NR: White Spawn

I’ve read the odd story or two by Marc Laidlaw over the years, but White Spawn is the first book length work I’ve seen from his pen.

The first chapter of this novella has a court officer absconding with an old man who was on trial. After that we get the story of lonely teenager Kayla, living in the backwoods with her family, who is befriended by local boy Thor when they bond after saving the life of a wild salmon. Thor has some funny ideas about history and geography and race, which Kayla intends to correct him on, but as their love grows she starts to wonder if his view of the world is kinder and more in tune with nature. Both Kayla’s mother and stepfather and Thor’s grandmother oppose their relationship, with efforts made to keep them apart. Kayla realises that Thor’s family are not quite the same as other families and that they have an agenda that will bring repercussions for the whole planet.

There’s a lot going on here. A nod or two in the direction of Lovecraft’s oeuvre. And an element of romance to the story, as the young lovers learn all about each other and their views of the world, even if unbeknown to each other they are talking at cross purposes. Then there are thriller elements too, as armament caches are found and a plot to blow things up with prejudice. While Thor’s family have their own nefarious plan to usher in a new age, underlying the book is a strong subtext on the damage mankind is doing to the planet, so that regardless of how inhuman these beings are they can still think themselves more worthy to be caretakers of the Earth than mankind. And finally there is also a satirical take on white supremacism, not least in the book’s suggestive title, but with the belief held by Thor and his kin that worthiness is drawn along lines of race. All of this though is eclipsed by the final scenes of horror, with Thor’s people revealed in their true form, and an ancient entity summoned to bring about their manifest destiny.

White Spawn is a multi-layered and well executed story that has a lot to say about the state of the world, even if all of this is incidental to its main mission to entertain the reader, in which it succeeds magnificently.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s