by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Griffin Ranger. Volume 2, The Monster Lands, by Roz Gibson. Illustrated by Cara Mitten, Amy Fennell, and Roz Gibson.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, August 2017, trade paperback, $19.95 (557 pages), Kindle $2.99.
Griffin Ranger. Volume 1, Crossline Plains, 369 pages, was published in January 2015. It ends on a cliffhanger. This book is not so much a sequel as the conclusion of a single 926-page novel. There is a 3-page What Has Gone Before, but you really need to have read Volume 1 and then continue directly with this Volume 2.
To condense what I said about Crossline Plains:
“Griffin Ranger is set in a totally alien alternate universe. The land masses are the same as on our Earth, but the life forms and civilization that have evolved are dominated by birds. (The reader will have fun identifying both geographical features such as the Twin Continents, the Alpha River, the Five Lakes, and the Endless Ocean, and the cities and towns like Defiance, Flatlands City, and Foggy Bay.) Since birds don’t have hands, the main intelligent landbound mammals are the raccoon/lemur-like ‘hanz’ that are their symbiotic partners, and two species of canines: the wild wolfen, and the more domestic herders that have evolved from them. This Earth’s civilization is dominated by the griffins, who are the principal inhabitants of what the reader will recognize as the Americas, Europe, and Asia. But in the last few hundred years the greenies, an aggressive bird species, have erupted from the Emerald Isles (New Zealand) to spread over the world. The griffins of the Northern Continent have allowed the greenies’ partial settlement there under strict supervision, but there are suspicions that the greenies are preparing to take over totally.
“Griffins during their adolescence traditionally go on a continent-wide ‘wander’ of exploration. Harrell, the Griffin Ranger in charge of an area north of Earthquake City, learns that his daughter Aera, who is on a joint wander with four companions, is a week overdue. They went missing near the central Northern Continental agricultural city of Crosstown Plains, populated about equally with griffins and greenies. Harrell is worried, but not enough to abandon his territory to search for the missing youths, until his ex-mate Vaniss, the Ranger in charge of Earthquake City and his organizational superior, assigns him to find them. To aid Harrell, Vaniss gets him two assistants: Kwaperramusc (Kwap), an exotic griffin from the islands north of the Dry Continent (Indonesia and Australia) and the Rangers’ best Investigator, and Tirrsill, an inexperienced but willing young female hanz.