Friday, 5 June 2015


Title: Shadow Of Time: The Lost Years
Series: Shadow Of Time
Author: Jen Minkman
Release date: 2nd March 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
The Americas, 1534. 

A young Navajo man goes on a vision quest to commune with the spirits and find out what his life path should be. Little does he know that his meeting with the Bear, his spirit guide, will change him for good and turn his life upside down. In fact, life has more years in store for him than he could have ever imagined... 


I am a little undecided on how I feel approaching reading this book. In one way I am quite looking forward to reading it. On the other, I wonder if too much time has passed since I read the Shadow Of Time book one.

I received a free e-copy of this novella directly from the author, Jen Minkman in exchange for my honest review. The cover features the face of a Native American young man surround by what I would describe as colourful wisps of smoke which I'd say perhaps represent spirit.
Would the cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Being totally honest I really don't know if the cover would make me pick it up from a bookstore shelf. I would be more likely to pick the book up as I have already read books by this author.
Having read the book and finally gotten around to writing my review I noticed that there is another cover too. So I decided to add the new cover and comment on that too.

This cover has a strong looking, young Navajo indian male on the cover which I think fits the book even better than the first cover. It has that realistic, true Navajo Indian feel to it. Having said that I don't like the addition of the butterflies at all. I think they are there to represent spirit, but to me they look too out of place, and take away from the more realistic feel of the cover. Perhaps a fire with smoke swirls etc could have been used to represent the spirit? Or even a bear in the background or an Indian home. . . .I just feel the butterflies spoil the cover, even though they are a continuing theme throughout the book series. The butterflies could work but not in their present way, they need to look more lifelike and realistic, to add to or fit in with the rest of the cover.
So Would this cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Mmm this is a hard one, to be totally honest I reckon I'd pick it up to read the blurb, though it would be a more considered purchase rather than a quick sell and straight into my basket/trolley.

Regardless of covers etc I was looking forward to reading this book. After I read Shadow Of Time Bk1 I was wanting to know about more of Josh's lives so I was looking forward to reading this book.

The book starts straight into Josh's first life beginning in 1520 and continues through his lives up until his present life of Josh.  We go through Josh in his first life, him having his visions of life to come and his acceptance of what he must do for his people.
Each time Josh is reborn he knows his destiny and sets about whatever tasks he needs to do to complete it. In one life he is female, and he accepts that willingly. You see a softer but still determined side of Josh during that life. Josh has always been somewhat of a loner during his lives, and has had difficult decisions to make, and tasks to carry out. There are times when he doubts himself and wonders how he could have changed things. He has to deal with the untrusted white man and the fact the are stealing his homeland. He has to bring tribes together to survive and hold back the white man from taking everything the Indians have. The Indians have to learn a new way of living from planting crops rather than hunting for food as they have done for years. You get a real insight into the genuine Indian history, which I loved. The pace of the book varied quite a lot. In places I felt it was a little slow, it sort of depended on what was happening in history at the time. Some of Josh's lives were more interesting than other. 
I would have liked the beginning of the book to have begun with Josh in the "present day", maybe he could have told the story of his lives round a camp fire etc. There wasn't quite enough connection to the first book for me, but then that could have been because it was such a long time since I read BK1.
I still think perhaps these stories should have been included in the main book as Jen originally wanted. Or that you should read this one as a prequel to the first book so you have the insight, and can understand Josh more. It definitely needs to be read close to book one for the reader to have the full enjoyment from this book.
So did I enjoy the book? On the yes I did. It just meandered and the pace slowed down a little much for me in places but as I said read closely to reading book one that wouldn't have been an issue at all. 
Would I recommend the book? Yes, sorry to harp on and on but read it either before or straight after book one.
Would I want to read another book in this series? I think I would yes. I'd probably have to go back to book one to check my notes on it prior to reading book two to jog my memory as its a long time since I read book one.
Would I read other books by this author? Simply put YES! I already have and I hope to continue reading more books by Jen Minkman too.

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English and Dutch at a secondary school in The Hague, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack. 

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!)

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