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Wake of the Lake Monster

Book 3 of The Cryptids Trilogy

It has lived along the Altamaha River between the depths of the Atlantic and the shores of Smith Lake for well over 200 years. In one week, two men with an unsettled past will fight for its right to survive. Only by understanding the way of its mystical guardians, will a former believer overcome the science bent on its destruction

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Synopsis

 

Along the coastal waterways of Georgia's tidal marshes, there lives a monster that makes the Altamaha River its home. Over 20 feet in length, with a snakelike head atop its long neck, the Altamaha-ha has been sighted dozens of times by those who live along its namesake.

A pregnant female struggles to return upriver and give birth. She is bound by those who captured her before, and pursued by others who already killed her mate for where she can lead them. A place marked as the abode of dragons by the Tama Indians, it is also the location of a treasure buried in the final days of the Confederacy.

Drawn to the river and caught up in events centuries in the making, Ian becomes the unwitting pawn in a quest for world domination. He soon learns of his link to the Altamaha-ha, and that he must save it, if he is to save himself. Aided only by a few colorful locals, McQuade must defeat the enemies of the Foundation, before its technology is turned into a doomsday device.

Excerpt

 

The ten-foot boat was thrown nearly two feet out of the water, the bow raised thirty degrees, and the stern submerged almost to the waterline. It splashed down again, sucking a layer of pond scum into the bottom. Ian was summarily thrown backwards, out into the fetid stench of the brackish swamp. He cut his shoulder, as his nor'easter snagged on a cypress stump, and hung him there. Dazed at first, he flailed and screamed for Alma to come for him.

The cartographer nearly spilled over the side herself, in a frantic effort to come about and row towards him. She was clumsy in the water, unsure of maneuvering the oars. She yelled for him to hold on, as he struggled to extricate himself. He was pinned against the dead trunk, lifted out of the murky bayou high enough to prevent him from slipping out of the oversized raincoat.

The enraged creature bellowed, as much in pain, as territorial defiance now. It bolted passed Alma, with a churning brown wake that expanded across the algae covered surface of the marsh. The greenish brown of its heavily mottled skin, almost warty in appearance, with looser folds near the pale oyster yellow of its underbelly, moved inexorably toward its helpless prey.

Alma clumsily drew close and reached out her hand to Ian, as the Alty surged between them. The lake monster butted Ian with its lowered head, ripping him from the ensnaring folds of his borrowed slicker. It hung like the tattered remains of a macabre scarecrow, the hood empty and the sleeves floundering. McQuade was once again thrown headlong into the water, amid rushes and lily pads closer to shore.

"Alma," he gasped, sputtering water as he tried to catch his breath from the force of the blow to his ribs. "Help me! Don't let it get me, again!" Del Nephites yelled for him to hold on, as she managed to turn the boat towards him a second time. He pulled himself along with a one-armed, flailing dogpaddle. His side ached, and he was sure the monster had bruised, if not cracked one or more of his healing ribs. It submerged and was now nowhere in sight. It gave Ian hope that if Alma hurried, they just might make it out of that fetid swamp. She rowed alongside, or as close as she dared, dropped the oars and clinging to the side of the boat. She held out her hand to him, as he grasped thin air to reach her in time.

If they could have but seen themselves from above or below, where angels and demons stood by and did nothing, they would have still watched helplessly, as the Altamaha-ha rose up from the depths. Without slowing, it corkscrewed in its path, and gaped the maw of its fearsome mouth towards the nearest of Ian's kicking legs. His outstretched fingertips just brushed Alma's, when the creature struck, lifted him up, and bore him under. The last he saw or heard, was Alma's muffled screams, and the quickly fading light of the steel-gray morning that silhouetted her lithe form.

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Reviews

Customer comments (Source: Amazon)

 
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
"Epic?", May 2, 2008 By Fred Scheeren

"Epic?"

This is the word and question that continued to pop into my mind as I read "Wake of the Lake Monster" by Dallas Tanner.

To be sure I was correct in my impression I looked up the definition of "Epic" and found that I was indeed correct. An Epic is defined as being "very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale)."

