as by David Thompson
Leisure, March 2010
It takes a lot of guts to carve a home out of the unforgiving wilderness in the Colorado Rockies. It seems something else always staked its claim first. And while some creatures are amenable to finding a new place to live and willing to move, others are not. Others are dangerous. And they’ll fight fang and sinew to keep what’s theirs. As Nate King and his family hold a cabin raising for new neighbors in their remote valley, they’ll have new enemies to face. Enemies that strike quickly and with just one hit can deliver an excruciating death.
A book that starts with an almost gentle pace, an air of happiness shown through the love of the various families that populate the King Valley have for their husbands, wives and children, and through friendship, as a new family is welcomed to the valley and everyone pulls together to build them a cabin. There’s plenty of light-hearted banter, much of which had me laughing out loud. The fears of Zach as he contemplates whether he will make a good father are well written and there are hints that Zach may find himself with woman trouble further down the line. All through this part of the book, though, David Thompson (David Robbins) keeps introducing events that will soon see the Kings, and friends, in a frantic struggle for life.
Once the rains come the book takes on a much darker tone. The threat of the rattlesnakes becomes reality and David Thompson comes up with many edge-of-the-seat situations that had me turning the pages fast. The sequences involving Evelyn and her horse in floodwater teeming with snakes really captures her fear well and provides tense reading at its best. If you’ve a fear of snakes this part will have your heart racing.
There is plenty of superb action as the various families battle the onslaught of snakes, and David Robbins prose makes for some extremely visual reading, Zach on the rampage being the highlight.
Venom is a terrific read for fans of the Wilderness series and should be on the reading list of anyone who enjoys well-written, entertaining, books that are a little different to the more traditional mountain man storyline.