THUNDER MOUNTAIN by Uncle River, cover design by Paul Malecot. (Mother Bird Books, 1213 Durango, Silver City, New Mexico, 88062, 189 pages, $11.00, paperback.)
After a time of contentment in the lush highland village, peace is disrupted by the arrival of a sinister spirit which brings with it a mysterious corporation seemingly allied with covert governmental forces. Environmental rape and abuse of the mountain soon spread to threaten Elk Stuck's very existence. As Upton and his cohorts work stealthily to understand the company's motives and halt its activities, they are aided by the mountain's guardian spirit which sends guidance in the form of dreams, visions, and even herself. The confusion and calamities spurred by the battle between good and evil unravel a study in how character drives action and choice determines fate.
Uncle River describes the gritty, high-country life with a clarity and detail that can only come from living it. Along with appreciation for hardy mountain folk and their fringe lifestyle, the story invokes the realization that open eyes can be both wary and filled with wonder.