Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Natural Order by Moondancer Drake

Publisher:               P. D. Publishing

If the measure of a book is the opening scene, Natural Order starts off as a success.

Beth Crew and her partner Dusty are fleeing from people who want to kill them and  Dusty buys safety for Beth and their unborn child by paying with her life.  Just before she dies, Dusty makes Beth promise that she'll go to live with Dusty's family at their compound in Wisconsin.  Since Beth doesn't know what to do with her life and she wants to escape the turmoil being stirred up in Chicago by the GLBT community over what it perceives as a hate crime, she packs up everything and goes to live with a family that she hardly knows.  She finds herself plunged into a community that practices an alternative religion, organic farming and holistic medicine.  Beth isn't sure how she feels about all of this, but Dusty's family is very nice and it's only supposed to be until the baby arrives.  What Beth doesn't know is that there are secrets about Dusty's family that she's never been told and that make them the targets of a cult called the Imperium.  When it becomes clear that Beth and her baby are the real prize the Imperium is after, Isha is assigned as their protector and the women begin to fall in love.  Beth has a lot to learn about her new family and herself.  They are lessons that could mean life or death for Beth and the baby.

Natural Order combines aspects of several cultures to create its story.  The book is steeped in Native American culture and pre-Christian religion with information about natural healing and organic foods that seem to bring in New Age attitudes.  Then to make the blend truly unique Drake throws in a fanatical Christian cult and the fact that all of the women in the family are shape shifters.  Beth rises out of several tragedies to discover that she may be the most powerful of them all…..if she can survive.

Moondancer Drake has created a book that holds a sense of mystery throughout the story.  As more details are reviewed, the suspense grows as the reader tries to figure out why the Imperium has targeted this family and what role Beth plays in the scenario without realizing it.  Though this part of the story is concluded in this book, a lot of information is left hanging and needs to be answered.  If there isn't a sequel to this book, readers are going to be disappointed.

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