Saturday, 19 July 2008

Wilderness #56

as by David Thompson
Leisure, June 2008

Legendary mountain man Shakespeare McNair has seen enough winters in the wilderness to know when something isn’t right. Beneath the waters of the lake near his new home, something is definitely off. Waves appear without any wind to create them, fishing poles are snatched from hands, something malevolent out there…watching them. Shakespeare knows it’s only a matter of time before the creature hurts someone, so he’s going after it himself, even knowing he might not come back…

A book filled with mystery, strength of character, scenes of excitement and life and death situations, humorous banter, wonder, and beautifully written descriptions of the wilderness…and its weather. Not to mention the emotionally charged moments of coming eye to eye with the creature.

Shakespeare’s determination comes across extremely well, as did Blue Water Woman’s worry for his safety. Strongest of all was their love for each other.

This book doesn’t contain any man against man conflict, as might be expected from a Wilderness tale, but had it done so then this, in my opinion, would have detracted from the story of man against the elements and nature – just read the gripping scenes of Shakespeare in a canoe during the storm to see what I mean.

Like all Wilderness books In Darkest Depths is a superbly paced book, and David Thompson keeps you guessing as to the identity of just what lurks in the lake and its fate comes as a welcome surprise.


Mister Roy said...

The Wilderness series has its share of strange beasts, lost tribes and the like - not out-and-out fantasy, perhaps, but going beyond the boundaries of strict historical realism. A bit like Edgar Rice Burroughs. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this Steve - would you prefer it if these occasional fantastic elements were avoided?

Steve M said...

Let's say they're not my favourite books in the series, so I take them as the author has stated; that they are tale tales told around the campfire, something Mountain Men were prone to doing.

I know some people have been turned off the series because of these books, but I say just pass them by and try another because, overall, this is a terrific series.

Mister Roy said...

Know what you mean, I think they're deftly written to allow the reader to take them or leave them. There's a sense that the real wilderness stuff is where it's at.


An unusually weak cover by the series standards.