Sunday, November 13, 2011

Devin O'Branagan's Threshold - A Review

Cole Dillon drowns in Deer Lake shortly before his thirteenth birthday. Elijah Thunderbird, a Native American shaman, travels between the worlds to bring Cole back from death. Unfortunately, Cole isn’t supposed to survive, and with the natural order disrupted, dark spirits follow them home.

During Cole’s near-death experience, he is assigned an important mission that involves saving the lives of many other children. However, when he is revived, he can’t remember the details and undertakes a challenging quest of discovery.

Meanwhile, the dark spirits begin to manifest in the lives of the local town residents, bringing hatred and death. When shamanic visions reveal that many young lives are indeed in imminent danger, Elijah has to help Cole find the courage to do what is required of him before it is too late.

As Elijah tries to help Cole, he struggles with his own personal demons, and both men—one young, one old—must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to save others.

A moving paranormal thriller about courage, faith, and the transformative power of love.

Whatever you're doing right now, stop it. Making dinner? Let it burn. Sleeping? WAKE UP, sleep can wait. Instead, you must all hurry and buy this book. You will not regret it.

I fell in love with the main character of Threshold within the first two pages of this novel. A budding attorney, Cole is clever, funny, and a (at first) typical thirteen year old boy. The novel begins as Cole, his older sister Leah, and his younger sister, Rachel, hold a trial condemning the new member of their household: their stepmother. In this brief scene, I already learn so much about the characters I will grow to love.

The setting is divided between a cattle ranch, the Indian reservation, and the small town of Deer Lake in Montana, and the imagery of each is unique and beautiful, the characters rich and interesting, and the themes moving, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking.

An intense look at near-death experiences and the lessons we can learn from them, Threshold deals with  personal demons, actual demons, and everything in between. It's a commentary of prejudice, on acceptance, on coming-of-age, on the destructive nature of hate and the healing power of love.

These may be themes that have been touched on ad nauseum over the years, but O'Branagan's light touch, with her mix of humour and believable and, more importantly, relateable experiences, manages to steer Threshold away from being trite to a beautiful and touching narrative.

If I had to pick one flaw, it's only that it ended too soon. I would have been happy with a lot more.

I highly recommend this book, and after you've read it, come and meet Devin for yourself at her forum! It's a great place for writers, readers, or people just looking for a good chat.


  1. I am so pleased you enjoyed Threshold! Thank you for the lovely review.

  2. Can't wait to read it! Great Review!


  3. I've been an O'Branagan fan and have loved her books from the moment those clever characters were introduced. I am looking forward to seeing the routes and life changing events that are sure to be in this novel. I can't wait to delve deeper into the Devin O'Branagan world. Hurry up and get here book!

  4. I've been savoring every moment of THRESHOLD. Devin has such a superb mastery of storytelling, that I'm completely emotionally invested in her characters and the story she's woven around them. It's well worth reading!

  5. Excellent review of an excellent, excellent book. I got hooked within the first two pages too.

  6. Great review I am loving the book also.