Frightful’s Mountain (My Side of the Mountain #3) ★✬☆☆☆

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Title: Frightful’s Mountain
Series: My Side of the Mountain #3
Author: Jean George
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Middle Grade
Pages: 146
Words: 55.5K



Synopsis:

From Bookrags.com

In “Frightful’s Mountain”, Frightful, the female peregrine falcon formerly a pet of Sam Gribley, attempts to reintegrate into the wild, while maintaining her ties with Sam and Bitter Mountain. The novel begins where “On the Far Side of the Mountain” ends: Sam, knowing that it is illegal for him to keep a pet peregrine falcon, and wanting Frightful to have a good and full life in the wild, refuses to call Frightful to him when he sees her flying around in the sky. Frightful then befriends and becomes the mate of Chup, a male peregrine falcon, and becomes the adoptive mother to Chup’s motherless children, Drum, Lady, and Duchess. It is a crash course for Frightful, who must not only learn to eat new kinds of food –primarily ducks and other birds, whereas she had been trained to hunt small game by Sam –but to care for wild baby falcons.

As November comes on, and all the falcons and other birds migrate south, Frightful stays on, determined to find her old mountain, and her old home. She is electrocuted on a utility pole, nearly killed, by nursed back to health by falconers Jon and Susan Wood, and is released in the spring. Frightful seeks out Bitter Mountain, and finds Sam, where she spends some time with him and hunts. She then decides to nest on the bridge in the town of Delhi. She attracts a mate named 426, a bird tagged and tracked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and she lays three eggs. Yet, as this happens, a construction crew moves onto the bridge to begin work. Sam sneaks up to the bridge every day, and spends hours keeping Frightful calm, so she can incubate her eggs. Leon Longbridge, the local conservation officer, and a group of school kids, including Molly and Jose, try to get the construction to cease until Frightful’s babies hatch, but the crew cannot stop work without orders from the state government. The construction crewmembers feel bad they cannot stop work, but they have no choice in the matter. Attempts to move Frightful and her eggs fail, so when it comes time to paint the bridge, the crews decide they will paint the section of the bridge with Frightful on it, last. Finally, Frightful’s babies hatch.

One morning, two agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show up to remove two of the baby falcons. In reality, they are Bate and Skri, two poachers arrested in “On the Far Side of the Mountain”, and back in the business of illegal selling of falcons. Sam helps track them down, and the police arrest Bate and Skri as they hide out in the old summer lodge of nature writer John Burroughs. From there, Frightful’s two babies will be raised and hacked into the wild. Meanwhile, Frightful raises her daughter, Oski, on her own on Bitter Mountain with Sam. Ultimately, they all fly south for the winter. When Frightful returns, she visits Sam as usual, but decides to nest in town, rather than on Bitter Mountain. Oski, however, decides that Sam’s mountain is a perfect place to nest.

My Thoughts:

Ok, here we go. There was a forward. I skipped it until I’d finished the book and then I went back and read it. It was written by Bob Kennedy Jr. While I can’t say anything about JFK, I can say that I’ve seen nothing good from his living relatives throughout the decades so a Kennedy’s name in the forward was not a good thing or an added draw. Especially when he goes off about how George inspired him to become a lawyer. Great, just what our country needs, more lawyers. Thanks a lot Jean George.

Secondly, and more to the point, this wasn’t much of a novel, middle grade or otherwise. It was much more of a National Geographic eco-documentary about birds. Sure, Sam is mentioned and some stupid kids and even dumber adults act emotionally and irrationally in response to “evil” electric companies and state governments but that’s not enough to make a real story out of.

Thirdly, but in conjunction with the above, this was written 40 years later and shows that George was more concerned with her message than actually telling a story. It was a big disappointment to see how George treated her human characters and how she leveraged the popularity of her first book to sell this one.

Overall, the first book should have been left alone as a standalone. It was excellent and fun and told a wonderful story. Each successive book has gone down hill and I suspect the two books after this one to be even worse. I certainly won’t be finding out.

Someone asked me why I was reading these books when I reviewed the second book and it basically comes down to trying to read some middle grade so I don’t take everything so seriously. To replace this series I’ll be adding most of Roald Dahl’s children’s books to the rotation. At least that I know will be light and funny.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Moonrise (British Library Science Fiction Classics) ★★☆☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Moonrise
Series: British Library Science Fiction Classics
Editor: Mike Ashley
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 258
Words: 99.5K



Synopsis:

Dead Centre – Judith Merril

A Visit to the Moon – George Griffith

Sunrise on the Moon – John Munro

First Men in the Moon – H.G. Wells

Sub-Satellite – Charles Cloukey

Lunar Lilliput – William F. Temple

Nothing Happens on the Moon – Paul Ernst

Whatever Gods There Be -Gordon R. Dickson

Idiot’s Delight – John Wyndham

After a Judgement Day – Edmond Hamilton

The Sentinel – Arthur C. Clarke

My Thoughts:

Boring, boring, boring. Many of these stories were more travelogues “in space” than any adventure story. I can imagine the moon just fine on my own thank you very much.

