GryphonWorks (December 8, 2010)
Imagine that you are a Christian. You work for the government and are posted in Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia). A U.S. official, a friend of the U.S. Ambassador, has disappeared. You are assigned to find out what happened and are to work with a local detective, a statuesque local woman of refined heritage (Nya). She is possessed by the same search, though for her own reasons. You are broken inside by abuse of your own loved ones.
Their search leads to juju rituals, voodoo in the Western world. If you find such beliefs to be preposterous, is it possible for you to become a slave to the work of the babalawo (the high priest), the N’anga in this story? Are such beliefs any more or less real than those to which you subscribe?
The Summoner is a captivating story. It will give you the feel of the retched situation in Zimbabwe today. You will be confronted with ritualistic sacrifice of four and two-legged animals. Your senses will be assaulted with retched images, child prostitution, incompetent American and local administrators, and village life. You will also find a vivid story set in natural beauty. It is both a mystery and a thriller. The pages will fly as you trace the search of Dominic Grey and Nya to find the absent official, as well as Nya’s father. Actually, they are in a search for themselves.
Layton Green obviously lived and researched this fetching story on site. The research, both in the world of juju, and local color is first rate.
The Summoner could be made into an excellent Indiana Jones-type movie. It has excitement, demons, endearing characters, beautiful scenery, and imagery (physical and emotional). It culminates with a blood-surging chase to save the spread-eagled heroine being tortured with the two hundred cuts to prepare her for the afterlife.
In the end, you will close the last page wondering about the future of Grey and Nya. There are obviously more stories to come. Will they be able to overcome their own inner demons as well as the monsters in the cave?
**Read Layton Green's guest post, Will Great Literature Survive the E-Pocalypes? here**
Labels: Book Reviews