One gets the sense of this before even beginning to read this engrossing book. In fact, in taking a quick glance inside the back cover we read: "We live on just 10% of the Earth's surface. Only an estimated 10% of all the known species of animals on this planet have been encountered and classified. Cryptozoology is the study of unknown or undiscovered, cryptids, animals out of place or out of time. There are no degrees or curriculum in any college or university to become a cryptozoologist. Ian McQuade tries and fails to become the first, and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime."

And the experiences of Dr. Ian McQuade truly are an adventure. They begin, in fact, with Dallas Tanner's first two novels, which make up the first parts of his trilogy. However, "Wake of the Lake Monster" is so impressive that it stands on it's own as a novel of high adventure.

By the time you reach page 18 of this book you will be hooked. By the time you reach page 52, you will feel as though you can't put it down. You will find yourself drawn into the story as the primary protagonist, Dr. McQuade, recounts the stories of unexplainable creatures in the oldest and most historically reliable documents known to mankind. And, he reasons, if these documents have proven to be correct about everything else, would they not also be correct about the creatures they describe, even if they are not commonly encountered today? And with this, we're off.

The adventures in this "final" installment of Tanner's trilogy begin with McQuade's travels to the northwest where he encounters heretofore unknown tribes with knowledge that is undreamed of by most modern humans. This knowledge enables him to return to the scientifically advanced headquarters of his former employer, the Chimaera foundation, where he again teams up with his former partner, the South American beauty, Alma Del Nephites.

From there, the pair narrowly escapes the armed takeover of the company's technologically advanced facility to follow the clues that they think will lead them on a quest to find, at the very least, mysterious animals. However, as you might imagine if you are familiar with this author, their quest ultimately leads them to buried treasure and forbidden technology.

Before the book is half way finished, Dallas Tanner has identified, most likely correctly, some of the most elusive and widely reported "Lake Monsters" reported. (Including the mysterious Altamaha-ha, which haunts many of the backwater swamps and rivers in the Southeast USA.) But this is only the beginning for him.

It is a pleasure to see this amazingly well read and educated author weave a story incorporating history, advanced technology, and zoology with such skill. As in Tanners' other books, besides being completely enthralled the reader ends up being well educated on topics that stump the average researcher.

So read this book. You will enjoy the ride and end up being much more knowledgeable about science, history, and nature than you would have thought possible from the reading of an adventure story.

If you want to enhance your experience, go back and read Dallas Tanner's first two novels. He takes the same approach to his subject in all three. The third is an epic in itself, while the three in combination exceed any expectations you might have in terms of enjoyment and learning.

Without revealing the conclusion to "Wake of the Sea Serpent" I can at least tell you that in closing the author lays the foundation for another book that promises to be even more exciting than the first three.

Let's hope that he writes that book soon.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
The Journey Ends..., April 5, 2008 By Lee Murphy "Crypto-fiction novelist" (Reseda, California)

Dallas Tanner's WAKE OF THE LAKE MONSTER brings to a close his fascinating series of adventure novels he has titled "The Cryptids Trilogy", in which he introduced us to cryptozoologist Ian McQuade back in 2000 with SHADOW OF THE THUNDERBIRD.

This is not an easy review to write because there is so much to say about this book (and the series) which is good, but in doing so I risk spoilers, which I will not do because the elements that bring this novel to its stunning conclusion are better left for the reader to discover for themselves.

WAKE, while able to stand on its own as an individual novel, is an excellent conclusion to this series where Ian has evolved through very hard-earned experience from something of a "babe-in-the-woods" neophyte, to an experienced scientist and explorer who has come to find he has a darker side to his personality and must learn to deal with, and even use it in order to survive the many dilemmas and dangers he encounters throughout the course of the story. And there are many! As I stated earlier, I will not give anything away, but I was particularly impressed with Dallas' choice for the true identity of the Altamaha-ha. It's not an unheard-of idea, but after reading his theories on it, I have to say I am convinced there may be some real credence to it.

I think I will shut up now, but I can tell you this book is an epic that rises to the challenge Tanner set up for himself with the previous books in this series.

Another great job!

 

       
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