Yeah, not much else to say besides boring. I mentioned this in the Lost Mars review, but these stories are mostly in public domain and they are there because nobody cares enough to do the work to keep them punching out pennies for the author or their estate. If nobody is willing to do that minimal work, that should tell you a good bit about the stories themselves. Mainly forgotten stories that nobody will miss once they are completely forgotten.

So far, this series has felt like something thrown together by the editor to make a quick buck or to fill in some sort of hole in a publishing schedule. I will say, those vintage SF geeks will probably enjoy these, but I am not one of those people. I might enjoy old stories, but not because they are old, but because they are good. A vintage SF geek will enjoy the story because it is old, period.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Eaters of the Dead ★★✬☆☆

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Title: Eaters of the Dead
Series: ———-
Author: Michael Crichton
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 167
Words: 54K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

The novel is set in the 10th century. The Caliph of Baghdad, Al-Muqtadir, sends his ambassador, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, on a mission to assist the king of the Volga Bulgars. Ahmad ibn Fadlan never arrives, as he is conscripted by a group of Vikings to take part in a hero’s quest to the north; he is taken along as the thirteenth member of their group to comply with a soothsayer’s requirement for success. In the north, the group battles with the ‘mist-monsters’, or ‘wendol’, a tribe of vicious savages (suggested by the narrator to have been possibly relict Neanderthals) who go to battle wearing bear skins.

Eaters of the Dead is narrated as a scientific commentary on an old manuscript. The narrator describes the story as a composite of extant commentaries and translations of the original story teller’s manuscript. The narration makes several references to a possible change or mistranslation of the original story by later copiers. The story is told by several different voices: the editor/narrator, the translators of the script, and the original author, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, who also relates stories told by others. A sense of authenticity is supported by occasional explanatory footnotes with references to a mixture of factual and fictitious sources.

My Thoughts:

Earlier this year Dave reviewed this book and it caught my interest. I’d watched, and enjoyed the movie that was produced based on this book: The 13th Warrior. I’d seen this book on my libraries shelf ever since I was a tween but the title really turned me off. In all honesty, it still does. Without Dave’s review I never would have mustered up enough interest to dive into this.

Sadly, the book isn’t nearly as interesting as the movie and is filled with pointless and fake footnotes. This purports to be a historical document and as such is one of those “Historical Fiction” books where the author makes up wholesale yards of crap to further his story but will insert real historical bits and bobs as well. This has all the historicity of Shakespeare’s Henry V.

I was bored for most of this. It wasn’t exciting, fast paced or very interesting. While not nearly so boring as the Andromeda Strain (I read that back in 2001 but have not yet gotten the review into it’s own post) there were several times that I looked down at the percentage bar on my kindle to see how much I had left. That really isn’t a good sign.

On the bright side, I will end up watching the 13th Warrior sometime this year because of this and can expound on how the movie is a much better product than the book. Thinking about it, that seems to be the case for MANY of Crichton’s books. Feth, even Congo was a better movie than the book!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Break the Chains (Scorched Continent #2) ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@37%

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Break the Chains
Series: Scorched Continent #2
Author: Megan O’Keefe
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 316 / 117
Words: 106K / 39K



Synopsis:

DNF@37%

My Thoughts:

I was completely bored. And I shouldn’t have been. Some of the side characters had gotten thrown in a top level prison to find a genius tactician and the main characters, when I stopped, had just tried to rob an army vault. It should have been wicked exciting. Instead, I found myself wondering what the temperature outside was.

This is exactly what happened to me in the first book the first time around and I just figured it was me. Well, lesson learned. This is all on the author for boring me to death. Nothing bad, not even bad writing or anything I can say “No, I will not accept that”, just plain old boring boringness.

I sentence this writer to be cast out into the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth for the terrible sin of boring me. * bangs gavel * Case dismissed!

