Evil stalks the rainforest.
When Professor Elena Lukas returns to her cosy Pacific Northwest hometown with a broken heart, she’s plunged back into the fate she tried to escape. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Elena must now dedicate her life to a powerful ancient Lithuanian goddess. Although she is prepared to live as a priestess hiding in a contemporary tourist town, she arrives to find that a series of so-called animal attacks have terrorized her forest.
With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area in an attempt to quell its insatiable hunger. When her little sister goes missing, Elena realizes that the beast can only be vanquished if she is brave enough to face it in-person, embrace her identity as a high priestess, and expose her powers to the man she cares for.
“A fantastic tale that weaves a spell of ancient mysticism and modern charm.” –Tim Marquitz, Author of the Demon Squad series, The Enemy of My Enemy series, and more
Takakush was a fabulous read from start to finish. During the story we mainly follow Elena and the Lukas family. Elena is returning home after a failed relationship hoping for a break and a reset of her life and career. Very quickly she gets pulled into an investigation with Boone, a Game Warden. An unidentified creature has been attacking wildlife and people. Is it a creature of earthly origins?
Characters and story
The story is told from multiple points of view. This is something I really enjoy in a story; it allowed the characters to develop and felt very natural. The only character I struggled with was Elena’s teenage sister Gabby, the teenage speak felt very jarring to me. However, I am a woman in her late 30’s and my kids haven’t reached that stage yet, so it’s probably me being a little out of touch.
Elena’s family, the Lukas’ serve the Goddess’ of the forest, Elena left all that behind when she moved away. Coming home she embraces this life again and has to pull on all her family’s knowledge to find what is haunting the forest.
I worked out fairly quickly which character was behind the strange goings on. although it certainly didn’t go the way I expected it to.
We are led through the story in real time, each section starting on a new day or time of day. You can see how events are unfolding and rushing headlong to the conclusion. I was totally gripped and literally couldn’t put it down. Reading the entire book in one sitting.
This is not your average paranormal romance, yes there is some romance but it certainly isn’t the main focus. In fact, I would say this is contempory fantasy. It touches on topics such as PTSD, which I am assuming will be further explored in book 2. In fact, I was left with a few unanswered questions. I cannot wait to see how the characters develop and where the story goes next.
For anyone that likes this genre I highly recommend picking this one up.
My thanks to Raine for a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review. And to Love books group for the invite onto the blog tour.
Northwest gothic author Raine Reiter is a lover of myth and folklore. Her contemporary paranormal novels weave together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Raine lives on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with her silly dog Luke.