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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
The Healer by C.J. Anaya (Book One of the Healer series) draws upon ancient forces, gods, and demons from Japanese mythology to craft a thrilling and richly layered modern epic for Young Adult readers. In the first book of what promises to be an enthralling series, Hope, a seemingly normal (albeit slightly introverted) motherless teenager with a strange ability to heal the sick, makes surreptitious visits to the hospital in which her physician father treats patients. Her primary purpose is to offer healing and – dare we say - hope to suffering patients without drawing attention to her abilities and exposing her secret. Along the way, she befriends a terminally ill patient and begins to feel a burgeoning desire to test the boundary between life and death when she realizes that she cannot save those who are meant to die.
With the help of her red-headed, boy crazy siren of a best friend, Angie, Hope sorts out life issues as diverse as mourning her mother’s passing and defending her choice to postpone thoughts of romance. Enter Victor and Tie, two ‘new boy’ cousins too hot to go unnoticed by any of the girls at school, and Hope begins an adventure worthy of the most timeless traditional epic heroines. Layer by layer, a life-or-death scenario unfolds as characters and concepts from Japanese mythology begin to invade Hope’s world and cause her to discover powers, wisdom, and abilities no one could have guessed she possesses. As “The Healer” comes into her own, lives are changed and young female readers everywhere are empowered in extraordinary ways. The Healer by C.J. Anaya is a wonderful, uplifting, and educational Young Adult adventure, full of prescient messages and timely reminders that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.