Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Mountain Majesty #3

Wilderness Rendezvous
as by John Killdeer
Bantam Domain, December 1992

It was a land of harsh beauty and fierce dangers – and the men and women who made their livelihood in the Rocky Mountains had to use every resource of strength and shrewdness to survive there. For trapper Cleve Bennett and his Cheyenne wife, Second Son, their most perilous journey lies ahead – to the great rendezvous where they will trade their winter’s bounty of furs. But between the camp and their destination lie wild rivers and rough mountains. Wilder people, both red and white, inhabit those reaches, and Cleve is hardened to the knowledge that they would as soon kill him and his family as any game.

As Cleve Bennett and his wife, Second Son, head for a rendezvous, they find themselves in a deadly battle with a band of Pawnee from which they barely escape with their lives. The Pawnee leader vows revenge.

And then came the middle section of the story, which just moved from one unrelated incident to another. Although these scenes were as well written as the rest of the book they had nothing to do with the main thread of the Pawnee’s quest for vengeance, coming across as though John Killdeer (author Ardath Mayhar) included them just to fill up the pages.

Even the attempted rape of Second Son, for which both Bennett and Second Son swore to see the perpetrators die, went nowhere, the rapists getting away. Maybe this storyline will continue in a latter book as characters do reappear in subsequent books.

After the first two books left me wanting more I found this one a little disappointing. Shame. I only hope the series picks up again with the next book.



Steve - when a book dissapoints do you ever fail to finish it or do you plough on regardless.

Steve M said...

I try to finish it, usually by speed-reading, although these days, with so many books to read, I will put it aside with the idea of coming back to it another day as I sometimes wonder if I just wasn't in the mood for that type of book/style of writing.


I only ask because I've done that with a few books and then come back to them and enjoyed them. For instance after I've done say six westerns on the run I have to change genre for a couple of books and then I come back to the western again refreshed.

Chap O'Keefe said...

Steve, Gary makes a good point, which I think can be paraphrased as "having too much of a good thing". I think it also happens with writing. Think of the number of BHW writers who contribute a handful of good books to the series, then suddenly vanish. Often they never come back, but reasons other than boredom and a feeling of staleness -- financial reasons, death even -- may be at play here.

Steve M said...

Yeap, I often turn to a totally different genre when I look at all my westerns and can't make up my mind what to read next. One or two books later and I'm straight back to the westerns.

Definately agree Keith, about "having too much of a good thing."


Guess we all share westerns as our first love - at the moment I'm doing another Richard Stark Parker but after this I'm going back to a good old oater.