Title: The Serpent's Shadow
Author: Daniel Braum
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Release date: July 1st, 2019
Review by Jennifer Griffin
Ahhh the Christmas of 1986! What were you doing? I was a freshman in high school and it was our first Christmas with my pup Buffy (Mom had surprised me that summer with her). But I digress. Christmas 1986 is a special one for Dave and his family. His Dad was able to arrange for them all to go to Cancun, Mexico for the holidays. Dave and his sister Regina have just started college. They are used to having things and getting what they ask for. In short they have been brought up with money. Something most of the locals do NOT have despite the booming tourist trade.
Bored in the wee hours of Christmas Regina convinces Dave to go clubbing. All their interactions with the locals seems like they (the locals) aren’t really there. They are just going through the motions. Except for their driver Tomasito. He seems to be happy and enjoy life. After several clubs are looked at and found wanting the siblings are about to call it quits Fave meets Anne Marie and her friends. They are all on holiday with their respective families. Dave is smitten. As the relationship between Dave and Anne Marie grows her mystery does too.
As Dave struggles to figure out how he feels about Anne Marie the ways of the past are calling forth the Mayan people. And calling for change. When the two worlds collide it will literally change everything for everyone.
“The Serpent’s Shadow” is a novel about money and oppression, right and wrong, and how the lines dividing them can become blurred. It is also a story about gaining freedom. But at what cost? Dave will be required to think for himself and decide which fate he belongs to; the one he is living in or the new one only he and Anne Marie can bring about.
All of Braum’s characters are believable and he certainly did his research on the Mayans and their history. He weaves a credible tale of mysticism and what some will do to help the downtrodden masses. He asks his readers (as well as his characters) to think about their values and how far they would go to fix the wrongs done to a once proud and strong people.
Jennifer Griffin is a freelance writer who lives in Northern Michigan with her husband and three dogs. She has loved horror since her first old school black and white movie and her Dad reading her to sleep with Edgar Poe. She has been writing since she could pick up a writing utensil.