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Tainted Trail [Mass Market Paperback]

Wen Spencer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 4 2002 Ukiah Oregon Novels (Book 2)
Half-man, half-alien Ukiah Oregon is tracking a missing woman when he discovers he may actually be the long-lost "Magic Boy"-who vanished back in 1933.

"Murder, aliens, and a feral child turned detective...thoroughly entertaining SF mystery." (Locus)

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The sequel to Alien Taste (2001) sends Ukiah Oregon off on the trail of Alicia Kraynak, the niece of his partner Max's best friend. What appears to be an ordinary disappearance quickly turns out to involve alien invaders, the Ontongard (somewhat like the Borg of Star Trek: The Next Generation), and one of Ukiah's earlier selves, the feral Wild Boy of the Oregon wilderness. These contingencies immediately put Ukiah on his mettle, for he is actually the only fertile offspring of a rebel faction of the Ontongard that has been struggling for centuries to save Earth from universal infection and conversion into another conquered group-mind of the "orthodox" Ontongard. The battle against evil aliens is action-packed though relatively unsurprising, but Spencer's skillful characterizations, vividly drawn settings, and comic exploitation of Ukiah's deceptively youthful, highly buff looks make the romp high light entertainment. Fortunately, this isn't likely to be Ukiah's farewell performance. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, fun read. April 22 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am currently reading the third book in this series, "Bitter Waters" and it is taking off quite well. I really enjoyed "Alien Taste" and "Tainted Trail", which I just finished last night. I have to admit that the reason I bought the books was because of the main character's name, Ukiah Oregon. I happen to live in Eastern Oregon & know personally where Ukiah is. I found the story line quite intriguing & thought it was well written, other than a few grammatical errors, which other reviewers also mentioned. But all in all, the story was good. In "Tainted Trail", the book is centered around Pendleton, Oregon. I live 22 miles from there & recognize the places the author obviously visited in order to get research on the novel. I really enjoyed reading a book that was located close to where I live. Believe me, that doesn't happen. Anyway, the books are fast, fun & remind me of the X-Files before that series ended. So suspend disbelief and have fun reading!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Wolf Boy is back, and biting! Feb. 4 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The sequel to 'Alien Taste,' this is the second "Ukiah Oregon" book.

A bit of background for this science fiction / mystery crossbreed: Ukiah Oregon was found wandering in the woods when he was a kid, a 'wolf boy' living feral. He was found by a lesbian couple who used humane traps to work with wolves, and they took him home, and began raising him as their own - after hiring a private eye to try and track down who he really was. The P.I. failed, Ukiah lived with the women as a son, and eventually, he and the P.I. started working together. In the first book, you find out a lot about Ukiah's strange origins, and start to realize just what he is up against.

'Tainted Trail' picks up where 'Alien Taste' left off, in that Ukiah and his P.I. partner are seeking out a missing person, but the ancient evil alien race Ukiah went up against in the first book may be behind what's going on in the wild woods where his childhood friend went missing.

Wen Spencer really upped the ante on this one - the hits land closer to Ukiah's core, the damage dealt is harsher, and the blood and guts got me a bit nauseated in parts. On the plus side (not that the above is necessarily a con), the supporting cast to this book is much more flushed out and interesting, and the mystery itself was complex enough to keep me reading. If you like your science fiction with a mystery twist, and like complex genetic plots, this is the series for you. I'm certainly ready for book three (though I might read something a tad less violent first).

