Mandapanda's Reviews > Alaska Hunt

Alaska Hunt by Shelter Somerset
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's review
Jul 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: various-romance
Read from August 06 to 07, 2012

Zane, a Wildlife Trooper in Alaska, is investigating a series of vicious bear attacks in the area around Anchorage. He is drawn to Joshua, the nephew of one of the victims, who is convinced there is more at stake than just a random animal attack.

This is a really interesting story. It actually has two focal points. The first is the mystery of the bear attacks and the investigation by the Troopers. This part is written with a lot of authority and authenticity (to my inexperienced eye anyway). The attacks are gruesome, scary and are written quite graphically. The book starts dramatically, from the crazed and confused perspective of the bear who is attacking an isolated woodsman. It certainly sucked me in to the story. Although it might be a bit too much for some readers. There are plenty of red herrings to muddy the waters as well.

The second focus of the book is Zane (Zanebono Fusca - love that name). And although there is a fade-to-black style romance between him and Joshua, it's really Zane's emotional journey that is the main theme. Zane moved his young wife and son to the wilderness several years before but they are now separated and his son living with Zane's in-laws in Boston. Zane is shattered by guilt and can't get over his failure to protect his family. His wife is now a paraplegic but won't accept any help from Zane although she doesn't blame him for what happened.

Zane's sexuality (bisexual) is not really an issue. The question the book poses is related to his masculinity , what it means to be a man living in the wilds, and how Zane (who is at heart a protector and provider) can make the life he wants with a man as a partner.

It's not a perfect book, the bears sometimes seem a bit too intelligent in their rage (a la Cujo), the motivations of Zane's wife Julie mystified me, and the romance lacks the sensuality most m/m readers are looking for. But the plot is great. The fear of the community, the suspense (cause you just know Zane and Joshua are going to have to fight off that damn bear at some stage!), the setting and wildlife, are all very enjoyable. The underlying theme of what it means to be a man is totally unique among books I've read in this genre. I thought it was very different and I'm quite impressed at the author's willingness to explore issues outside of the genre norms.
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Reading Progress

08/06/2012 page 17
6.0% "Kind of a mystery/action/romance. First scenes are a graphic description of a grizzly attack. Gruesome but very effectively draws you into the story."
08/06/2012 page 37
14.0% "Sometimes I think I know what is happening with the bear attacks but then there is also the storyline with the local poachers. IDK? Maybe that's a red herring. The romance is fairly subdued but I'm totally sucked in to the mystery."
06/08/2016 marked as: read

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