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Science Fiction Hall of Fame: The Great Novellas (Science Fiction Hall of Fame #2A) ★★☆☆☆

sfhalloffame2a (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Title:
The Great Novellas
Series: Science Fiction Hall of Fame #2A
Editor : Ben Bova
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 790
Words: 216K

 

Synopsis:

Consists of the following novellas by these authors:

  • Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson
  • Who Goes There? By John Campbell Jr
  • Nerves by Lester Del Rey
  • Universe by Robert Heinlein
  • The Marching Morons by C.M Kornbluth
  • Vintage Season by Kuttner and Moore
  • …And Then There Were None by Eric Russell
  • The Ballad of Lost C’Mell by Cordwainer Smith
  • Baby is Three by Theodore Sturgeon
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  • With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson

 

My Thoughts:

The only reason this volume is getting 2stars instead of 1 is because of the story “Who Goes There?”, which has been turned into the various movies “The Thing” and is the basis for one of the X-Files episodes in Season One.

Part of my disappointment with this book was just how good Volume 1 was, which I read back in ’18. That collection of short stories was everything I expected from the Golden Age of SF. These novellas on the other hand are boring, plain and simple.

Take “Nerves” for instance. It is about a Doctor working at an Atomic Plant because he used to be a brain surgeon but an operation went wrong years ago. It wasn’t his fault and there was nothing he could do about it, but he couldn’t face the fact that he wasn’t perfect, so he ran away from his profession to become a “simple” general practitioner. Only something goes terribly wrong at the Plant and the only way to save the whole world is for him to do brain surgery on a wounded engineer. The lead up was too long and the tension just wasn’t there. Most of these stories I simply found too long. I kept asking myself “when will this story be over already?!?”

On the other hand, you had some horrific ideas. “The Marching Morons” was about a salesman revived hundreds of years later. The world has become populated by morons because all the smart people stopped having kids a long time ago and the remaining thousand or so people with IQ’s above X all live in the North Pole at a secret base. They secretly run the world but are tired of it, as the morons keep on multiplying and nothing the Clever People can do stops them. The Clever People tried to take a hands off approach but the war started by the Morons was too much for them to accept and so they stepped back in and began directing things again. The Salesman tells the Clever People to start a rumor of colonies on Mars or Venus or wherever and to hold a lottery for an entire city to go on rocket ships to this new colony. Then another city would be picked, etc, etc. The salesman puts together the ads and campaign and has the Morons clamoring to go to Venus. Of course, the rockets just go into the Sun and kill all the morons. The Salesman became Dictator of the World (that was what he wanted to give the Clever People his help) and the story ends with all the Morons gone and the Clever People throwing the Salesman into the last rocketship and sending it off. Now, whatever the author was trying to say went over my head, because this was just horrible. The Salesman was horrible, the Morons were horrible and the Clever People were horrible.

There is one more volume, Volume 2B (why they simply didn’t call them Vol. 1, 2 and 3 is beyond me) and I’m going to read it. I am desperately hoping it is better than this. It is another collection of novellas though, so I am keeping my DNF gun handy and my finger on the trigger. I won’t wade through another crapfest like this.

★★☆☆☆

 

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The Dusk Watchman (Twilight Reign #5) ★★☆☆½

duskwatchman (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Dusk Watchman
Series: Twilight Reign #5
Author: Tom Lloyd
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 853
Words: 232K

 

Synopsis:

In the previous book Isak, using the power of the crystal skulls, forced the gods to remove the name of the Menin General from the world. This had the affect of cutting the heart out of the Menin army and allowing the Farlan and King Emin to survive to fight another day against Ruhen, aka Azeur the Shadow.

Azeur continues to collect more crystal skulls, as do Isak and Co. It is also revealed that Azeur has the Sword of Life and that he has some sort of plan for becoming the god of gods. It is up to Isak and Co to stop him.

Isak sets out on a quest to recover the Sword of Death, to counter Azeur’s Sword of Life. At the same time Emin raises the last army in the lands to go against Azeur and stop whatever ceremony he has planned. Unbeknowst to them all, Azeur has had this all planned out from the beginning and the recovery of the Death sword and the massive death toll that a battle will entail is exactly what he wants.

After several betrayals by supposed Allies everything culminates as Azeur tries to go from being just a shadow to a god of gods. Isak has realized his weakness, as a shadow, and uses that against him. Isak sacrifices his own life and binds Azeur to one of Isak’s allies, who dies. The ceremony goes through and makes Azeur the most powerful being, but since he is still a shadow attached to a human, it is more of a symbiotic relationship. This tempers Azeur’s control over the gods and allows the land to heal.

 

My Thoughts:

I wasn’t really paying attention when I started this book, so I couldn’t remember if it was the final book or if there was one more after it and I was too lazy to go look it up. (for the record, it is the final book) Part way through though I decided that if there was one more book that I wouldn’t bother reading it. I was bored and plot was overly convoluted and not particularly well executed.

