing list of enemies. Victory is anything but certain, and to survive, Isaura must embrace her potential and become the…
The eldritch world of Stormcaller includes several types of adept. Mages and Diabolists employ complex ritual and rely on other-planar powers, Sanguinars use blood to fuel their magic, and Witches channel the power of their environment in a spontaneous fashion. Isaura, the main protagonist and title character, is a Witch, and one of unique powers that soon have the whole eldritch world in a tizzy and earn her the name “Stormcaller.” (You can figure it out. It’s not hard.) That plus the modern Seattle setting pretty much covers the world-building in this novel. It’s simple and creates a good backdrop for the story and the characters, both of which are first-rate, as is the writing. For that reason, being superior in plot, characters, and writing, Stormcaller gets five stars.
Isaura is also a nineteen-year-old homeless college student as the tale opens. The depiction of homeless life at very nearly its worst is dead on in its full gritty, weary awfulness (I say that as one who has been there). Isaura has also been pursuing studies in magic out of curiosity and despite the attempts of her friend Marius, owner of an occult bookstore, to discourage her. The result is the  awakening of her power and Isaura’s first real trial: the attempt of a demon to destroy her and eat her soul.
Thus the story begins with heavy conflict and excitement and it continues that way through arcane intrigues, lethal plots, world-changing schemes, youthful folly, and new love. This reader cared a lot about the characters even though I often wanted to send Isaura to her room without her supper. The book had that can’t-put-it-down quality that I love in a story, and the pacing is just about perfect.
The only thing that would improve the book is a final round of editing. It wasn’t completely awful in that respect, but I found too many instances where words had been omitted, or a common mistake used in phrasing (for example, “one in the same” instead of “one and the same”), or words were doubled up.
That certainly didn’t help matters, but it didn’t stop me from wildly enjoying the story, either, and I can highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy set in our own world.
Stormcaller is available for $3.99 from Amazon Kindle Store and is also available in print for $9.99.

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