Book Review: Eye of the Nagual

eye of the nagual

  • Title: Eye of the Nagual
  • Author: P.E. Pence
  • Series: Naguals
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publishing Date: October 5th, 2015
  • Publishing Co.: Independently Published
  • Length: 248 pages
  • Format: Kindle
  • Acquired: Kindle Unlimited
  • Amazon LinkEye of the Nagual by P.E. Pence

Sixteen year old Patch McCorkle is homeschooled at a dig, deep in the Mexican jungle by his anthropologist parents along with his sickly asthmatic twin brother Yacey. Quimichin, an old native shaman, teaches them about nagualism; an ancient belief in spiritual and transformative powers. 

Miraculously born, the hero twins are endowed with unlimited nagual gifts. Aided by a host of nagual elders, they are taught to fish and eat honey by bear paw, and lock racks as a buck deer. Quimichin, who teaches them the art of small as a tiny field mouse, gives Patch the Eye of the Nagual, one of three lost sacred totems, which amplifies the powers of its possessor. 

Wealthy Francisco Munoz, descendant of Hernán Cortéz seeks the power of the stone for his son Nahuel, it’s rightful heir. Destined to cross paths, the twins meet the mysterious Vittorio De la Vega who also lusts after and is drawn to the totem, as does an evil retired drug lord and dark nagual. When armed para-military thugs arrive at their jungle dig, young Patch and Yacey must confront their attackers, and along side their nagual mentors, defend their lives and the totem with their only weapons, the powers of nagualism.

After the conflict, the twin’s must continue their training while protecting the amulet. Their mother, Maya, traveling with the boys, encounters a dark stranger. The boys notice something pass between them and the familiar look of a Nagual’s Eye.

First Chapter Challenge: 8% (including Introduction)

In the introduction section of the novel, we get a feel for what exactly a Nagual is as well as some of the intricacies of Mexican/Mesoamerican culture and religious belief. It helps to set up the beginning of the novel, and allows its readers to become slightly familiar with what is next to come.

As for the first chapter, already we are off to a suspenseful and emotional start! The novel begins on December 21st, 2012… The day that the Mayans believed the world would end. We are introduced to the setting of an archaeological dig, and experience the first of (possibly) the world-ending natural disasters; a devastating earthquake. Already, P.E. Pence has interwoven history with exciting fiction, and I am stoked to continue the story. What will happen with the twins?

Final Judgment: 3.5 Stars out of 5

In general, this novel is unique and entertaining. P.E. Pence bolsters his novel with snippets of Mexican history as well as scraps of the Spanish language thrown in for good measure. Both enrich the story, lending a cultural appeal that allows the fictional side to take off into new heights.

“What if the Mayan calendar was not foretelling the end of the world but the beginning of a new cycle.” (Loc 422)

The novel plays out several different point of views, the main being the journey of Patch and Yacey. However, others linked to this main story line are depicted in chapters 2, 4, 5, and 8. Though I enjoy getting a fuller picture of the story, these chapters serve (to me) only to confuse and disorient. There is not enough information in any of them separately, nor in them when put all together, to warrant having their own plot lines and new characters. The entire rest of the novel deals with Patch and Yacey’s lives, and that is arguably where my emotions lie. I do not care for the other random characters or their lives, as I do not exactly know how they fit into the novel as a whole. Perhaps this will become clearer further into the series.

The Nagual side of the novel itself is intriguing, and I wish that it had delved deeper into this. In fact, the novel did not even begin talking about Naguals until 52% into the book. And then once the natives were involved and began teaching about Naguals, the training seemed rushed and glossed over. I love this idea of gaining powers and transforming into a certain animal, and I wish that the descriptions and events had been more detailed. I want more! I am hoping that the following books will dive more into this Nagualism.

“My Achtontli or my grandfather taught me that cuallotl and tlazohtlaliztli or goodness and pure love gives man their nagual powers. (Loc 2130)

Some technical issues that lowered my rating for this novel were minor grammatical errors as well as awkward dialogue. When the characters were speaking with each other, I did not feel a connection between them… Which invariably affected my own relationship with the characters. The dialogue thus tended to push me out of the story, leaving me feeling detached and slightly apathetic to their plights. I also personally do not care for the back cover/Amazon blurb, because it gives the entire novel away. I would even go so far as to recommend not reading the last paragraph of the blurb, so as to allow some surprises to remain within reading.

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