That might very well apply to this whole series and it took me until this book to come to grips with it. This book wasn’t worse than the previous, even though my rating plunged. It was the accumulated burden of it all crashing down on my shoulders.

Boring and convoluted are the best descriptions I can come up with. Lloyd doesn’t write well enough to convey clearly what he is intending, or well enough that when he does reveal something that you realize what it is that he has revealed. I have to admit that I’m still very confused about the ending and how what Isak and Mihn (the guy who gets bonded to Azeur) did accomplished what the author said it did in the epilogue. Plus, Mihn was supposed to have died earlier in the book. How did he survive and get to where Isak and Azeur were? It was just a lot of little dots that were missing between the big dots that left me confused on how to connect them all.

After finishing this series, I wouldn’t recommend taking the time to read it. At over 3K pages and 1.1million words, the pay off just isn’t worth it. There are too many head scratching moments and poorly constructed sentences that left me going “huh?” to tell others to read this.

On the other hand, I do recommend the God Fragments series by Lloyd. Smaller in size, scope and characters, it is tighter writing and what THIS series should have had done to it. There are still awkward sentences but Lloyd seems to be getting over that, thankfully.

★★☆☆½

 

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The Bear and the Serpent (Echoes of the Fall #2) ★★★☆☆

bearandserpent (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Bear and the Serpent
Series: Echoes of the Fall #2
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 465
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Asmander has returned to the River Kingdom with Maniye and her Steel wolfpack, only to find he is too late and the kingdom is already riven asunder between the 2 siblings vying for control. Asmander’s father continues his manipulation to make the best of a bad situation (in his eyes) and Asmander is finally forced to realize how bad his father truly is.

The male heir, who Asmander is championing, is set upon by assassins and his own supposedly loyal servants. He escapes with the help of Maniye and the Wolfpack and they have adventures out in the swampy swampland. They come across a segment of the Serpent that is trying to make a deal with the plague people, who are their mythical enemies. However, the plague people are on the run from the soul-less people from over the ocean. A lot of pointless crap happens and Asmander finally sneaks his two friends (the siblings) together so they can talk. The female heir takes the crown and her brother takes the number 2 place. Their storyline ends with the news that the soulless have already started attacking the River Kingdom and the Horse People are almost gone.

The second storyline deal with the Bear and his attempt to bring all the northern tribes together when he finds out that the villages of the Seals have been attacked and all the Seal people have turned into their animal forms but lost their minds. He puts together an Olympic style event and everyone does feats of this and that and eventually they go after the soulless people invading their land. They drive them off but with horrific losses and we the readers are shown an airship in the colors of Black and Gold.

That storyline ends with the Tribes victorious but the Bear realizing just how small their victory actually was.

 

My Thoughts:

This is the first book of Tchaikovsky’s that I’m actually disappointed in. Even when I read Spiderlight back in ’16, I was more pissed off than disappointed. I was bored for most of this book and it felt like it was re-treading so much from the first book in terms of the Tribal abilities and the reveal about the Wasp Kinden being the soulless people, while it should have been wicked awesome, just left me feeling kind of “Oh, ok, whatever. Next!”

I can remember halfway through when Maniye and her crew are dealing with the male heir and all I could think of was “throw that pussy to the crocodiles and get this story moving, please”. The Bear story didn’t please me any more with “fear” just turning everyone into animals. Whatever. Master your fear or you DESERVE to go extinct. Needless to say, I was not feeling generous and nothing in this book made me feel like being generous.

Now, with all of that being said, the reason I gave this 3 stars is because it is completely up to par in terms of technical writing. Tchaikovsky can write like a master wordsmith and even in books like this where I’m just blah’ed out, I can still appreciate the skill even while not really enjoying the ride.

My expectations for the third and final book have really taken a nosedive with this. Poop.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Silmarillion (The Lord of the Rings Prequel) ★★★☆☆

silmarillion (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Title:
The Silmarillion
Series: The Lord of the Rings Prequel
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy History
Pages: 367
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A book that outlines, briefly, the world of Middle Earth from before its inception up until the conclusion of Return of the King.

Iluvatar made the Valar but one, Morgoth, decided to do his own thing. This set him in defiance of Iluvatar and against the other Valar. Iluvatar made the world and the Valar and Morgoth had their way with it. Iluvatar created the Elves and Morgoth tried to become king of the world. Iluvatar made Men and the rest of the Valar chained Morgoth forever. Sauron, one of Morgoth’s most powerful underlyings, himself a lesser Valar, took up the cause of becoming King of the World in defiance of Iluvatar. He is destroyed by the last alliance of men, elves, dwarves and others and thus the history part of the book end.

