In the snowy Canadian wilderness, a terrifying legend springs to life, sparking a series of gruesome crimes. Government agent Sean Laporte is sent to investigate and must contend with an obsessive, resourceful foe, a hostile environment, and an elusive search for the truth.
He is soon pulled between worlds of myth and madness, a present haunted by the past, and a primitive world of mystery and power.
©2013 Dale T. Phillips (P)2014 Dale T. Phillips
I listened to ~100 audiobooks in 2014. I rank it in the top 30.
When the main characters come face to face with the Wendigo.
No. He did a good job (see extended comments at the bottom).
Feed it regularly, and you'll be OK.
In the vast wilderness of a Canadian winter, something malevolent stirs. The Wendigo, a being of myth and legend, rides the winds and sates its hunger on humans. White Feather is taken by the Wendigo, his body used to hunt and to feed. The Cree tribal elders have stories of this monster and know of only one way to save White Feather’s soul: by fire. Of course word gets out and the Canadian authorities feel the need to send up a government investigator, Sean Laporte. He’s not equipped for the truth and the Wendigo hunts again.
We experience much of this story through Sean’s eyes. He’s a practical man, married, 8-5 job, expecting his first child. He doesn’t even buy into much of the Christian dogma that so enchants his wife (Ri). So when the tribal elders try to explain the Wendigo, he listens politely but quietly thinking there must be another, non-supernatural, reason for the recent deaths. He isn’t the only one, being joined by his partner on the force (Billy) and by a third party, a cryptobiologist wildlife hunter millionaire.
The action keeps moving the entire book, with a few moments of contemplation. There’s a decent body count for this short book: big enough to show that Wendigo is a real threat but not gratuitous. I enjoyed the mix of practical real world solutions (trap it – it’s just another wild animal science hasn’t classified!) and the supernatural solutions (it’s a beast of the spirit, feeding on souls – use fire to force it away!). Of course, the biologist in me wanted them to trap it and classify it. The adventure reader in me hoped that it would only be vanquished by fire. Both sides were satisfied by the ending.
There’s only 3 ladies in this short book, and they are out numbered by the guys. Ri is a pregnant wife and has a small role. There is another wife we meet at the very beginning but, alas, she is Victim #2 (if you count White Feather as Victim #1). The 3rd lady (and the most interesting) is the millionaire beast hunter. However, her sexual freedom is played heavily during her role. I felt that if this sexuality had been balanced with her knowledge of wildlife biology, then she would have been a fantastic character. In fact, I secretly hope there will be a spin off series following her on her adventures (both in the wild and in the bedroom). Alas, her character was not the central one for this book.
The ending is one of those that seems something for the reader to interpret. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked this. I wanted more (I know, I can be greedy when it comes to good stories). But I took a few days to let the story settle into my dreams and now, I am glad that there is a small amount of reader interpretation at the end. If I am feeling generous towards our main character Sean, then he goes off and has a meaningful life. If I am not feeling generous, well then, Sean has a much more interesting, if painful, existence. A worthy book – go check it out!
Narration: Hoffman did a good job – plenty of distinct voices and accents. He had to come up with a spooky sound for the Wendigo, and it was indeed spooky! My smallish dog even started barking at the sound. He did a good job with the feminine voices as well.
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Dale T. Phillips audiobook “Shadow of the Wendigo” is a powerful and interesting story.
Lessons to be learned:
Never go hunting alone; never go from being a desk jockey to a field agent over the holidays; never take a sidekick who is easily frightened; and, never ever take an assignment six months from your wedding date!
Located on the farthest outer edge of an Indian Reservation, Whitefeather goes out hunting and checking his traps, alone. It is easily seen that everything is starving, both big and small! Also the Wendigo is hungry – very hungry! Whitefeather is claimed by the Wendigo and sets about wreaking havoc and death until his tribe members perform the ritual to free Whitefeather’s soul and ensure the safety of their tribe.
Unfortunately, their methods do not meet the standards for the Canadian Government. Sent into the wilderness of Canada to determine whether a crime had been committed, Sean and his partner Billy are given field assignments as the office is short staffed due to the holidays. No one believes the Indian tribesmen, until it’s too late.
Bent on capturing the Wendigo, Sean finds himself in a dark place that he has no way of escaping without help. Sean has to rely on the female cryptozoologist expert, his partner and the others on the reservation to save him and his soul from the Wendigo. At the end, it is unclear whether or not Sean was successful … leaving the reader the benefit of ending the book the way they prefer.
The characters were well developed although I felt Sean’s wife, Ri was a bit of a whiney selfish woman. The other woman in the book, the cryptozoologist was stronger and one I felt could have had more of an impact on the storyline in other ways than her money. I could definitely see a storyline building around her.
I recommend this audio book. It was a very short audio book but one worth listening to as it provides a unique view of the Wendigo myth.
Phillip Hoffman did an excellent job of narration. His voices were good, he spoke clearly and concisely. He used his voices to inflect danger, fear and excitement.
The audio production was well done with no issues.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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Great Book. I will read this author's other work for sure. Excellent writer of fiction.
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