The young Cherokee seer struck by lightning in Abnormal (2014) acquires more extrasensory powers after a near-death experience in this partial sequel.
Rashly opening a long-sealed chamber in a cave he is exploring with his friend Chigger, Billy is bitten and knocked off a cliff by a flock of strange bats. Following a spirit conversation with his long-dead grandmother Awinita (her presence is signaled by whiffs of apple cider and pumpkin pie) about his “unfolding gift” for helping others, he wakes up in a hospital bed with an ability to see into people’s pasts and also to perceive evil. This is fortunate, because opening the cave also released the ancient, life-sucking Horned Serpent known as Uktena from the lake of soporific herbal tea it’s been held in and left Chigger, who had carried away a violet crystal once embedded in the serpent’s tail, possessed. These promising developments may help readers past the unvarnished infodumps and continual references to Cherokee characters and traditional practices that the author shoehorns into the story. With help from a gathering of “medicine people and stomp dance leaders,” Billy seems about to prevail—but then Robinson cuts off abruptly, leaving most of the conflict and all of the resolution for future episodes.
A dramatic tale—or the first part of one, anyway—heavily steeped in tribal lore. (Paranormal suspense. 11-13)