Phil Parker (tigertoy) wrote,
Phil Parker

Book review: Tainted Trail

Today's book review is Tainted Trail by Wen Spencer.

This is the second book in the Ukiah Oregon series.  I recently reviewed the first one; if you're interested, I recommend starting there.

This volume is definitely a continuation of the previous one.  It's a reasonably well contained episode in a broader story arc that I expect to continue for another book or two.  Unfortunately, I'm starting to have slightly more issues with the plausibility of the whole setup, and I think it would be more interesting to see Ukiah wrap up the current big problem and go on to something new.  There is some character development too, but not as much as there might have been.

In this episode, Ukiah, Max, and Kraynak fly from Pittsburgh to Pendleton, Oregon, to try to find Alicia Kraynak (detective Kraynak's daughter) who has disappeared suspiciously.  Because this just happens to be the area Ukiah came from, he hopes to find some clues about his origin, and soon starts finding hints that the Kicking Deer family are connected with his past.  And also that Ontongard kidnapped Alicia and have been up to mischief in the area.  Ukiah eventually manages to convince the Kicking Deers (who are initially extremely hostile to yet another outsider poking around in the wolf boy legend) that he's for real, recovers lost memories that prove that the current Kicking Deer clan was founded by his mother, the native woman Prime impregnated during the initial invasion, and locates the Ontongard scout ship, where it too-conveniently turns out that everything was destroyed except the one piece of gene manipulation tech that he was hoping to rescue to save Alicia and a couple of his new Kicking Deer kin who were just made Ontongard Gets.  Ukiah learns that Alicia had had a serious crush on him while he was totally oblivious, and he suddenly feels guilty about how he revealed his relationship with Indigo to her, but she seems to be able to forgive him and they end up friends.

It was fun, but not as good as Alien Taste.  Still, I'll continue with the series.  7 out of 10.
Tags: book review, sf, wen spencer
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