Book Review of Stillness Dancing by Jae Erwin | Fanboys Anonymous

Book Review of Stillness Dancing by Jae Erwin

Posted by Anonymous Saturday, May 31, 2014
Thriller fans: Recently I had the privilege of reading a book by Jae Erwin, an author with a knack for unique storytelling. Although I must admit I didn't immediately get into it, the book really begins to take hold of you later on. Being generally less appreciative of lifelike storytelling, I usually steer clear and immerse myself in worlds of fantasy and science fiction. True or nearly true to life stories just never clicked with me. Religious fantasy, or at least a light religious fantasy aspect, is where she sucked me in.

Author Jae Erwin Free Chapter Stillness Dancing
It struck me when I was reading this book how little I knew about the Islamic religion, even having read from the Koran myself. What's crazy is that Erwin was able to take aspects of life that are true to religion—or at least I suspect so—and breathe an odd, light, true-life fantasy into them that really begins to take over the deeper you get into this story. Stillness Dancing begins with some women who are not so different from the female family members we love so much. One has a little more experience with the Bedouin culture. All of them are unprepared for the road ahead.

This book introduces you to a culture that finds little issue with drug peddling. For some, it's just a way of making money for the village. Also, all Middle Eastern laws concerning women tend to apply, with exceptions for Western women in some parts. If you are a Western woman, absolutely do not venture off without your male chaperone. Chaperone or not, the female leads In this story find themselves captive to a psychotic narcissist interested in hurting others and furthering his own end.

A plus and minus of this story is the level of deprivation of these captors. The leader is a terrorist for an organization opposed to the Western way of life. Like all Middle Eastern terrorists, he twists his own religion to mold it into one that allows him to do his evil. His evil…is terrible, inhumane, and some of the worst ongoing physical and sexual assault you can imagine in a book. In fact, it carries on and their situation gets worse. It felt so real sometimes that I found myself stopping to allow my brain time to remind my heart that these women weren't actually real and nothing was happening to them. I had to stop and take breaks, because every time one of them experienced the terror of this brute, the book would give clues to the amount of time they were spending in captivity in between. This story will break your heart. I can't tell you how sad it made me to read the words, two weeks later, or several days later. From my experience with Stillness Dancing, I've learned that well-written books can truly suck you in. Erwin knows how to create characters and conversation, and she most definitely knows how to create a villain.

A great thing about Erwin is that she is an author from within a collective of authors that makes up Firedance books, a non-for-profit editing and publishing company for and by the authors. It most definitely seems to have its advantages. An interesting, if not amazing, fact about Jae Erwin is that she seems to love to invent words, which is something I'm also a fan of. In the publishing and editing world, there is a cut and slash attitude toward inventive wording and, considering Shakespeare himself is credited with inventing somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,700 words, it completely boggles my mind. The crush of the corporate publishing industry is less felt in the pages of Stillness Dancing. I would read this 5 out of 5 star work again, and I think you should as well. Listen to Chapter 1 and tell me what you think downstairs!

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