Paradigm Lost: Jamari Shaman
by R. Roderick Rowe

"'I trust all of you,' he said carefully. 'Even if I don’t feel like I have whatever it takes right now.'"

This stand-alone sequel to Paradigm Lost: Jamari and the Manhood Rites sees the young Jamari grow into adulthood both by our standards and by the standards of the Elk Creek Tribe. With the manhood rites before him, Jamari is anxious but excited, ready to fulfill his role in his community. After a seemingly harmless observation while on an outing to a neighboring village, and then another when mentoring other young men, it becomes apparent to the tribal leadership that Jamari may have a gift in the shamanic capacity. Unsure of how this change will affect his plans for the future, Jamari has a big decision to make whether or not to continue his studies in a more spiritual capacity. The decision he makes could have long-term repercussions for not only him but all of his people.

In true coming-of-age fashion, Jamari’s choice to pursue the shamanistic path or carry on in a more “normal” way coincides with his own physical and emotional blossoming. The author correctly states in the introduction to the book that while this book is better supplemented by the preceding story, it is not required reading. The world of this story is entirely self-contained and makes perfect sense without any background, allowing the audience to decide if they want to go deeper into the lore surrounding these characters and their environs. By mixing tribal mysticism and post-apocalyptic backdrops, the end result is a world that will captivate readers with its deciding of what stays the same and what changes. Though written in a young adult style, there is definitely a strong element of sexuality in this story. Regardless, the characters are honest and well-natured. The journey is also compelling and mysterious, resulting in a story that will surprise even the most experienced of readers.

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