Double Review – Berserker and Abominable
By William Meikle
Generation Next Publications
I always enjoy Viking stories and always mean to read more than I actually manage to. When I came across this book I was happy to see it met the very important conditions I was looking for — it featured a monster in the context of a Viking story. It seemed like a good candidate for my October reading.
Tor Tyrsson is on his first Viking voyage and the adventure he expected is less than stunning. His friend Orjan Skald, who has been subject to strange trances since an injury he suffered as a child, has accompanied him and he is also having less than the time of his life. While Tor actually wants to encounter a fight, Sklad can only predict them when the strange trance he calls the wyrd takes him. After being at sea in heavy storms with no land or other ships in sight for months, when land is spotted, everyone on this doomed voyage is ready for an adventure off the ships. Unfortunately, what they find on land is something completely and utterly unexpected.
I wanted a book with monsters and got one. There was no disappointment on that end. The Alma, large, white-haired beasts that can rip a man into several pieces, are not only the stuff of legend but fodder for bad dreams for the men on this journey. Hoping to find treasure, these Vikings instead find a single female Alma and slaughter her bringing down the wrath of the Alma colony that exists on the small bit of land they were doomed to land on. Much violence ensues, as you can imagine. This is a Viking story so that shouldn’t be a surprise. I don’t say that to turn anyone off of the story — everything that happens, makes sense within the context of the story. And, it’s a story about monsters so it’s easy to step back from it all.
This was my first official October read, which I actually read at the end of September. (Yes, I’m that far behind on reviews.) It was enjoyable despite not actually being read in the month in which it was being saved for. I hoard my scary books when Halloween approaches and this was one of them. If you’re like me, this would be one for the pile. It’s a quick read and I found it entertaining.
By William Meikle
No one knows what happened on George Mallory’s last ascent up Mount Everest. Until an iron chest that had been forgotten for many years is opened and the secrets of that last journey are revealed. The journey is much more dramatic than any imagined and while some would believe Mallory succumbed to the elements, there are other devious monsters at work.
Yetis! Yep, more monsters. This short story was a nice diversion when I found myself in between books and not sure what I wanted to read next. I liked that this was told by someone who was hawking the diary of a dead man and providing select entries to convince the buyer it was worthwhile. It added a nice creepy touch. Also, I love anything told epistolary style. I’m such a sucker there.
This being a short story means this is going to be a short review as well since I’m going to do my best not to give away too much information. So I end with this — if you’re looking for a short evening read to curl up with this fall/winter, give it a shot.