Short Take: “Operation Yukon,” William Meikle

Rating: 5 out of 5

William Meikle’s Operation: Yukon is the 11th book in his wonderful S-Squad series. These are fun military-versus-monsters tales with a squad of Scottish lads who get a reputation for being monster magnets. I urge you to read the whole series, because it’s just so delightful.

This entry is a little different: Wiggins (Wiggo) has been recently promoted to Sergeant, and this tale is told in a first-person point of view narrated by him. (Before we were largely focused on the captain.) He has a new corporal to deal with, and that corporal doesn’t seem entirely ideal for the unit. Their unique experience with monsters gets them sent to Canada to look into a joint Canadian/UK research team that’s gone silent. They don’t even make it as far as the research station, though, when they find some dire wolves that look awfully familiar from their trip to Siberia. And the town they come across has become a hunting ground.

The critters the squad is going up against are tough and formidable. There are also some interesting characters about, my favorite being Sheriff Sue. It’s fun to see Wiggo teach the new guy a few lessons, but of course there’s more depth to the corporal than that as well. It’s a relatively quick read, but there’s still room for triumphs and heartbreak, strategy and tactics, cigarettes and coffee.

Content note: slurs (the new corporal doesn’t think very highly of gay or Black soldiers, which is a pity seeing as how they’re on his team–but don’t worry, Wiggo isn’t about to let him disrespect his squaddies). Also there is monstrous-animal-harm and -death.

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