An ancient Hopi prophecy ... the end of the Fourth World ... a mysterious ruin ... and a window between worlds.
Anthropologist Will Lansa grew up as a privileged child in Aspen, Colorado, but spent summers on the Hopi reservation, where his father was chief of police. Now Lansa grudgingly returns to his roots on the reservation after receiving a baffling message from Vina, his aged grandmother.
Vina sends him on the quest of a lifetime to find Pahana, the Hopi's returned savior, and locate the missing part of the Hopi's sacred tablet. But Will soon encounters strange and disturbing events, and becomes a suspect in a murder. Pursued by FBI agent Ellie Fletcher, the two find themselves literally lost in another world, unable to get home, and hunted by Maasau'u, the manifestation of the god of death and guardian of the Underworld.
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For honesty's sake, I have to say I don't consider this a "romance novel". There is an attraction, there is a "happily ever after" of sorts, and there is a scene including sexual relations; however, I would consider this more of an action/thriller. That being said, this romance fan REALLY enjoyed this book. Dealing with the Hopi/Native American/Indian end-time prophecy, this book is set in the very-near future. The plot line is just real enough to be possible. This is one of those stories where you have to remind yourself that you are reading fiction, not truth. Even though there is time travel, reality switching and body-sharing (time stealing), everything becomes plausible in this story. The plot brings together old friends and twists and turns in relationships, realities, and timelines until none of them are sure what is reality and what is thrown their way to prevent the coming of the Fifth World. The reality jumping and native names do make things very confusing at times, but the story itself is gripping and keeps you reading until the end. As stated earlier, there is a sexual encounter between Will and Ellie. A mutual attraction is mentioned during the story, but this encounter is more a plot element than an expression of their feelings for one another. Leave plenty of time to read this novel. It's long, and sheer volume will make it last. You won't want to put the book down once Will visits his grandmother for the first time - things just start to snowball at that point, and you won't want to miss anything. Also, the beginning of the book - while very important to understanding what happens later, can be very confusing, and may need a few "re-reads". Do it as many times as you need, the rest of the story will be your reward! In fact, this may be one of the books you want to buy in hardback and then put on your "keeper" shelf! Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews