Robert A Hunt, $2.99
Gurchukk, the mightiest Sasquatch in Crater Mountain, can’t find any peace. He seeks to take out a mighty grizzly bear, only to have that silly bear end up being attacked by the native humans instead. Still, he comes across a little girl and, on impulse, takes her with him as she’d make a cute pet in his estimation. Then about fourteen years later, another human crashes into his life when he’d already found a mate and had a brat of his own. Then come the aliens. And… and…
Robert A Hunt’s The Crater Mountain Sasquatch Legend is definitely not a romance, and it’s also not a tongue-in-cheek comedy like its back cover synopsis may suggest. In many ways, this can be interpreted as Trevor McKinnon’s adventures as he meets Garchukk and his family, or maybe it’s some kind of The Jungle Book, as the little girl now grown up is meeting her own kind for the first time. Perhaps this can also be viewed as something like those old family-friendly Man Befriends Sasquatch and Help Keep Them Safe from Humans story, except there are some violence and finger-eating here that probably disqualifies it from being considered family friendly. Yes, there are aliens, but I don’t know if fans of The X-Files will find this one conspiracy theory-ish and paranormal enough for their liking. It has its comedic moments, but it’s not funny enough to be considered a work of humor.
Even from a technical standpoint, this story is hard to neatly categorize. It starts out suggesting that Garchukk is the main protagonist, and then all of a sudden Trevor is hogging the center stage and the bulk of the POV. Side plots and plot threads are introduced willy-nilly, and I suspect that teachers that teach creative writing may cringe at some of the, uh, creative liberties taken by the author during the writing of this story.
Despite sounding like a chaotic mess, though, this story works despite all odds and low expectations. It’s still quite a mystery as to why I have so much fun reading this, when the characters are on the paper-thin side and much of the story is pretty predictable once I’ve seen enough “man and monsters… except that humans are the real monsters and the monsters just want to leave in peace” movies. Then again, the predictability unfolds in an entertaining manner. There is a wry sense of humor in the narrative that appeals to me, and I also find myself caught up in the rollicking pace of the whole thing. Simply put, the author has succeeded in pulling me into the story, making it very hard for me to put this story aside. He is dancing to his own tune here, and I find myself really liking it.
I’m also pleasantly surprised at how well this story captures that thrill that comes with chasing after cryptid legends. I confess that I don’t exactly follow those chasing-after-Bigfoot shows on Travel Network and other places – I’m too skeptical not to suspect that everything is staged – but while reading this story, I can feel that sense of excitement and anticipation that tend to come with the hunt. The immersive qualities of the narrative are unexpectedly solid indeed.
I have no clue what to expect when I first open The Crater Mountain Sasquatch Legend but hey, how nice that it turns out to be quite a jolly fun read. This is one of those stories that say, you know what, the author is going to do things his way, and while some people may understandably find this not to their taste, I personally like it a lot.