Warrener's Beastie : A Novel of the DeepWarrener's Beastie: A Novel of the Deep

Author: William R. Trotter
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Year: 2006
Reviewer: Neal Stevens, Subsim.com



 "A deep, slithering excitement uncoiled in the pit of his stomach. He was in the presence of a Mystery; he was on the verge of confirming a Legend."

No one can deny, William Trotter has a unique sense of adventure. His Civil War epics revealed his talent for plot and character. But they didn’t prepare me for the grand sweep of romanticism and peril that his new novel laid on me. Warrener’s Beastie is an ambitious character-driven tour de force principally set in the Faeroes Islands. In our world spy satellites, GPS, and Google Earth, the Faeroes are a left over Lost World steeped in sinister beauty.

Warrener’s Beastie abounds with romantic adventure, volcanoes, crust-hugging entities, and treachery—a celebration of suspense. Trotter succeeds in cultivating a mood that brings to mind a good Stephen King novel. He captures details that most writers wouldn’t notice, such as stun grenades that "flash bright enough to outline the veins in his eyelids". Throughout the 686-page novel I was impressed by the breadth of his ability to strike the right notes utilizing an astonishing array of expressions and descriptions.  Few writers can match Trotter’s precise and unique phrasing.

"Great place for a monster to hide out, isn't it?"

"You know, I really wish you hadn't said that!"

Warrener was raised by a grandfather who imbued him with a passion for cryptozoology, literature, and military adventure. His university studies permit him opportunity to trek to Lapland for his thesis. It’s there he gets his first glimpse of creatures of mythic lore. From there fate leads him to the Faeroes Islands, an archipelago in the wintry north Atlantic Ocean between the United Kingdom and Iceland. He meets Eiden Poulsen, a veteran U-boat hunter. He falls under the spell of Poulsen’s daughter Elbusa. To any man, Elbusa is a beautiful young woman with a strong spirit; to Warrener, she is a Norse goddess. Their passionate affair leaves him emotionally crippled and spiritually unsatisfied for years to come.

He returns home to finish his studies about the time the war in Vietnam heats up. Eager to earn his martial stripes, he enlists in the Special Forces. Destiny denies Warrener; he ultimately ends up as a special correspondent in Pleiku just in time to greet the Tet offensive.

Leaving the military Warrener degenerates into a bitter young professor who savages the hip artists of his generation. He crosses paths with Karen Hambly, a younger student who possesses strange flickers of clairvoyance. With her help Warrener finally finds a goal worthy of his ambitions: revealing the legendary Vardinoy Beast of the Faeroes. He mounts a monster hunting expedition with Poulsen and Elbusa, a hack-and-stab film director, his porn star wife, a Jewish journalist, and a lusty Hell’s angel who is convinced he’s a reincarnated Viking berserker. Treachery and deceit defrock Warrener's quest but he fails to buckle. Every aspect of an adventurer’s fantasy is included: weapons, equipment, books, and booze. The only thing left is to find the monster. And survive.

She saw the cliffs spread before her, riven by knife-thin chasms, and she knew where he had taken her and she has an appalling idea of why. He pushed her over the chasm. His vision was sharp now, combat-charged with adrenaline, and he was certain that he saw a change in the texture of the darkness inside the chasm: the darkness had substance and was rising up to meet her falling body, so that she did not plummet into the abyss so much as sink very slowly out of sight.

Author William R. Trotter is the author of fifteen books, including Winter Fire, The Sands of Pride, and his sequel, The Fires of Pride.

For more information, please visit the author's website: trotterbooks.com



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