Do you like stories about folklore and the supernatural? Then you might like this.
While camping in a remote canyon in Utah, Jim accidentally sees an ancient rite taking place with a coyote like creature presiding over it. Now this creature wants Jim dead.
Audrey and her family go hiking in Utah. Her family is attacked by this creature, and she is the only survivor. She ends up in a strange world of darkness and glass.
Does Jim even want to rescue her?
Do you like Neil Gaimam, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Tanith Lee or Alice Hoffman? You might like Charles Combee.
Artwork and map by Irina Combee
Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
Coyote by Charles Combee sees the protagonist, Jim, hike into a ravine to camp overnight. His peaceful rest is broken by insistent music and he witnesses the wild coyote dance. Terrified, he scrambles up the side of the ravine into his waiting vehicle. In the next chapter, a young girl called Audrey narrowly escapes being massacred by the coyotes with the rest of her family. Somehow Coyote begins visiting Jim, taunting the human with his presence. Jim returns to the valley and performs a ritual that recovers Audrey from another dimension. Will his mysterious dreams help Jim banish the Coyote?
Coyote by Charles Combee is an intense psychological adventure fused with new adult concerns. The first-person narrative suited Jim’s introverted personality, and I happily identified with Jim’s point of view when the girl he fancied appeared to snub his interest. It was a revelation when Anne revealed the problem had been generated by his lack of social skills. The references to his workmates and peers also requiring social intelligence were thought-provoking. I really enjoyed the life lesson as Jim’s ability to care for others, and especially let go of his grudge towards women, proved key elements in his struggle with the demigod. I liked the allusions to “Ludwig Van Coyotehoven” and “Figaro” that underlined the role sound played in the ritual. I found the journey into the other dimension convincing even though it must have involved a form of shamanic projection. Altogether, Coyote by Charles Combee is an intelligent, quirky fantasy I can recommend to readers.
Coyote stepped softly towards me, stopped, just out of reach. He was clad in the same outfit as before. A red blazer and bowler hat, strangely incongruous, were both worn as if they were part of a designer outfit. He didn’t have the ivory pipe though. His eyes caught mine, and they gleamed with a feral ferocity only matched by his intelligence.
When hiking in Utah, Jim witnesses a strange ritual in the canyon in which celebratory coyotes are presided over by a leader who seems to have more supernatural abilities than the others. As the leader tangles with Jim while he’s trying to escape into his car, the entity’s immunity to mortal wounds becomes terrifyingly clear.
When Jim comes home from work a couple weeks later, he is accosted by the coyote-like creature in the parking garage. Soon after, he notices that someone secretly has been visiting his apartment, he starts seeing an Anasazi shaman in dreams, and over time, the shaman teaches Jim how to battle Coyote with a protective spell.
Coyote visits Jim at home, threatening to blackmail him by making him appear to be an accomplice in the supernatural being’s crimes. Jim travels to Utah to put an end to these repeated encounters once and for all, and he stumbles across a location from which he realized a twelve-year-old girl has disappeared. With a spell, he brings her back into this world. The girl, Audrey, is somehow altered by her experience. She is aloof and driven by her desire for vengeance against Coyote for killing her family.
Jim and Audrey find a cliff dwelling with a coyote figurine. Jim learns how to bind the coyote’s spirit to a physical presence. Jim and Audrey battle coyote creature after it’s physically bound. She uses her new powers to send the coyote creature to the outer world. Coyote is banished but manages to create a link with the girl, weakening her by draining her life force through the link.
Rationalizing that she will die anyway, Jim takes the girl out to Utah hoping thus to be finally rid of Coyote once and for all.