POOR RESEARCH SABOTAGES A GOOD PLOT
If an author is going to write a story that takes place in the Alaskan Bush, that author needs to either spend some time in said Bush or talk extensively with several people who have. My first uneasy suspicions arose when Lee described the plane that eventually crashed. Those suspicions increased when she described the area where the cabin was located and the cabin itself, never mentioning the need for the off-grid facilities that type of area usually demands. When she described a sled that had just transported three months of supplies as barely able to carry a 200-pound man, I really furrowed my brow. But when she called a vehicle a “snowmobile” instead of using the Alaskan term “snow machine,” I knew that Jessica Lee had probably never seen Alaska by any other means than a cruise ship.
There were other obvious research errors, particularly since Lee is clear to the reader that the story takes place in northwestern Alaska. Therefore, the natural travel patterns would involve Fairbanks, not Anchorage. Also, the distance between the Bush area and North Carolina is repeatedly referred to as 3000 miles and that one of the main protagonists travels this pattern several times in just one day. By car or by plane, 3000 miles will only get you from North Carolina to Washington State. And then you need to traverse Canada and the Yukon before you climb almost the entire state of Alaska to get to the region described – closer to 5000 miles than 3000. And that one day of travel? Even by plane, it’s at least two – one day to get down to the Lower Forty-Eight and another to get to North Carolina. Lee didn’t need to visit Alaska to get these facts straight. All she needed was a good map and the Delta Airlines website.
And then there are the editing errors. Missing words, misspellings, and incorrect words abound. And please, using the word “prostrate” instead of “prostate” in this genre is absolutely inexcusable.
Once you filter out the geographical and the cultural inconsistencies, the storyline is fairly substantial. Silas Murdock is the alpha for a pride of lion shifters in North Carolina. He is returning from a hunting expedition in the Alaskan Bush when one member of his party attempts to kill him but shoots the plane’s pilot instead. Though not a pilot himself, Silas tries to get the plane under control. But without sufficient altitude and with too great an airspeed, the plane crashes.
Dr. Theodore Lucas is nearly mowed down by the plane as it careens over his cabin. After arriving at the crash site, he finds only one survivor, Silas. Theo hauls Silas back to his cabin and is successful in treating his injuries. Himself a wolf shifter, he can tell that Silas is also a shifter, but he cannot tell what kind.
When Silas regains consciousness three days after the crash, he realizes two things – he doesn’t know WHERE he is and he doesn’t know WHO he is. And Theo realizes one more thing – Silas doesn’t know WHAT he is.
The remainder of this short novella revolves around the relationship that develops between Silas and Theo. The fight scenes and the shifter sequences are well done, concise and realistic. The sexual encounters are appropriately placed in the storyline and, while explicit, are neither crude nor gratuitous in nature.
Because of and through their relationship, Silas regains his memory and learns the identity of his enemy. Because of and through their relationship, Theo learns to deal with a past circumstance that had him leaving his Bush medical practice and his wolf pack. And both learn about second chances and the transcendence of love over genetics.
Cover Art from Goodreads