Review: The Healer by Sabrina Furminger

Title: The Healer

Author: Sabrina Furminger

Published: iUniverse. August 2011

Synopsis: More than anything in the world, Ivy Merchuk longs to be just another face in the crowd-easier said than done for a woman born with the ability to heal grievous injuries with the touch of her hands. To a young girl just struggling to fit in, this gift is an unbearable burden, one that fills her with shame and anxiety. Her mother understands and cautions the young girl to keep this strange and wonderful ability a secret, for fear that her daughter will attract the wrong sort of attention. So Ivy struggles to conceal her extraordinary skills from the world as she grows into adulthood.  Desperate for answers, she pours herself into a life of research and lands a job as a librarian. One fateful night after work, she stumbles onto a brutal crime scene. Horrified and conflicted, she makes the difficult decision to help the victim, who has been beaten almost to death. And this chance encounter with a brooding urban samurai named Victor Morgan sends her already precarious world skidding off its axis. What these two discover together will change both of their destinies

Status: Read from April 03 to 04, 2012 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

I was intrigued by the premise of The Healer when it was pitched to me, having the ability to heal injuries no matter how severe seems like an wonderful power but author Sabrina Furminger explores how such a gift can also be a curse.

We are introduced to the novels protagonist at the moment when the stillborn Ivy Merchuk, spontaneously takes first one breath and then another. At five, as Ivy cradles her beloved puppy who has been badly injured by a car, a light pours forth from her small body and when Ivy collapses, Suzy has been healed. As she grows, there are other incidences that Ivy is urged to keep secret by her loving mother, and afraid of revealing her ability Ivy isolates herself from her peers. When her mother dies, Ivy is cast adrift ending up working in a library, going home to a tiny apartment each evening. Until the night she stumbles across a man who has been brutally beaten and reaches out to heal his wounds, drawing her into a shadowy world of crime and corruption.
The author firmly establishes Ivy’s character by sharing her childhood experiences ensuring the reader will be sympathetic to the woman she becomes. Frightened of herself, and everyone else, Ivy has to learn to accept her power in order to wield it. It’s a challenge though, especially when she discovers that her ability can also cause great harm. Falling in love with Victor finally provides Ivy with a safe place to explore her talent and it is rewarding to witness Ivy’s growth. Ivy is faced with a complicated moral challenge when she is kidnapped by ruthless Yakuza gangsters and it’s interesting to see how she deals with the dilemma. Despite the grim situation, Ivy discovers unexpected strength, refusing to be a victim any longer.
Victor Morgan is not a hero exactly though neither is he a villain. He has been trapped under the thumb of the crime gang led by siblings Joji and Mariko for years, producing samurai swords for the organisation in order to pay his debts. I was never sure if I liked him or not though ultimately he proves his love for Ivy and chooses the right path.
The plot is fairly vague until Ivy is abducted, though it firmly establishes character and background. The novel tends to be more character than story driven but it has its moments of explosive action and there was more violence than I was expecting, but Furminger does build tension through to the conclusion. I’m not sure I would agree The Healer is a paranormal romance despite its strong romantic element and HEA, it’s a hybrid that straddles several genre labels.

While I think there are some minor structural flaws this is a good first effort from a debut author. The Healer is an entertaining read with interesting characters and original ideas.

Stop by later to learn more about Sabrina Furminger and The Healer at Book’d Out

The Healer

is available to purchase

@Sabrina Furminger I @Chapters Indigo I @Amazon Ca I @Amazon US I @B&N

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Guest Post: Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On by Sabrina Furminger « book'd out
  2. Sunday Smith
    Apr 07, 2012 @ 02:27:01

    This one sounds interesting and I can deal with minor flaws as long as the characters are good and it is an interesting take.

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    • Sabrina Furminger
      Apr 08, 2012 @ 02:22:18

      Shelleyrae: Thank you for your fair and thorough review. I appreciate you taking the time to read and reflect on The Healer. I love experiencing my novel through other people’s learned eyes.

      Sunday Smith: Thank you for your interest in my novel. I’d love to send you a paperback version of The Healer (for free!). If that sounds good to you, send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll pop one into the mail ASAP (contact details on my website; http://www.sabrinafurminger.com).

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