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Review: The Healer

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The Healer
The Healer by J.L. Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t usually read Young Adult novels, but when the author offered this one in a Goodreads giveaway, I read the synopsis and it perked my interest. Let’s just face it, I have a weakness for fantasy to begin with, and the Urban Fantasy elements in this novel are plain to see. It is slightly darker than I expected, but Armand Costa is such a great hero.
Armand Costa has been the recipient of constant physical and emotional abuse from his supposed aunt and uncle for as long as he can remember. Being able to heal within three days may be a blessing to some, but he sees it as giving the Peter and Janet Martin the ability to use him as a tool for their angst. What he doesn’t suspect is that it means a lot more. So, when his fourteenth birthday arrives everything changes. Thus begins an emotional roller-coaster ride wherein he meets the family he was separated from at birth and comes face to face with his destiny as the healer.
Bowen’s tells the story from the first person POV of Armand Costa, a young man ignorant of his destiny, but a fellow strong enough to go for it when he begins to understand more about what is going it. This is not to say that he is willing to trust all of the people around him. After all, he has been physically and emotionally tortured for most of his life. He grows heavily throughout this first novel, willing to face insane odds to protect the people that need and love him.
Some of the supporting characters were a bit annoying at times, but each had a feature that made them worthy companions for Armand. The author didn’t pretty-up the characters allowing them to swear, smoke and drink. Take Rusty as an example. He is a thief that find it hard to trust anyone after spending years under the roof of an abusive father. In spite of this, he is protective of Armand and the lads from the Ellis family.
The action sequences are wonderfully chaotic, with the main character in the midst of learning what he can do. The different powers of the two Demon factions played out nicely throughout, the Dark Demons having a more destructive and evil bent, a stark contrast to the positive nature to that of the Golden Demons.
One of the more subtle elements of the novel, but one hinted to be a more important element in future installments in the series, was his attractive to Evan Ellis and Cadye the Golden Demon. I was grateful that the author didn’t harp on about his sexuality, as it could have taken away from the rest of the story. It is often a difficult balance trying to add the right amount of each component, but Bowen did it well.
My only complaint is the amount of typos found in the paperback I received. It wasn’t much by some publisher standards, but being the anal person that I am, I noticed them. However, these weren’t enough to take away from a great story by a promising new author.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters, the story and the world-building aspects. It is such that I am looking forward to future installments in the Dare to Heal series. I highly recommend it for folks looking for a darker urban fantasy YA novel.

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Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

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