A Review by Susan Rocan
I finished Thunder Road early this week, but wasn’t able to get my thoughts about it on paper until today. It’s been on my mind often over the past few days, mainly because it’s such an awesome story. I don’t just like it because it’s set mainly in my hometown and province, so I know about the places he writes about. I like it because of the way he wove the Norse mythology into a contemporary story.
Here is the blurb from Amazon:
“In a flash, the world Ted Callan knew exploded. The fire on the patch had burned everything to the ground, including his marriage. Now he’s on the road looking for a fresh start. What he finds is a mysterious young woman named Tilda, who tells him he’s destined to be a hero or die a quick and painful death. When three stout men break into his hotel room, bind him to the bed and carve his skin with a stylus, it appears she was right. The next thing Ted knows, his body is covered in an elaborate Norse tattoo, complete with the power of the Gods. As he seeks out the three men who assaulted him, Ted learns that the creatures of Norse mythology walk in the world of humankind and some of them want to see it burn. Accompanied by the trickster Loki and the beguiling Tilda, Ted wants nothing more than to have his old life back. No more tattoos. No more smart-ass Gods. No more mystic powers. The problem is, if he succeeds, it might just be the end of the world.”
Mythology, whether it’s Greek, Roman, Celtic or Norse, has always fascinated me. I’ve always adored reading about gods and goddesses of all shapes and forms along with the magic they were able to perform and the mythological creatures that were an integral part of these types of stories.
I loved the magical devices Chadwick used to divulge tidbits about the mythology, as it was relevant to the scenes without huge info dumps that would normally slow the action down to a crawl. As a result, the action in the story is fast-paced and, at times, almost heart stopping. There were many times I found myself holding my breath, wondering what was going to happen next.
In addition, I found several personal coincidences in some of Chadwick’s choices quite amusing. The first was his main character’s name, Ted. Although my father’s name was not Theodore, his friends all called him Ted. The second coincidence was his choice of vehicle. When I first began dating my Hubby, he drove a beautiful blue GTO, which he referred to as The Goat, as does Ted. Finally, Hubby worked for a while in Fort MacMurray, Alberta on the Hydro dam, whereas Ted worked at the oil company near there. All these little details immediately drew me into the story.
From a writer’s standpoint, the plot was expertly paced, the characters well developed and the ending immensely satisfying while still leaving things open for a sequel, which will be forthcoming, from what I understand. In addition to my interview of him, which can be found here, his Amazon bio states:
“Chadwick Ginther would enjoy Can-Lit so much more if it included even one dragon or robot. Previously, he was Aqua Books’ Emerging Writer-in-Residence. His work has appeared in On Spec, the premier Canadian magazine of speculative fiction, and his reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, Prairie Books NOW and The Winnipeg Review. A bookseller for ten years, when Chadwick’s not writing his own books, he’s selling everyone else’s. He lives and writes in Winnipeg.”
Although I’d been warned there might be some issues with coarse language, I didn’t find it as bad as I had anticipated – or maybe the story was so compelling that my eyes skipped over many of the objectionable words! In any event, I would highly recommend Thunder Road to any adult who enjoys fantasy, especially tales in which a mortal human is empowered with the might of Thor! 🙂