Fiction - Suspense
398 Pages
Reviewed on 04/25/2022
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Author Biography

Author of the novel, Itchiwan. Contributing author to the collections, Pebbles in the Stream and Fur, Feathers, Scales and Tails. Multiple winner of various Indie Author Flash Fiction Challenges. Currently working on two novels, Pukwudgee, the sequel to Itchiwan and the tentatively titled Ying, Yang & Sometimes Y - the forthcoming fifth Holy Gospel according to Joe.

Has lived year round on the Cape since 1984. However, according to local customs, only his daughter can be considered a native Cape Codder. He has engaged in numerous occupations and activities from paperboy, to bag boy, to laborer, to metal fabricator, to bank examiner, to CFO, to COO, to ghost youth sports writer, to entrepreneur, to movie extra, while writing along the way. His roots were in Marlboro, MA and has been replanted in Boston, Washington DC, New York, San Juan, Houston and finally Cape Cod where he expects to remain firmly planted barring any climatic catastrophes … knock on wood.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anelynde Smit for Readers' Favorite

Itchiwan by J.J. Cunis is an extraordinary book. We follow the adventures and misadventures of four young boys, Amos, Vernon, Brett, and Timmy. The four discover a hole in the ground that leads to a translucent orb. Amos is the first to enter and sees the many connecting holes inside that lead to other points in time. This appears to be a time machine and the boys use it to explore. Amos and Timmy go into the hole alone and come back over twenty years later, but to them, it was merely a couple of hours. The Pukwadgees are also loose. They are four miniature braves looking to destroy the two boys and kill everything in sight as they wreak havoc in the town of New Seabury. In planning to go back, can they change the past by changing the future? Will the boys be able to stop the Pukwadgees before they kill any more innocent people?

Reading Itchiwan by J.J. Cunis was one wild ride. I could not put the book down and, in all honesty, could see this as a movie. The chaos caused by the Pukwadgees was immeasurable and so very final, but it is up to our four boys to stop them. Seeing how they change the future by manipulating the past was a twist I didn’t expect but loved. I would have done the same in that regard, so the characters are very relatable. I loved how Timmy changed from a timid little boy into the man he would become and how each member of the team turned their lives around with the knowledge they brought back. This was a non-stop thrill journey with an assault on all your senses. The characters were well-conceived and the story entertaining. Highly recommended for a more mature audience.

Joshua Olokodana

In Itchiwan by J.J. Cunis, a friendship of multiple lifetimes was forged between four boys, Amos, Vernon, Timmy, and Brett, when they went in search of a legend and—to their horror—found it. When Amos suggested they find Sarah Screecham’s legendary hut, the boys set out like a hound dog. As they searched, Brett fell into a hole that contained a rotating orb, which turned out to be a time machine. Out of curiosity, they ventured into it and found themselves in the past. However, they were confronted by four Itchiwan pukwudgees, and they hurried back to their own time. But the midgets tried to follow, so they razed the hole. Unfortunately, by the time Amos and Timmy tracked and caught up to the pukwudgees, they were unleashing mayhem in the future. Now the boys must stop the pukwudgees and prevent knowledge of the orb from getting out. Otherwise, these Itchiwans would become a problem that could never be resolved.

Itchiwan by J.J. Cunis is a blend of deliberately drawn-out fantasies and unapologetically raw scenes of gore that keep you engaged with an experience of two extremes. It takes you on a mystical adventure through time while maintaining both the childlike smarts of the protagonists and the villains’ cluelessness about technology. Itchiwan is a legend brought to life in a showpiece in which the characters fulfill your deepest fantasies! I expected to be taken on a wild ride when I saw the cover of this book. It promised exotic personalities, and boy, did it deliver! The characters were fun and well developed, but the plot twists were even more exciting because of the sense of danger that accompanied them. I also liked how Mr. Cunis brought the pukwudgees’ raw skill to life within the Wampanoag cultural themes without making their feats seem unbelievable. Itchiwan’s rare mix of legend and fantasy is a delight to the senses.