Logan's Storm
Ken Wells
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Buy *Logan's Storm* by Ken Wells

Logan's Storm

Ken Wells
Random House
304 pages
July 2003
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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Logan’s Storm follows the adventures of Cajun trapper Logan LaBauve, on the run from the corrupt police who were attacking his son, Meely. Along with him is Chilly, a youngster who is also in trouble with the cops for trying to help Meely. The duo head through the swamps in a breathless chase scene but soon realize that their problems have only just begun.

Along their journey they meet many interesting characters, including an educated criminal and his bestial brother, a short, maniacal wrestler, and a female trapper who is instantly attracted to Logan but who, like him, still grieves the loss of a spouse some years ago. Logan is haunted by his wife’s death and the fact that he had to leave his son behind, though he aims to return to him as soon as he can. Only his knowledge of the swamps and its flora and fauna, along with a strong survival instinct, keep him alive long enough to try to keep his promise to see his son again.

There are several things that make Logan’s Storm a good read: an obvious passion and affection for, as well as knowledge of, the area and Cajun culture by author Ken Wells, interesting characters including a main character that you really come to care about, and a rollicking plot that never lets up. There are also a couple of negatives, or at least potential negatives. The story does seem slightly episodic, but this isn’t really a problem. The author’s use of the first-person present tense prose is initially annoying and somewhat grates throughout the book, but persevere and you will realize that this literary style is utilized for a very specific purpose: the manner of speaking, and even thinking, of the Cajuns is put across by the narrator's usage of language. There are also occasionally expressions or words that aren’t going to be familiar to most readers. It can make difficult reading at times – the way words are spelled are as they sound, which isn’t always “correct” English – but it is easy enough to get the gist of what the characters are saying even if the exact wording is not immediately obvious. The way characters speak is also put across very idiomatically – no quotation marks, just ”I say Annie, listen…. She says well maybe the best thing is just to ride this out tonight and try to get in there at first light.”

As long as you can get past the idiomatic style there is a wonderful story here. The pace very rarely slackens and you are kept on your toes right up to the end of the book, though sadly the end itself is a little disappointing. The characters are written in an engaging and consistent way, and there are good and bad aspects to pretty much all of them. The action sequences are superbly written, and there is a good dose of humor which comes out naturally and seems not at all forced. This is not a book for younger readers as there are several adult situations and a smattering of bad language – nothing too awful, but some may find the description of some of the more physically intimate situations a little offensive (though they are not smutty, just rather frank about things).

Overall Logan’s Storm is a very enjoyable book, a little hard to get into because of the style but well worth persevering through. It also has the advantage of being a unique book, and there are others featuring the same characters also available (including Meely LaBauve). Comparisons with Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn will inevitably be made (have already been, in fact). Consider <,cite>>Logan’s Storm as Huck Finn without the innocence. A good choice if you want something a little different from mainstream fiction.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Dave Seaman, 2006

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