Aloha Kahuna Soul
By Rick Pruett
The time is mid1980s. After surviving a shark attack while surfing, Alika Kealoha feels he needs to seek out his destiny. Guided by a Kahuna, he begins his quest for knowledge about his father, who was a Rainbow Warrior, a respected and revered status of the Hawaiian culture. He also starts investigating his father’s suspicious disappearance and assumed death. The deeper he gets, the more the danger grows.
This is a mystery in Hawaii with a bit of a different kick to it. A little spiritual journey, a little murder mystery. Good one to get into.
Alika Kealoha: 28, 6’2”, 200 pounds, surfer, mother-dead-was Cuban and a night club dancer, father-disappeared and assumed dead-from Hawaiian stock and former Merchant Marine, took dance and martial arts, plays bongos, smokes marijuana at times, attended the University of Hawaii, was in track and field in high school
Spicy Mike: musician, smokes marijuana, of mixed race heritage
Robert ‘Baby Rambo’ Lopez: built like Stallone but only 5’6”, mom is Filipino, dad Hawaiian, surfer
Kilani: nurse, attractive, took ballet and jazz dancing, of mixed race heritage
Pilipo: childhood friend of Alika’s father
Johnny Kaleiakini: teacher at U. of H., drummer, specializes in ethnomusicology
A lot of detail about Alika and his family. Just enough about the friends and minor characters to get a decent mental image. I wondered, though, what Alika did for employment. Songwriter and playing gigs are mentioned but while he plays at a nightclub, his employment isn’t featured.
Except for the mystic Kahuna, everybody sounds the same when they talk the local slang. I’m not putting down the culture because if you ever hear it, the speech is wonderful to listen to. But with all of the locals, all of Alika’s friends speaking it, the dialogue runs together and the characters all sound alike. The bad guy who attacked Alika in the bathroom, his dialogue was not tight enough. Too explanatory and not fitting the character.
First person from Alika’s POV. Some capitalization errors at the beginning of dialogue. Some punctuation problems. (I was later told that these and the typos had been corrected for the published version.) Very little profanity. A lot of passive voice that could been rewritten to bring the reader in closer to the character.
This is not a big thing and I don’t necessarily count off but this book has short chapters and I was a bit thrown when many of the chapters ended so abruptly. There wasn’t any end of scene or even a scene change. I didn’t understand the reason why some chapters ended at the point they did. One chapter ended and another picked up where the last left off. As I said, I’m not lowering my rank because of this, it just was a little jolting to be sailing (or surfing, lol) along and bam! the chapter ends.
A lot of very nice details about Hawaiian culture. Street scenes, nightclubs, tourism, etc.
Alika is not your typical detective. He’s a free spirit kind of guy, likes the music and the girls but finding the truth about his father helps him find himself.