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Harold D. Turner.

Winnipeg, Peguis Publishers, c1983.
85pp, paper, $6.95.
ISBN 0-919566-93-6.

Grades 5 and up.
Reviewed by Bessie Condos.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

Turner, a former professor at the University of Manitoba and author of To Hang A Rebel (Gage, 1977), has created a futuristic adventure story set on a nuclear fusion research station on Hecla Island in Lake Winnipeg. The plot centers around a group of scientists who are captured and held hostage by a terrorist army. The captives' children, who happened to be away from the station taking part in an archery contest, return, and they attempt to capture the terrorists and free their The hostages are eventually freed by the appearance of the local native tribe.

The action unfolds through a series of sixteen brief episodic chapters. Turner uses short sentences and relies on awkward dialogue to add substance to the plot. He also ends each chapter at an opportune moment in an attempt to retain the reader's interest.

While there are numerous characters, none of them leaves a lasting impression, and they remain one dimensional. Depiction of native peoples is also flat, and references to stereotypes add little to the characterization or to the book as a whole. Also included are a variety of black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings that are flat and lifeless and fail to evoke any emotion.

Although the plot is plausible, its execution is weak, and as a result, the writing lacks the vitality of a successful adventure story.

Bessie Condos Egan, Winnipeg P. L., Winnipeg, MB.
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