4 out of 4 stars
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Most people have experienced pollution of some severity, and all know it is a grave problem that menaces our world. In Northern Umbrage: Pulp, Paper, Power, and Pollution, written by Dennis Lorenz, the protagonist, Dr. John Bucannon (aka Buc), takes action. He is a young and charming Environmental Pathologist (EP), a detective that investigates and attempts to solve environmental problems, who grew up in North Dakota. When dead fish started washing up on shore by the thousands near the small town of Eagle River, Wisconsin, he took an interest. Once there, Buc learns that there is an animal of great speed and amazing power that has been terrifying the region for months. It resembles a wolf and is known as The Beast. Readers follow Buc as he meets the townspeople seeking to investigate these mysterious affairs.
What I liked the most about the book was its environmental awareness angle. Above all, I felt that it offered an eye-opening look into the problems of chemical pollutants and their dreadful consequences to life. The author gives readers a taste of what the future could look like if we don’t control the damage to the environment.
Additionally, the plot is well-woven and gripping. Lorenz manages to mix sci-fi elements, adventure, mystery, and environmental awareness in a single story, and it gets done skillfully. Moreover, the author did a great job of keeping up the suspense. Throughout the book, and due to Buc’s investigation, the truth comes out little by little, and there are several revelations, surprises, and twists, especially after Buc discovers that a company called Green Bay Pulp and Paper has been dumping toxic chemicals in the water. But I must not give away any spoilers!
The nuanced characters are also a noteworthy positive aspect; there are several well-developed and multidimensional characters. For instance, I particularly appreciated how the author developed Sadie, a woman responsible for the Wild Animal Museum. Sadie helped Buc, and I liked how they explored the woods together. I enjoyed how their budding romantic relationship added to the story. I also appreciated the author’s development of the mysterious Glen Power Claw, a Native-American environmental activist.
Finally, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was an entertaining read, and there was nothing I disliked about it. Also, it seemed professionally edited, for I found no errors. I recommend it to readers who are fond of action and mystery thrillers with a touch of sci-fi.
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