After reading of the mysterious Traverspine Beast, a frightening animal who terrorized the residents of Traverspine, Labrador in the early 20th century, acclaimed exploration author Adam Shoalts sets off on a journey through the wilds of one of Canada’s most sparsely populated provinces in an effort to uncover the truth surrounding this deadly monster.
In 2020, I had read and enjoyed Shoalts’ last book, Beyond the Trees, a recounting of his journey across Canada’s punishing arctic region. When I heard he was writing a new book where he ventured through Labrador, a mostly unoccupied region of Canada, I was all in. This time around Adam was not alone, as he elected to bring along a friend, Zach, an amateur MMA fighter and insurance salesman. Zach managed to bring out a lot of humor in Adam’s writing and showcased his idiosyncrasies – something a book about chasing a rumoured demon in modern day Canada definitely needed.
Aside from the punishing terrain and lethal wildlife lurking in the bush, the book truly shines when Adam plays detective at night in his tent trying to uncover an explanation for what this fabled creature could be. In the course of his reading, he digs deep into several recently discovered species thus proving that we still do not know the full breadth of the creatures we share the planet with. Another fascinating aspect involved the research into the Indigenous legend of the Wendigo – a mythological creature that forms in the course of human cannibalism. Truly chilling stuff.
Following Beyond the Trees and now The Whisper in the Night Wind, I remain fascinated in humanity exploring sparsely populated areas of our planet. Canada is so overwhelmingly large when looking at its unoccupied wildnerness – something that I am still yearning to learn more about. Good think Shoalts has a few more books in his back catalog.