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Posted February 21, 2014
I am an avid reader and this book really caught my attention.Time travel,belief systems, heritage,future knowledge. What would you do if you could posess this knowledge. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Would be great discussion in a bookclub or school.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2013
S. R. Howen’s Medicine Man: the Chief of All Time, takes a number of interesting concepts and skillfully weaves them together. I suspect most of us have thought about what we would have done differently if we could change the past. Many have taken the concept a bit farther and thought about changing history. Some of us, both Native Americans and others, have wondered what would have happened if the first Europeans to invade North America had been met by a confederation or union of all the peoples living there.
Howen takes those thoughts and runs with them. No time machines here, but people who can travel through time under their own power or with the help of the “spirits”. In this novel the Native American deities and sprits – both good and evil – are real and interact with mortals.
The protagonist, Shannon Running Deer, a trauma surgeon, finds himself jumping, at first involuntarily, between our time and 500 BC after he meets and falls in love with someone he believes to be a homeless woman. At first the things happening to him, what he sees and hears, make little sense. Told from his perspective the book, like what is happening to him, starts out discordant and confusing. For a time he wonders if he’s become insane, but as the book continues the seemingly unrelated events come together.
Running Deer faces the dilemma anyone would. He sees advantages to the life style of the Stone Age people he’s now interacting with, but at the same time is aware of good things found in modern times, from sophisticated medical advances to something as seemingly simple as the difference between toilet paper and a handful of leaves.
If he becomes the Chief of All Time, a position he doesn’t at first want, he might not only win the women he loves, but change the future to the advantage of the Native Americans.
No author can completely divorce their own beliefs and attitudes from their writing. If Howen shows a bias in favor of Native American ways it is not only understandable, but necessary for her novel to ring true. At the same time, no system is perfect, and she avoids the “noble savage” trap, where less technologically advanced side is completely right and more technologically sophisticated just as wrong. The internal conflicts Running Deer faces point this out.
While a novel rooted in the supernatural, the core of this book is character driven, with the protagonist and the other major actors of the novel well-presented and complex. None of them, from Running Deer to his major antagonist, are simplistic or single layered. Their actions, be they noble or vile, are understandable and true to the characters. Fantasy it may be, but a fantasy based on reality and one in which everything, if the reader can suspend disbelief enough to grant the basic supernatural concept the book is based on, makes sense.
Although Medicine Man: the Chief of All Time is the first book of a series, it is a self-contained novel with a satisfactory conclusion. While it stands well by itself, I suspect most of those who read it will want to continue with the series.
Posted September 1, 2013
Medicine Man: Chief of All Time by S.R. Howen is a suspenseful, multi-faceted story that at its heart is a complex journey of self discovery. When Shannon Running Deer, a modern day trauma surgeon who has left the reservation and his heritage behind, falls for Morning Dove, a homeless woman from his old tribe, his whole life is thrown into turmoil. His apparent travels through time to an ancient past where tribal leaders have banded together to prevent the foreseen demise of their people soon have him questioning his sanity. And to win the one he loves he must not only believe in the impossible and embrace his calling as a Medicine Man, but be chosen as the Chief of all time.
The challenges encountered with trying to totally rewrite history and alter the American Indians fate provide an intriguing layer to the story, as does seeing the lengths Shannon Running Deer has to go to in order to overcome some of them. With each trip through time Shannon risks being stranded from his newfound love, reminding me of one my favorite films, Somewhere in Time, and more recently John Carter. But my favorite element of all is the “what if” questions S.R. raises regarding the impact we could truly have on monumental events from our known history if we could ever visit the past.
S.R. does a commendable job of handling the time shifts, making it clear to the reader when jumps have occurred while allowing the protagonist to experience the confusion that would accompany such events. Shannon’s struggles with his spirituality and personal values make for a flawed character who is easy to identify with in spite of his tremendous gifts, and keep the outcome of the story very much in doubt. And the sub-plot with the battle hardened warrior antagonist, Kills Many, who is also out to win Morning Dove’s hand, provides for wonderful conflict and builds to an incredibly dramatic conclusion that left me eager to read the next installment in the series.
Posted August 14, 2013
When I read the first scene in The Medicine Man, I wanted to stop. A man leaving a new-born child to die was too terrible. However, I'd promised to read this book, and continued.
I am glad I did. It is a powerful, engrossing story bringing to life American Indian myths and traditions. It is a tale of magic, but the magic is anything but the stereotyped repetition that has put me off the fantasy genre for some time.
As I followed Shannon Running Dear through his adventures, both in our modern world and in ancient times before colonialization, I got to like and admire him more and more.
In a few places, I got a bit lost in the logic of the magical happenings, but the overall effect has been gripping. I wanted to read on and on, and cheered Shannon through his battles, groaned with his sufferings, identified with his motivations.
I am looking forward to the sequel.
Posted August 4, 2013
WOW! if I could give this more then five stars I would! I am totally speechless! Most incredible book I have EVER read! truly! I have read a lot of Native American stories but this one, wow, it is just amazing! the intricacy of the storyline is beautiful, unique, interesting and deep and the characters are beyond amazing!
Shannon Running deer is a trauma surgeon at the local hospital when Morning Dove comes into his life. When Morning Dove is struck by a hit and run driver, Running Deer's Grandfather tells him that only the Medicine of the people can save her. Having turned his back years ago on his heritage due to painful circumstance, Running Deer feels torn he wants to help this woman who he feels this strange connection with, but has relied on the white man way for too long. What is this strange power that Morning Dove has over him? and Where did she really come from?
Running Deer soon learns that the answers lay in the past. As Running Deer gets sucked back threw time again and again he learns the value of what was then and the hollowness of today. A great evil is chasing him and Morning Dove and it will stop at nothing to get the power it seeks. Running Deer must fully embrace himself and the role of the Medicine Man in order to fight off the evil and win Morning Dove for himself. Will he be strong enough to do it? or will he let his people down again, in this world as well as the next.
freaking Amazing book! I couldn't put it down for a second! I devoured every single word! I really didn't have a favourite character as their were so many interesting and unique people in the book. their were many people in the tribe and I liked a lot of them Jumper, walks heavy and grandfather were all key people who stood out to me. As well as many others! (I just can't remember all the names...lol)
the bad guy of course was awesome! was scary and never freaking gave up! I wanted to jump in to help Running Deer many times as the poor guy went threw pure hell!
S.R. I totally commend you for your work on this! it is amazing! as a Native American myself I loved every second I was reading it. the traditions, the people, the ceremonies! while some of course was fictional you could tell the work you put into making the traditions real and honest! so thank you for that! I felt right at home reading these parts as I am sure others will too.
for all of you out there who haven't read this yet! what are you waiting for! it is a must read! get it NOW!
Posted March 8, 2013
MMI: Chief of All Time is written in American Indian first person POV. S. R. Howen’s choice of words creates a complex rhythm of thought drawing the reader through the story. This weaving is visualized in brilliant literary fiction, crossing genres, cultures & time. Howen crafted a masterpiece.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.