Friday, May 21, 2010

Virtual Book Tour & Review - "Ni'il: The Awakening" by James Boyle

Today, I'm very excited to be able to host James Boyle's Virtual Book Tour. James is the author of a fantastic book, "Ni'il: The Awakening", the first book of the Ni'il Trilogy.

Ni'il: The Awakening
Author: James Boyle
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9781440108679
Genre: Fiction, mystery, horror

Synopsis (from the back of the book):

"When several people are brutally killed in the town of Placerton, on the isolated Oregon coast, most locals think a rogue bear or cougar is roaming the forested hills near town. Police Chief Dan Connor is not so sure. He has witnessed some very strange things lately, such as disembodied voices, muttering a strange foreign language and an old Indian man who seems to be near every crime scene, but disappears before he can be questioned.

Dan’s investigation takes him to the local Sihketunnai Indians and their legend of the Ni’il, magical shamans charged with maintaining the balance between humans and the natural world. According to the elders, one of the Ni’il is responsible for the murders and intends to kill everyone in the community. It is Dan’s job to stop it.

It sounds unbelievable, but is the only explanation that fit the facts.

As a violent Pacific storm crashes ashore, cutting the town off from the outside world, Dan finds himself entering a strange world of myth and magic that was not covered in his police training. He must use all his wits and new-found powers to save himself and his community from the Ni’il."

My Thoughts:

I had no idea what was in store for me when I picked up "Ni'il: The Awakening". The book's cover is peacefully deceptive, making this one book you certainly can't judge by its cover. I was carried through the pages like the storm that hits the community of Placerton. The book is fast paced and scary!

James Boyle is a masterful storyteller that can really weave one monster of a tale! I started this book at bedtime and found that I couldn't put it down until my eyes no longer could stay open, and continued with it as soon as I woke up the next morning.

This tale of Native American folklore and the white man's world is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. I was thrilled to find that this book is the first in the series, so the story will continue on, but disappointed that I didn't have the next book in hand so that I could continue on. I'm definitely putting Mr. Boyle on my watch list!

About the Author:

Like all of us, James is a product of his environment.

He was raised in a religious/spiritual family and that spirituality pervades most of his work. He even attended a Catholic Seminary for a year before deciding the priesthood was not for him.

James’ father worked for the phone company as he was growing up, which was much like growing up in a military family. The company transferred his family from town to town every couple of years. By the time he’d graduated high school, they’d moved twenty times. He attended nine different schools in five cities and three states.

He lived mainly in North Dakota until he was eight, since then he lived in Washington and Oregon, moving to Gold Beach when he was sixteen. He finds that the landscape of the Pacific Northwest has done more to influence him than nearly everything else. Its vast forests, rugged mountains, seascapes and sparse population inspire recollections of what the pioneers first fell in love with a century and a half ago. From his house, he can still hike fifteen minutes and spend the entire day without seeing another human being. And the possibility exists that he could see sasquatch.

One of his goals is to build a dark fiction landscape of the Pacific Northwest, much like Stephen King has done with Maine. A landscape of dark possibilities.

When he was a child living in Bismark, North Dakota, his parents took James to Fort Abraham Lincoln, the fort Gen. Custer left on his last, fateful campaign and the Knife River Village, the restored ruins of a Mandan village. Now forty years later, the memories have faded, but not the memory of the impression the visits made on a small boy. Years later, he read Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. After that he devoured everything he could find about Native American history and culture. He came to have a deep sympathy for the Native peoples’ doomed resistance to the white culture and admiration for their cultural connection to the natural world around them. The dominant culture seeks to change and subjugate a nature it sees as an enemy; the Natives sought to live within the natural world as one part of a dynamic whole.

When he was eighteen, James was diagnosed with a severe case of scoliosis. After graduating early from Gold Beach High Schoolin 1978, he underwent surgery that fused most of his lumber spine. Six months in a body cast later, he continued on to college at the University of Oregon, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Now, forty years after the surgery, his body is beginning to break down a bit. So if you see him and notice he seems to be bent and twisted, you know why.

When he’s not writing, James has worked in the restaurant industry as a cook and as a manager, mostly in the Eugene/Springfield area, but most lately at Gold Beach’s Port Hole Cafe. Looking back, he seems to have a lot of scenes set in restaurants. He enjoy reading, playing an occasional video game, taking his dog for exploratory hikes along the beach or river. He is happily single. (it’s so much less complicated.)

You can visit James’ website at

Author's Bio was provided by Pump Up Your Book.. Book was provided by Pump Up Your Book. for me to honestly review.

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