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Monday, March 10, 2014

Heart Chants Favorably Compared to Tony HIllerman's Navajo Novels

Heart Chants has been published for a little over two months now and received 11 five-star reviews on Amazon. Here are some of them:

IF YOU LIVE in New Mexico, you've been exposed to Hillerman's novels about Navajo life. Except that they don't really tell you much about Navajo life and beliefs. I found Heart Chants much more satisfying in this regard than the Hillerman novels I've read. And there's an interesting plot, as well! The tie-in to Chinese culture added a bit of a twist and I found myself wanting to follow the characters as they pursued their lives after Heart Chants ended. I'm looking forward to the next Phillip McGuire book. -- NM Reader

GREAT DETAIL in the style of Tony Hillerman.Thanks, Mr. Atwood. I'm looking forward to your next installment of the Phillip McGuire series. -- Steven Malcolm

Very intriguing story with a fascinating story line, and interesting subject matter as well, with the Navajo culture and mysticism factoring in to the plot. Heart wrenching history of the Navajo people revealed in the story. Suspenseful, fast paced, unique. Loved it, highly recommended. -- Jane Austen Fan

IN HEART CHANTSRandy Attwood reintroduces us to Phil McGuire shortly after the events of the first novel in this series - Tortured Truths. Phil is laid up at home after trouble, in the guise of a woman, finds him again.

Two young Navajo students from the local university have disappeared and the local authorities think they've wandered off on their own. With no one believing claims of foul play, Phil lets another Navajo girl stay at his place to keep her safe. Both of the other missing girls were the daughters of tribal singers, a coincidence too significant to ignore. Before long, the efforts of the trickster draw him into the world of Navajo mysticism and traditions as old as the world.

Heart Chants draws upon the Navajo creation tale, bringing the reader into a rich and detailed canon depicted with masterful and immersive storytelling. While no expert, I found the depictions of rites and cultural lore to be deep and engaging. This was an excellent read, and it kept the pages (electronic as they may be) turning. By the time the action reached its peak, I was reading too fast, and had to back up and reread several pages―I wanted to know what was going to happen.

One does not have to read Tortured Truths to be able to follow this story, though I would suggest doing so, as it provides a richer experience. -- Matt Cox

THE CHARACTER development in the book is solid. Both main characters, McGuire and the killer, are very well developed. The guilt that McGuire feels for things that happened in his past, though not always at the forefront, is almost always present, showing a fairly large and visible crack in his otherwise solid facade.

The author delved deeply into Navajo culture when developing the killer, and when developing the plot, using words to paint pictures for the reader that were both ugly and beautiful, sad an joyous. Though told mostly from the killer’s perspective, the Navajo Indians’ reverence for Mother Earth was refreshing, especially in a world filled with SUVs, smart phones, and “selfies.”

The book could have ended with the resolution to the killings, but the author took it a step further, giving McGuire a miracle, and giving the reader a kernel of hope.

Bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a quick read that kept my interest. I cared about McGuire, and want to know what happens to him. -- Mark1068

THE AMOUNT of research and knowledge of the Navajo poured into this story is incredible. Randy Attwood spared no expense so to speak as he lavishly and with great respect brings forth the mystical Navajo legends and thought. There is also an acceptance as in the first segment of the Phil McGuire series of peoples of varying cultures. In this novel Randy Attwood brilliantly entwines mystery and suspense with a twist of Native American history which is truly the humble beginnings of American history unknown to most.

The written words in HeartChants flow with ease keeping the reader always turning one more page seeking the treasures and secrets each offers. Randy Attwood has an unflawed ability to create characters that capture the reader's attention; one may find themselves both loving and hating even the most despicable misguided personalities. From beginning to end Heart Chants is an exciting novel that is in my opinion arguably one of the best releases of the New Year.

Heart Chants is an impeccably written novel with a truly unique plot that is truly a must read. -- Lisa

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