Walks with the Wind
Steve Physioc’s Walks with the Wind begins in the Southern Ute reservation in Colorado. Sam Cloud-Carson, a member of the Southern Ute tribe, is a teenager when the story begins, a top-tier wildlife tracker, and a baseball player. His younger sister, Jenny, has end-stage renal disease. Her mounting hospital bills lead their father, Dan, to take a job with DiamondBar Security, a private company led by the unscrupulous Drake Dixon. Dixon has set his sights on a vein of mineral wealth in Afghanistan and hopes Dan has the instincts needed to avoid the nearly un-trackable terrorists in the region.
Physioc's novel is exciting and very tightly plotted. The parts of the book dealing with Ute culture are respectfully and carefully done; it is clear both from the writing and the author's acknowledgments that he did his research and was careful to engage members of the Ute community at every stage of the writing process. It is at once a page-turning thriller, an exploration of Native traditions, and a testament to the enduring connection of family, both in life and death. At times, some of the characters lack subtlety and tend to fall into the broad categories of good and bad. However, the story is interesting enough that this doesn't detract much from the reading experience.
Ultimately, the reader is presented with both a fast-paced, suspenseful story and a deeper meditation on Native spirituality that is meaningful.
Author: Steve Physioc