>Berserker – William Meikle
Berserker the latest novel Mr Meikle pits a band of Vikings against an ancient race of Yeti, called the Alma. After landing at a deserted fishing village, the vikings encounter one of the Alma, and Vikings being Vikings, they slaughter the beast. Bad move guys, the Alma was with child, and the father of these children is not best pleased. Soon the Vikings are under attack by the Alma who are out for revenge.
Central to the story are Tor a young Viking on his first raid, and Orjan the Skald who is gifted with second sight, and is the teller of sagas. Orjan gets captured by the Alma, and it is up to Tor to rescue his friend, by pitting Viking blade against Alma teeth.
Once again Willie Meikle has crafted a first class adventure story, the narrative rushes along like a Viking Longboat caught in a strong tail wind. That’s not to say that Willie skimps on characterisation and plot. The story is peppered throughout with Viking mythology which adds to the reading enjoyment. Not that there was any doubt that this was going to be a great read, I mean Vikings verses Yeti, you know that’s going to be a killer book.
It may be apparent to the followers of this blog that I am a big fan of Willies work, there is reason for this. I read books for pleasure, fun and enjoyment. I have so little free time, so when I pick up a book I want a book that is going to keep me turning the pages. There is a lot of talk in the genre about the lofty heights of literary horror and what constitutes it. You know what I’m not interested, especially when a lot of authors who think they write literary horror aren’t actually doing so. You know those films and books you watched and read as a kid. Those ones like Valley of The Gwangi, Star Wars, The Alamo, Biggles, Indiana Jones, thge ones that had you sitting in the cinema, cheering and sitting at the edge of your seat, with a big cheesy grin on your face. The books that after your parents turned your light off, you continued to read by torch light under the bed covers. The ones that had you renacting scenes with your friends. Yeah those ones. Remember how they made you feel, the excitement in your voice as you told others about them, the joy of fighting monsters with a wooden sword your dad made for you.
Well, Willie writes those types of books, his books are joy to read, they transport back to a time when life was simpler, and filled with awe and wonder, where the biggest problem you had to deal with was that ogre hiding out at the end of the garden.