Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Tourist Trail: A Book Review

Recently I was contacted by Ashland Creek Press about reviewing The Tourist Trail by John Yunker; a novel that explores our relationship with our environment and the animals that live in it.  I was really humbled to be asked and most excited to receive a signed copy of the book in the mail. To quote the inscription in the book:

"Here's to getting off the trail."

The book is simultaneously an adventure story, a love story, and a novel that addresses the ethics of the (over)fishing of our oceans, the whaling industry and animal protection. It explores the question of limits- how far is too far when it comes to protecting the animals we share our environment with?

Angela Haynes is a naturalist studying Magellanic penguins in Patagonia.  She is a loner who is more comfortable with the penguins than other humans.  That is, until she finds Neil Campbell aka "Aeneas" washed up on shore. Aeneas is the captain of "The Arctic Tern" and the leader of the Cetacean Defense Alliance, a pirate-like group whose mission it is to destroy whaling vessels using extreme tactics including fouling propellers and sinking ships.Though he is ruthless it is hard not to find him likable as his passion and drive are contagious. Angela eventually joins Aeneas on The Arctic Tern.

Aeneas is being hunted by FBI agent Robert Porter. Robert has a history with Aeneas, having been an undercover agent posing as a crew member on one of his previous missions.  Robert is conflicted about catching Aeneas as he has a great deal of respect for him and deep down seems to believe in Aeneaes' mission.

The book is full of excitement and suspense and reads easily while adeptly addressing ethical issues of animal protection and animal rights. Many of the characters literally violently defend animal rights and their actions will leave you pondering how much is too much and how much is enough:

"Some people stop at the water's edge. Some keep going..."

The plot takes a lot of twists and turns and will keep your fingers gripping the pages in order to discover how the chase ends up.

I recommend The Tourist Trail without hesitation. I thoroughly enjoyed it and sincerely hope there are more books by John in the works! Check out the book's website here. And, if you want a free copy of the book all you need to do is make a donation to Our Hen House, an organization whose mission is to effectively mainstream the movement to end the exploitation of animals.

1 comment:

  1. I've always been a loner, and I've spent most of my life as a single person. See the link below for more info.