Friday, July 20, 2012
Review of Shaman Pass by Stan Jones (Soho Press, 2003)
Shaman Pass is a fairly straightforward police procedural, but one given a nice twist through its setting and Nathan Active’s position as an outside insider. Jones does a very good job of capturing the social relations and tensions of an Inupiat community interfacing with white culture and laws and of placing the reader in the landscape and creating a sense of place. Active is a solid lead character and provides a nice pair of eyes through which to view the local community and its ways. The writing is nicely paced and expressive and the plot for the most part works well. The final third of the story, however, falls a little flat. The mystery element is gone, replaced with more of a thriller-style conclusion and some sub-plots, such as Active’s relationship with his grandfather, are forgotten. Overall, Shaman Pass was an enjoyable and engaging read and I’m looking forward to catching up with Trooper Active in the third book in the series, Frozen Sun.