Title: Man & Monster (The Savage Land #2)
Author: Michael Jensen
Publisher: Buddha Kitty Books
Release Date: January 4th, 2017
Genre(s): Gay Historical Fiction, Thriller, Native American, Western
Page Count: 307
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It’s 1799, and Cole Seavey is a trapper running from a guilty past, seeking refuge on the vast American frontier. Lost in a raging storm, he finds himself face to face with a terrifying, otherworldly creature that seems to have emerged from a nightmare.
Cole is saved from certain death by a handsome Delaware Indian named Pakim. Together they learn that the monster is the fearsome Wendigo from native legends: a creature with a heart of ice, drawn to the evil of men.
Soon the Wendigo is terrorizing the frontier — settler and Indian alike — and Cole and Pakim join together to defeat the mysterious monster. In the process, Cole finds himself falling for the strapping brave and the promise of a new life together.
Unfortunately, the legends say that the Wendigo can only be killed by another creature with a heart of ice. But how can Cole hope to defeat the monster if it means denying the love he’s finally allowed himself to feel?
Man & Monster was previously published under the title Firelands and is the second book in the Savage Land series. It could be read as a stand alone, but as always, I recommend to start with the very beginning. You’ll better understand the background story and historical settings.
Even if the first-person narrator Cole Seavey appears in the series the first time, most of the secondary characters are the old acquaintances from the first book – John Chapman, Palmer, Gwennie and of course Pakim.
If you read Man & Beast (The Savage Land #1) and enjoyed in the first place the second part of the book, you’ll be excited to read this one.
While the first book in the series starts slowly and gains a breathtaking pace first during the second half, fMan & Monster surprises the readers from the very beginning with stunning record-breaking actions and powerful scenes, one after another. Michael Jensen won’t give you a pause to take a breath, and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole story-line up to the end.
The year is 1799.
No woman has ever stirred Cole Seavey much but the sudden realization that he has to marry Rebecca forces him to flee from his hometown in Virginia and leave his fiancee back. With winter looming he ventures on the Western Ohio Frontier, where his older brother lives. Three months on the road later and close to his destination Cole becomes an eyewitness of a horrific scene, when a girl being savaged by a thing, a monster, a devil out of the bowels of hell. He is terrified, he has never seen something like this before, but is this monster real or is it just a fruit of his sick imagination caused by the long exhausted journey?
Trying to save the girl, he puts his own life at risk and nearly becomes a victim himself. Pakim, an attractive Delaware Indian, finds injured and powerless Cole in the wood and brings him to his friend, John Champan. On the frontier Cole learns that his brother went missing some months ago, that he left a wife and a daughter behind, that his brother was also not very popular among the settlers and that he shouldn’t better share his experiences from the meeting with a mysterious monster. But he doesn’t have to keep this information to himself too long. Very soon Wendigo, this cold-blooded creature that he already met once, becomes a terrible shocking reality. It starts to terrorize the frontier and it becomes a matter of life or death. To get rid of it, to survive the frontiersmen have to kill the creature. But it is not an easy task. “A Wendigo is fast and clever and deadly, especially at night when it hunts. It is a cold-blooded creature with a heart of ice and is more powerful than any man.” There are many secrets around the monsters, and there are only two ways it can die…Though a Wendigo might be a smart and cold-blooded creature, always with one step ahead, but nothing can stop Cole to fight for people he loves with all his heart.
Buckle up and be ready for a roller-coaster ride!
I enjoyed a few intimate moments between Cole and Pakim, they are very tender and they are probably the only slow and quiet moments in the book that make a wonderful and welcome change for an action-packed story-line. I don’t want to give too much away, only that you have a pleasure to read a delicious mix of a gay historical fiction, old Indian legends, a tender romance and a horror-thriller.
My initial worries about an unexpected genre’s changing have not been confirmed. I don’t know if it is a little spoiler, but I hope not.
But be ready for many many surprises Michael Jensen prepared for you. I personally looking forward to reading more about this period of time and about the gay history of the American frontier by this author. Maybe his next big surprise is already on his way?
Highly recommended to all fans of gay historical fiction.