Saturday, January 23, 2010
So, "Flying Buddy" loaned me a little novel y'all wanting a taste of Alaska might like. Seems there's a lady up here who likes writing stuff with a local flair... from reading most of the series, he says she seems mighty fond of the troopers. :)
The book is Breakup, by Dana Stabenow. Basically "the adventures of amateur detective and plucky heroine Kate Shugak in the middle of Denali Park." (Note to those Outside, "Park" in this context means something entirely different here than a strip of combed grass down the block from the elementary school. More like "9500 square miles of mostly wilderness that will make you dead if you're stupid... and sometimes just when you're unlucky.")
So, that said, on to the book.
The bad... there's a definite "Mary Sue" feel to the lead, the "mystery" isn't so much a mystery as a nasty situation essentially spelled out halfway through the book, and there's a lifetime's worth of improbable risky events in the first chapter or two.
In other words, this isn't a book you'll be reading for the plot.
However, unlike say Northern Exposure or some people's movies, the quirky Alaskan culture is communicated pretty well in this one. From ground looped cubs to homestead caches to the politics of corporation dividend time... the zeitgeist of bush Alaska comes across pretty well here. So if you've always kinda wondered, it's worth the few dollars for the ride.
Oh, and one more thing - unrelated to the story, but to clear up one misconception the book leaves. Bears will be bears, and that's understood. It doesn't mean they aren't hunted down and killed once they get a taste of human meat... even if the human was asking for it.