Saturday, June 25, 2016

Nessie | Nick Redfern

*Image and book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Nick Redfern does not use this book to retell familiar stories about Nessie. Instead, he uses this book to connect Nessie to supernatural origins, while connecting the creature to others that have been recorded for centuries in Scotland. In doing so, he is able to raise questions about why the search for a single monster has been so unsuccessful and why the flesh-and-blood-creature theories may not be what is needed.


I've been a Loch Ness Monster fan since junior high. I would spend my lunches reading about Nessie's legends. So when I saw that a new book about Nessie was available, I requested a copy. I found the connections between Nessie and kelpies to be fascinating to think about. The idea that there isn't just one monster in Loch Ness, but an entire species was a lot of fun to think about.

I even got to read some new stories and see some new photos. As much as I love Nessie, I'm not much of a researcher on the topic. So Redfern's retelling of a lot of the stories of Nessie, as well as the legends of kelpies and wyrms, really kept my attention. I really do enjoy new takes on these kinds of legends and Redfern really delivers on that.

The last quarter of the book, or so, kinda lost me. It may be that I've been blessed to not have had many interactions with real magic or it may be that I felt Redfern was pushing me to his conclusions, but I found myself continuously thinking that many of the things he was talking about weren't that supportable. A number of the connections Redfern makes requires a belief in things that I don't subscribe to, so, naturally, I had problems keeping my interest up in the last parts of the book. I don't argue that Nessie could be a kelpie. I don't argue that Nessie could be supernatural. I even agree with Redfern that the plesiosaur theory is unsupportable. But, it seems to me, that the magical attempts to get a good look at Nessie are about as successful as the technological attempts. 

Overall, I loved reading all the new stories about Nessie and Scottish kelpies. Legends of heroes fighting wyrms and giant worms. But if you're not a full believer in all things supernatural (i.e. sorcerers, UFOs) you may find the ending of the book to be more frustrating than anything. 



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