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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Zombie Icemen take Manhattan"!!!!, 19 Jan 2013
By 
John Milton (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Night of the Wendigo (Paperback)
New York City. The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps. Whatever you know it as, New York has provided the backdrop to many horror tales including: Mimic, The Devil's Advocate, King Kong, Maniac and many more. In Night of the Wendigo, Scottish author William Meikle takes the city and twists its own history in a frosty, nightmarish, action-driven horror story.

I was vaguely familiar with the concept behind what a Wendigo was from Ravenous, a 1999 film starring Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle. Other than that, I had no real knowledge of the villain of the piece here. However, I am familiar with Meikle's work and had no fear in picking up this title.

There is little in the way of pre-amble, with the author bumping people off in horrific fashion almost immediately. Night of the Wendigo isn't quite a gorefest but certainly doesn't shy away from violent action and brutal deaths. This is illustrated early on when the heads of bodies are discovered, frozen atop one another, complete with one of the corpse's genitalia inserted in its recently deceased owner's mouth.

The majority of the action is in a similar vein to most zombie tales with the seemingly unstoppable walking dead pursuing the living; but I would find it difficult to pigeonhole Night of the Wendigo since it incorporates different elements from various horror sub-genres. However, one of the characters in the book perhaps sums it up best when they comment on finding themselves trapped in a B-movie, "Zombie Icemen take Manhattan"!

In keeping with this style of action-horror, Meikle sets a relentless pace with the storyline but has not sacrificed the development of his key characters and he keeps up with and cuts between plot threads of various individuals without a sense of interruption. Well-timed injections of humour made me smile, such as references to James Cameron's Aliens and a sly nod to The Proclaimers too! I'd suggest that such references serve to draw the reader further in to the story and to add further depth to the key players.
I've read a number of books and stories by William Meikle now and I'm familiar with his style of writing. As with most of his work, Night of the Wendigo feels like it would translate incredibly well to the big screen with epic set pieces, plenty of action and a couple of damsels who get themselves out of distress too! That is not to say that Night of the Wendigo is shallow. There is discussion of various myths and folklore alongside contemporary science and thinking here.

Critically, the worst part of this book for me was the cover. The antagonist pictured on the front bears no resemblance to the icy undead conjured up in my mind's eye by the author's prose. This is a fairly small issue and ought not to give any potential reader undue cause for concern.

There's something special about horror set in sub-zero conditions that just adds another dimension to such stories for me: 30 Days of Night and The Shining are excellent examples of tales that have been greatly enhanced by the characters having to deal not only with their respective antagonists but also to contend with the adverse weather conditions and the isolation thrust upon them by the harsh climate. Meikle's Night of the Wendigo, at times, reminded me of elements of various films such as The Day After Tomorrow, John Carpenter's The Thing, and any number of zombie flicks. This is far from a criticism! Meikle has a talent for conjuring up wonderful imagery and drawing the reader into the story; and does so yet again in a fast-paced, testosterone-driven action horror tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 May 2012
This review is from: Night of the Wendigo (Kindle Edition)
If ever there was an author whose novels should be turned into brilliant popcorn fest films then it is Mr Meikle. Meikle is the master of the modern pulp novel. His stories capture the readers imagination and takes it on a whirlwind of a roller-coaster ride that will leave you breathless come the last page.

I had the honour of reading an early draft of this book a couple of years back, at that point it had a different title, so I was unaware when I purchased this book that I had already read a version of it. Not one to waste money, combined with the fact, that even if this version was identical to the one I had already read I knew I was going to in for a great time.

Night of The Wendigo, is another near perfect example of why I love Willie's writing, within minutes I was transported into another world, a world in which all the crap of real life didn't exist. All that existed and all that mattered for my time spent in this book was the book itself. Some books require you to think and concentrate, and some books like this places your brain right in the centre of an 3D Dolby 7.1 surround sound narrative. And please believe me this is no criticism of Willie's writing, Willie has a gift for writing highly entertaining thrilling novels, and this is no exception.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ICE anyone ??, 27 Mar 2013
This review is from: Night of the Wendigo (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this. I liked the way the author kept the plot moving without waffling about characters who weren't important to the story. Sure there were some flaws, but not enough to distract my attention. Quite surprised that the story was about zombies (I`m a zombiholic) cos when I read the blurb I assumed it was about Yeti type creatures! I read this in one sitting, so have to give it five stars. I only discovered Mr Meikle by accident a few days ago, but very glad I did. This is the second book I have downloaded and it definitely won't be the last! Am about to download
Island Life and The Valley, so look forward to some uninterrupted reading!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good, 27 Nov 2012
This review is from: Night of the Wendigo (Kindle Edition)
A variation on the zombie theme. Not a great fan of zombie stories but this was entertaining with a good twist at the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another classic!, 23 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Night of the Wendigo (Kindle Edition)
Such a huge fan of Meikle I am starting to recommend him to all my other 'bookie' friends.
Buy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting page-turner of a book., 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Night of the Wendigo (Paperback)
This is based on a review copy sent to me by the author.

William Meikle is a con-artist! He somehow, sneakily, managed to trick me into reading a zombie book. I tend to avoid zombie books. They usually bore me rigid.
In this case, however, I'm glad he did. This is by no means just a zombie book. The main evil in the book is very different from and possibly even more dangerous than the Wendigo I read about in the famous story by Algernon Blackwood, and let us not forget, it creates ice-zombies.
I had a certain deja vu while reading the flashback parts of the story, which were presented as the diary of the captain of a Scottish cargo ship some four hundred years in the past. This is because I had read it before, as a short story, in the anthology, 'High Seas Cthulhu'. So I suppose that makes this a Cthulhu mythos novel of sorts, albeit it doesn't name-drop any of the usual Lovecraftian books, or entities anywhere.
An archaeological dig has unearthed the remains of this cargo ship and released the Wendigo. People start to die, their bodies found flash-frozen. Soon Manhattan is hit by the mother of all ice storms. Many more people die, but some rise again and they're so hungry.
This book is informed as much by classic drive-in B-movies as it is by prose fiction and it's none the worse for that. It would, in fact, make a pretty good film. It's an exciting page-turner of a book that I finished in just two sittings. My only criticism is that I don't rate the cover much.
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Night of the Wendigo by William Meikle
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