From the Publisher
“Once again, Kathleen O'Neal Gear has brought alive with extraordinary vividness and realism the lives of the first Americans in her splendid novel, It Wakes in Me. I read this dramatic and haunting novel in one sitting. Gear is more effective than any time-machine in transporting the reader back to the vast, beautiful, and unspoiled world of prehistoric North America.” Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Tyrannosaur Canyon and coauthor of The Book of the Dead
“This dramatic and involving story will transport readers to another time, where women were the power players in society. The historical detail and vivid descriptions make this a fascinating and compelling read.” Romantic Times BookClub Magazine on It Wakes in Me
“A multi-layered, complex plot with lushly evocative prose and darkly erotic passages.” Booklist on It Wakes in Me
“Vivid . . . Gear provides plenty of intrigue . . . and spices things up now and then with steamy, erotic passages.” Kirkus Reviews on It Wakes in Me
Spellbinding Native-American fantasy, sequel to It Sleeps in Me (2005). The Black Falcon People believe that each person has three souls: the eye-soul, the shadow-soul and the reflection-soul. Sometimes these souls can wander, and the shadow-soul has been known to possess other bodies against the owner's will. Sora, High Chieftess of the Black Falcon People, is suspected of a series of murders, but thanks to the blackouts she suffers, she cannot fully defend herself against the charges. But when she's abducted by the Loon People (so that she may be held accountable for these murders), she's placed in the custody of the kindly priest Strongheart, who, through the use of wisdom and medicines, helps Sora discover the truth about herself and her past. Was she really responsible for the death of her father? Did she really kill Skinner, the Loon People's war chief? Were "wandering souls" responsible for these murders, or was it simple malfeasance? These are the questions Sora must find the answers to if she is to clear her name and find the strength to lead her people. The Florida panhandle setting is vivid, and the book is full of interesting cultural facts relevant to the time and region. Gear also provides plenty of intrigue as the plot unfolds, and spices things up now and then with steamy, erotic passages. Strong, accessible middle volume of a projected trilogy.
New York Times bestselling author of Tyrannosaur C Douglas Preston
Once again, Kathleen O'Neal Gear has brought alive with extraordinary vividness and realism the lives of the first Americans in her splendid novel, It Wakes in Me. I read this dramatic and haunting novel in one sitting. Gear is more effective than any time-machine in transporting the reader back to the vast, beautiful, and unspoiled world of prehistoric North America.
Read an Excerpt
It Wakes in Me
A SHIMMERING DUST OF RADIANCE, FAINT VOICES, A FLOATING sensation ... but that's all.
I can't feel my heart beating. My lungs don't seem to be moving air.
Where is my body?
For a time, I allow myself to ride the waves of light while I search for my hands, my legs ... my face.
I am gone. The world has vanished, and along with it, everyone and everything I have ever loved.
An ugly, high-pitched voice whispers, "You killed my father ... . I hate you ... . Mother hates you ... . You deserve to die ... ."
Grief shivers the brilliance, and it turns white-hot, blinding. Who is that? I don't recognize the voice.
I must be dreaming.
The dazzling ocean washes around and through me, but it has no warmth, no feel on my skin.
Maybe I am dead.
Is this what it feels like when the reflection-soul, the soul that travelsto the afterlife, slips out with the last breath and hangs in the air around the body?
Somewhere deep inside me, a silent scream rises.
How did I die?
Was I sick? Was Blackbird Town attacked?
I remember being afraid that we were going to be attacked, that war was about to break out.
But with whom?
Words again. Very soft. The deep voice comforts me. It ... it sounds like Flint. But that can't be. I have a vague memory that he, too, is dead. Blessed gods, maybe he's come to lead me along the treacherous trail that leads to the afterlife.
According to the tradition of the Black Falcon People, each person has three souls: the eye-soul stays with the body forever, but at death the shadow-soul and the reflection-soul slip out together. All the evil leaches into the shadow-soul, leaving the reflection-soul pure and clean, fit to live among the Blessed Ancestors in the Land of the Dead. Usually the evil shadow-soul dissipates into the air, but on rare occasions it sneaks into a passerby and uses the body of the living person to commit hideous crimes.
... Perhaps I am dead and this is my eye-soul?
Is this all I am now? A nothingness that dwells in rotting bones forever?
Why didn't anyone tell me it would be like thisthis strange disembodied floating sensation?
What am I supposed to do now?
Old Priest Teal once told me that at death the reflection-soul has to make a decision. It can either go directly to the Land of the Dead, or spend ten days speaking with loved ones, saying the last things that need to be said.
Perhaps that's where I am? Suspended between decisions? Blessed gods, I hope so.
As if in answer, the radiance shifts, twisting into a shining path that seems to lead upward.
I climb, or think I do.
The path becomes clearer, crystallizing into a vast spiraling blanket of stars.
... The voices are louder.
Confusion fills me, rapidly followed by fear.
If Flint has come to lead me to the afterlife, I know I can fight the monsters that inhabit the dark underworld forests, but what if my reflection-soul is entering the living world again?
Perhaps this is my last chance to tell people how much I love them.
It takes every bit of my strength, but I manage to open my eyes for a single heartbeat.
... Log roof beams ... flame shadows on the walls ...
As the hazy council chamber comes into focus, terror floods my veins.
He stands three paces away, with his long black cape swaying around him like midnight wings. His face is darkness.
From somewhere far away, I hear a great voice like raging water whisper, "Seven. She has killed seven people, and Chief Blue Bow's murder may start the worst war the Black Falcon Nation has ever known. We must do something ... ."
Copyright © 2006 by Kathleen O'Neal Gear