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5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent Ukiah book Feb. 13 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ukiah Oregon and his PI investigative partner Max are back, picking up the action a couple of months after 'Alien Taste' finished. Although the events of Alien Taste are synopsised at various points in Tainted Trail, I highly recommend that you read Alien Taste first, both for the background to this the second book, and because it is such an original, well conceived and executed tale in itself.
Spencer continues this excellence in Tainted Trail. Ukiah and Max have come to Oregon to investigate the disappearance of the niece of colleague Kraynak, who is also known to them as she used to work for the agency. Ukiah, with his tracking abilities down to the cellular level, is quickly on the trail. As usual, that's where things start getting interesting. FBI, sheriff, family, Ontongard, Pack, and the recovery of a few more memories. It's great. Twists, turns, unanticipated events - as before, the reader learns with Ukiah as he finds out as much about himself as he does the case he is working on.
Ukiah maturing - he's still somewhat of an innocent, but he is becoming more aware of light and dark, and shades of grey. Even Max, always heroic to Ukiah, causes him moments of disquiet here. But the essence of Ukiah is the same - someone who loves fiercely and loyally, and must protect those he loves at all costs. And even those that are Pack come to respect that element in him. I missed some of the characters in Alien Taste, especially Indigo who had to 'stay at home and mind the child' (urgh! Considering Indigo's steely strength I have to say I didn't like this passive role for her, but this is a very mild niggle). But meeting Magic Boy's family more than made up for it, and Max's own secondary story was excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ukiah Oregon is Back! Sept. 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Tainted Trail is the sequel to Alien Taste and continues the adventures of Ukiah Oregon. When Alicia, a close friend, goes missing in Oregon, Max and Ukiah fly out to try and find her. They quickly discover that Alicia's disappearance is a kidnapping and begin a race against the clock. In their search for her, Ukiah finds out that he may be the legendary Wolf Boy that was lost in 1933. He tries to contact the Kicking Deers, who wrote the original newspaper article and offered a reward for information on Magic Boy, but they think he is another fraud and refuse to speak with him. Meanwhile, Max begins to fall in love with Sam, a private investigator whose ex-husband refuses to believe the marriage is over, and discovers that there have been many unexplained deaths in the area. Is there a link between Alicia and the other deaths? How are the Kicking Deers involved? What is Ukiah going to do with his "father" Rennie when he comes out to protect him? Another great mystery featuring Ukiah Oregon.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I got very attached to Spencer's characters in Alien Taste and was excited to see them again in this book. Ukiah is a fascinating combination of innocence and deadly skills. Readers will enjoy learning more about Ukiah as he slowly discovers who and what he is. It was also great to learn more about Rennie, Ukiah's main Pack contact, and his past. Max Bennett finds a love interest this time and starts to come alive again after his first wife's death. Sam is the object of his affections and I look forward to learning more about her because she is one tough lady. I did miss Indigo and Kittaning in this book, though, as they were back in Pittsburgh.
Wen Spencer has a nice, smooth writing style that reads very quickly and easily.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Follow-up Effort
Ukiah Oregon's prospective mother-in-law recently described him as a "long-haired, teenage, Native American, Unitarian, Wolf Boy raised by lesbians, with an infant son obviously... Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2002 by Lib Locke
4.0 out of 5 stars Another entertaining, enjoyable book about Ukiah Oregon
In this sequel to _Alien Taste_, Ukiah Oregon, his friends and assorted "family" are involved in tracing another disappearance. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2002 by David Brukman
3.0 out of 5 stars good book, lousy grammar
I enjoyed the story and characters, though the plot of Alien Taste was predictable, but what really made me put this writer down and have to force myself to pick her back up is her... Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Tainted Trail is a real page turner!
I have read both Alien Taste and Tainted Trail. I found both of them to be excellent books. Of the two, Tainted Trail is more skillfully written. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2002 by Kate Savage
5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Spencer Just Keeps Getting Better
What a terrific follow-on to ALIEN TASTE! Ms Spencer is a true talent, mixing mystery, thriller, and Scifi into an enticing hue of action. Read more
Published on June 19 2002 by Timothy P Bowie
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT QUITE AS GOOD AS ALIEN TASTE.
I became quite attached to the characters in ALIEN TASTE. For that reason, I enjoyed TAINTED TRAIL even though it did not have as much impact as the first book. Read more
Published on June 14 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Action
This book is second in a series and is a much better read if you pick up Alien Taste before reading this book. Read more
Published on June 9 2002 by "its_alive_really"
5.0 out of 5 stars Great blending of mystery and science fiction
There is nobody in the world quite like Ukiah Oregon. His genetic make-up is that of an alien sire and an Earth woman. Read more
Published on June 8 2002 by Harriet Klausner
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