Wilderness of Ice by Keith Devine
|Wilderness of Ice by Keith Devine|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A well-constructed fantasy novel which leaves you wondering if there might not be - somewhere out there - a yeti. It's not one for the squeamish.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 332||Date: June 2017|
Hans Schröder was not best pleased to be going to the Nazi party headquarters in Alexanderplatz, Berlin. It was a snowy night in December 1937 and even then Heinrich Himmler of the SS Protection Squadron had something of a reputation. Schröder know that his beliefs were not completely in tune with those of the party hierarchy, but on this occasion it was an order which would find him leading an expedition to Tibet in search of the yeti: Hitler and Josef Mengele were keen to see if improvements could be made to the master race and the thought of a humanoid with amazing capabilities was too tempting to dismiss. In January 1938 the expedition was on its way via Transylvania.
Seventy years later, in Hong Kong, Deng was debating whether or not he should return home to Tibet. Worrying news had reached him from his nephew at home in Lhasa that his brother had disappeared on a trip to the high plateau. Deng had a no wish to encounter his father, the tyrannically cruel Tenzin - the dread was almost physical - but his younger brother Kwei-Lan meant a great deal to him, as did his nephew, Chu. He decided that he would need to go home, but first he had to attend a conference run by the British explorer, Lino Crowley. Fascinating as his expeditions had been, what people really wanted to hear about was his reported sighting of a yeti.
We'll move back in time to when Deng's father, Tenzin was a child and forward to a future we've not yet encountered, in this well-constructed fantasy. Keith Devine says that's he's taken one or two liberties with places, but there is a strong basis in fact for the story in that the Nazi expedition to Tibet did actually take place. As for whether or not the yeti exists, who are we to decide? Devine tells a compelling story which could make you very nervous about being out on your own in certain parts of Tibet.
The story is good, but Devine has a supreme talent for evoking a location or a situation in language which is almost poetic. The book is rich with such descriptions - perhaps just a little too rich for my taste on occasions, but that's me being very picky - and the book is superbly visual, particularly with regard to the locations in Tibet. Characters come off the page well-formed and stay in the mind long after you've finished reading which is always the sign of a good story.
If you are squeamish this might not be the book for you. Violence is never gratuitous, but there are some particularly gory scenes. This is the first book in the series, but I found that it read perfectly well as a standalone.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more on Himmler we can recommend HHhH by Laurent Binet.
You can read more book reviews or buy Wilderness of Ice by Keith Devine at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Wilderness of Ice by Keith Devine at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.