- Series: Taine McKenna Adventures
- Paperback: 322 pages
- Publisher: Cohesion Press (April 13, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0994302983
- ISBN-13: 978-0994302984
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 119 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Into the Mist (Taine McKenna Adventures) Paperback – April 13, 2016
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Into the Mist leverages the same elements that make movies such as Predator and Dog Soldiers successful: competent and well-development military men trying to combat a monster that is beyond their capabilities, forcing them to come up with unique solutions and methods of working together. The protagonists receive the most character development, while the “less desirable” characters receive enough development that the readers know why they do what they do. McKenna, the star of the show, is certainly written and depicted that way, and readers are definitely anchored and invested into him.
Gorehounds will appreciate the New Zealand-levels of evisceration as the taniwha dispatches scientists and soldiers alike, though the book doesn’t reach Dead Alive splatterpunk levels of bloodshed. The novels action does a tremendous job at driving the book, with chapters broken down into different, though chronological, subsections that sometimes switches to a different character’s perspective.
The most unique quality of Into the Mist is its unabashed embracing of Maori legends and lore. The book comes with a glossary of terms to assist, yet the narrative is well written enough that it is not necessary: readers are able to suss out what is what based on Murray’s strong descriptions and applications. The terms may seem foreign, but they are accessible, and really add a unique element to the story to differentiate it from other military thrillers.
One of the most stand out scenes in the book actually happens away from the soldiers, and focuses on a seer, Temera, who has a face-to-face meeting with the taniwha on the spiritual plane. This is a rare opportunity to get insight into the monster’s motives, and it’s chilling: Into the Mist is not simply about a monstrous animal behaving like an animal on a predatory instinct. There are sinister undertones to the beast.
There are only two elements that are not Into the Mist’s strong suit. The first is the character of Jules, the main female protagonist and the object of affection of a few men in the group. Though the primary female-lead, Jules is uninteresting and ineffectual. Her partial ineffectualness comes from her backstory of a climbing expedition gone awry, leaving her friend in a vegetative state that she blames herself for. Jules never really overcomes this internal obstacle, and her role in the narrative is reduced to the two-dimensional damsel-in-distress/monsterbait role. Even with a somewhat developed backstory, she simply isn’t depicted interesting enough, so her being the story’s paramour is quizzical.
The second element is the story’s hidden agenda involving planted gold and corporate mischievousness that works to get the characters to the Te Urewera Forest. There’s only a few paragraphs in the whole novel that concern this plot point, and it’s not really needed for the story. These sections are so far removed from the action that they could’ve been excised from the narrative and it would’ve been perfect.
Aside from these minor two elements, Into the Mist is an otherwise great read. Murray is adept at keeping the action engaging, interesting, with readers really rooting for the soldiers. As a martial-thriller, the novel is excellent, and even with the specialized Maori terminology, it is more than accessible. Just shy of three hundred pages, the book is easily conquerable, unlike the taniwha inside.
If you're looking for an entertaining read without a ton of fluff, then this is a decent book to check out.
Murray seamlessly folds in engaging subplots: Guerrilla insurgents, Maori legends, corporate blackmail and downright chicanery, all spiced with a dash of passion and romance. For good measure, she gives her readers an intriguing bit of Beauty and the Beast, one that might send King Kong's creators back to the drawing boards.
It all works because Murray pays due diligence to research and plot development. She makes a good case for the latter day emergence of Tyrannosaurus Rex, she backs up her tale with Maori legends, and you'd never know from her military action that she, by her own admission, has never fired a gun.
If you haven't read any of Lee Murray's work, Into The Mist is the one you should start with. Why? Because it is an engaging tale that shows off the best of this emerging writer's talent. And because Into The Mist is a great buy for your entertainment dollar.
Most recent customer reviews
There’s a lot of dialogue in the beginning.Read more