My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dark, gritty, immoral but all done in the name of Ohana “family”. With Hawaii and Hawaiian mythology as the backdrop along with a cast of criminals, killers and lovers this book does not adhere to conventional story telling.
This is a story of a native Hawaiian family whose foundation crumbled when their mother died. Keahilani Alana and her three brothers before their mother died were a loving but poor family raised by a woman they all loved and respected but once she is gone and they wonder how they will survive a secret hidden on an extinct volcano seems to be the answer they were looking for but it comes at the cost of staying on the right side of the law. Keahilani and her brothers have no problem doing what it takes to keep their family together and allow no one to mess with their ohana.
Along with the Alana family there is also a mobster and his assassin along with a few other quirky criminals. These characters are on a collision course through the book to both shocking and dire circumstances. Even though the mother dies at the beginning of the book we the reader through flashbacks of her whole life through the journals that Keahilani finds that tie in the Hawaiian mythology to the family along with showing that her life wasn’t what she presented to her children which showed where the violence started but also showed how far family would go to protect the ones they loved.
For those that need endings that come wrapped in pretty bows this is not that book. The saga of the Alana family will be continued in future books. Keahilani Alana and her alter ego Pele are reminiscent of Michael Corleone and pull you in just as powerfully. I’d like to crawl into the author’s mind to see where she is going with this story. I need answers now!