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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Requiem in the Desert by Shariyah Levvi, Amaliyah 'Mali' Jordan had always felt like an outsider. Her bloodline was different from her half-siblings which caused inner conflict within her. The only person she ever trusted was her mother, so when she passed away, Mali felt truly alone in the world. Mali is invited by her brother to relocate to Albuquerque but immediately on entering her new home, she senses a chilling unexplained spirit. The macabre occurrences become more frequent, sending Mali on a quest for answers. Mali uncovers a disturbing event dating back centuries, where a young boy was brutally executed along with his parents, which could be the cause of her torment. An elderly Navajo named Shema helps Mali come to terms with her true calling and why she has become a target of an evil entity. Now Mali must face the powerful demon that wants to kill her and harm anyone she cares for. Mali realizes she has always been powerful but just never knew it.
The plot of this novel was really compelling. I loved how Shariyah Levvi built the suspense slowly, the descriptive narrative was exceptional and really sent shivers down my spine. I adored Mali's character, she was warm, caring, and considerate but she couldn't see her amazing qualities herself. I found the scenes between Jew and his father quite hard to read because of the disturbing and realistic content. This was again a testament to the incredible writing of the author. The scenes between Jew and Mali were beautiful and the relationship that developed between these two confused and tortured souls was heart-warming. My favorite scene was between Shema and Mali when all of Mali's abusive experiences were faced; this was definitely a turning point for Mali's character. The explosive ending was spectacular and a real punch-in-the-air moment for so many reasons. Requiem in the Desert is a perfect story of good versus evil and the celebration of your uniqueness as you become your authentic self.