SOUL CATCHER by Frank Herbert


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Herbert's prize sci-fi Dune was dedicated to ecologists before anyone knew what or who they were. Now he brings living systems and mysticism back to earth and their natural fusion in the religion of the American ""Indian."" David Marshall, 13 year-old son of the U.S. Undersecretary of State, is kidnapped from camp in Washington State by an ""Indian Militant."" The note: ""I take an innocent of your people to sacrifice for all the innocents you have murdered."" The captor: a university student who, after his sister was raped by drunken loggers and drowned herself, sought a spirit power in the old way and now calls himself Katsuk, ""the center of the universe."" He takes David, or Hoquat (white man), deep into the rain forest of Olympic National Park to prepare for the sacrifice, and during the ten days they are in wild hiding, a strange bond grows between them. Sounds almost plausible, but the novel's serious fantasy fiction -- the characters are symbols and Katsuk's tranced sense of mission will remind some of Dune's Paul Atreides. At times excessively lyrical and portentous; nonetheless, deeply felt and magical, and an eloquent evocation of the old earth-life religion contrasted to the walking death of whites.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1972
Publisher: Putnam