The Sand Dragonby Michael F. Stewart
Fort Mic, where Kim's father was murdered long ago, is both blessed and cursed by the shadow population who
The discovery of an immense pterosaur skeleton lures paleontologist Kim Axon to the tar sands near her childhood home of Fort Mic. But Kim's not the only one drawn to the find's siren call, and the others are coming for a very different reason.
Fort Mic, where Kim's father was murdered long ago, is both blessed and cursed by the shadow population who gravitate to the area for cheap trailers while they mine the sands for oil. Townsfolk begin to fall sick. Fearing the spread of the strange disease, the new doctor quarantines the town.
Now alone, the broken community must rise above its past to battle outsiders who do not fear the return of an ancient evil, but worship it.
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Let me just say, if I’d known this was a story about vampires, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it. So I’m glad I didn’t know. And they don’t sparkle, in case you’re wondering. Different aspects of novels linger with me after the final page is turned. With The Sand Dragon, it was the setting. The discovery of a giant pterosaur skeleton in the tar sands of Fort Mic brings paleontologist Kim Axon back to her home town, and launches a series of chilling events that will leave the small mining community fighting for survival. The story is told from multiple points of view, from which the reader is shown the various facets of Fort Mic. This is a dirty, isolated, unforgiving part of the world—an ideal setting for horror. Most Canadians have heard of the tar sands, few of us actually know what goes on up there, which makes this tale all the more intriguing. With an interesting mix of science and mythology, Stewart maintains a fast pace as the body count rises and the truth of what’s been hidden beneath the Fort Mic earth is gradually revealed. This is a horror story, so expect gore. Not for the squeamish! This is a big story that covers a lot of ground. To be honest, I would have liked more time (pages) to get to know the characters a bit better. If you're looking for an original horror story, set in a location as alien as the moon, you'll definitely enjoy this book!
This book took me a couple of chapters to really get into, but when I did, it became a very action packed, mystery type of horror book. In fact there were times when I wondered if I needed a seat belt because so much was happening. Not that it was a bad thing. In this case it's actually a great thing especially when looking for a good horror story. A discovery of an intact pterosaur skeleton becomes the center of attention to paleontologist, Kim who is known to the locals and another "outsider" and cryptozoologist, Dr. Bythell. When the skeleton is stolen and Kim suspects Dr. Bythell, things in the story really start to heat up. We really start to learn more about the mystery surrounding this find and start to sense the horror of the book as we get to know Jamie, Alice, Sandy and especially Patrick, who are the other main characters. What unfolds as we go along with their adventures becomes very creepy and we are left wondering exactly what is going on. Why are people changing? Why are they dying? Is it a toxin? Is it a disease? Something more? We find these answers and more than what was expected as we keep reading. Even though this is primarily a horror book, there are some historical facts I was glad that was handled in a pretty frank manner. In this area described, the aboriginals are a part of the Cree nation and the past sins of the area also rear it's ugly head within the story. The anti-native schools and the way many were treated have an impact on the area and, deservedly so, present a big aspect to this story. One way in particular which became an interesting twist. Some Cree/Native folklore is also mixed into the story. I love it when books do this and it was done well. I give this book 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good horror story. Hope I didn't leave too much out as I wouldn't want to spoil this story for anyone. It is a good read and I love how you figure things out as you go along in the book.