My sister – doctor, professional speaker, businesswoman – reads bodice-rippers. She says it’s her guilty pleasure, these lurid tales of bare-chested men and women running (in nightdresses) from towers. She was so into one once that she read right through the boarding of her flight, looking up at chapter’s end to find her gate empty and plane gone.
Myself, I always feel an obligation to read books that challenge my beliefs and views. I’ve read Mao’s Little Red Book. I’ve read a book on Intelligent Design. I’ve read the Gita. I’ve even gone against every progressive viewpoint I carry when I read John Ringo’s Live Free or Die, a book about bold conservatives and worthless liberals. I didn’t want to just turn the pages; I wanted to rip them out and throw them to the floor, I was so pissed at some of the oversimplifications.
And then I read The Serene Invasion, a lefty sort of book. And you know what? For an okay scifi novel, it went down really easy. I rather liked the progressives being the good guys and the angry conservative gun-freaks as the villains.
And now there’s Trapped, a nature-thriller about a grizzled old park ranger who is really pissed about the policies being inflicted on him, including the recent guns-in-parks legislation. After a homicide incident, he is transferred from Yellowstone to Glacier. However, he’s also been asked to testify against guns in an upcoming senate hearing. This makes him a target. And who is better with targets than the ARF (The American Rifle Foundation)? Through splinter organizations, a hit is put on him.
And if this isn’t bad enough, the poachers and wolf-shooters are out for him too. I mean, the guy hasn’t so much as unpacked his suitcase and the tentacles of evil are reaching for him.
A trap is baited for him – he’s to be crossfired. But his love interest discovers this and races to the rescue. For more details, you’ll have to read it yourself. I’ll not spoil it for you.
I’m not going to say that this is balanced in any way. There is no careful weighing of the issues (when does that happen these days, anyway?). The bad guys are gun-drunk hicks with bad teeth. The heroes are clean cut kids and nature purists. And that’s fine – like my sister, I’m recreational on this one. The twists are satisfying, the chases fun, and the climax tense.
A map would have been nice, though. I get that the author has hiked and camped in all these places, but it’s hard to enjoy heading the bad guys off at the pass when you have no idea what’s involved. And I’ll note that, if I’m even being setup for a dry-gulching and my girlfriend figures it out and alerts the burly Indian ranger to intercede, please, please, please don’t prove your love by demanding to be taken along. Talk about boat anchors! All she did was slow him down, and eventually had to be carried off the mountain in a stretcher. That was really a bit of pointless romanticism, specifically included as a proof of her love for her man. But frankly, if you love someone, don’t get in the way of their rescue.
But still, if you are a lefty naturalist, you’ll love this one. One fun read!