There is another 60-70 pages of indexing where every name of every place and person mentioned is listed.

 

My Thoughts:

To be blunt, while I gave this 3stars, it was boring as all get out. It took me a bleeding week to power through this.

I gave it 3 stars because it is well written and gives the context for the story we know of as the Hobbit and then the trilogy named The Lord of the Rings. However, when I say it is well written, that is within the confines of it being a history book and nothing more.

I did not like this book. Being boring was its most egregious sin but I have to balance that statement with that this book was supposed to be this way. It is an oral history written down. If that kind of thing floats your boat, then dive on in and enjoy. Everyone else, don’t bother.

I did not like this book because it was nothing but a chronicle of failure and despair. Great men and women (applying to all races here) rose up and were either broken, destroyed or backstabbed. When they did, rarely, succeed, we are then given a timeline of how their descendants descended into destruction. No hope from Tolkien. Everything turns bad.

I was hoping that the end of the world would be described, to show Iluvatar triumphing and restoring all but no such luck.

I read this back in highschool before I knew better. Now that I’ve read it as a mature adult, never again. I don’t recommend this to the casual movie fan of the Lord of the Rings but only to diehard fans of Tolkien himself.

BORING

★★★☆☆

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Count to Infinity (Count to the Eschaton Sequence #6) ★★☆☆½

counttoinfinity (custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Count to Infinity
Series: Count to the Eschaton Sequence #6
Author: John Wright
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 321
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Montrose survives for another 18+ billion years and he and Rania see the Universe become perfect through outside influence.

The End of the Series. THANK GOODNESS!!!!

 

My Thoughts:

This book went from a very few really cool sequences to me skimming 10+ pages at a time as the author whacks off to his own words. If philosophy wrapped in a hard sf container is your thing, this might be for you.

Wright is a Roman Catholic and that shows through so strongly here. In many ways, his theistic evolutionist outlook and how he reconciles that to Scripture takes over this book and I actually enjoyed reading his viewpoint (while being in total disagreement). But that wasn’t what this series started out as and it really shouldn’t have ended that way.

However, like I mentioned previously, the plot is burdened by stretches of description that bored me to death. Really, this could have been a short story and been more appealing for it. I would have dnf’d this at the 10% mark but I wanted to see how Montrose and Rania finally get together and since that didn’t happen until over the half way mark, I figured “in for a penny, in for a pound” and finished it.

However, I have NEVER skimmed so much of a book as I did here. I deliberately skipped huge swathes until I saw key words that were action words. Sadly, they were few and far between. While book 1 intrigued me greatly, each successive book got progressively more descriptive, less action’y and more boring. I’m going to have to think long and hard about if I want to try any of his other series.

★★☆☆½

 

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Dinosaur Lake (Dinosaur Lake #1)

1bc28ea1d09d8e38f20c1df4d73e3829This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Dinosaur Lake

Series: Dinosaur Lake

Author: Kathryn Griffith

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 439

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

Henry, former New York City cop, now Chief Ranger, is dealing with budget cuts for his staff while the park he oversee’s is dealing with some minor earthquakes. One of the tremors unearth’s some heretofore unknown dinosaur bones and a group of archeologists descend on the find, like vultures on the rotting carcass of a cow. At the same time, long time members of the community are going missing, the group of local homeless people reports a monster eating some of their number and Justin, the ONE GOOD ARCHEOLOGIST, finds tracks leading from the water. Big tracks.

A dinosaur exists, it is smart and it wants to eat people, a lot of people. For some reason it is now exclusively up to Ranger Henry and his trusty cohorts [ex FBI Agent that would make Fox Mulder blush, older but stern submarine operator and of course, THE GOOD ARCHEOLOGIST] to go down into the subterranean caves, while a huge earthquake is predicted, and hunt down the dinosaur so that the namby pambies in the Gubba’ment can’t capture it and cause even more havoc.

 

My Thoughts:

What I wanted:  a story where a dinosaur caused havoc, ate people and then died in glorious battle.

What I got:  a story where a dinosaur caused havoc, ate people and then died in glorious battle. However, that was only the backdrop of the story. The real story was about how sensitive Henry, Justin and the other men were and how they all bonded and formed everlasting ties of friendship [until the dinosaur ate some of them of course] and with the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP, defeated the mean ol’ dinosaur.

At the 60% mark I started skimming. At the 75% mark I started reading 1 page in 10. And by the end I still got the story but without all the clutter.

This was over 400 pages and it should have been cut down to just under 300. To do that however, the characterization would have had to have been axed, the action ramped up and a lot of the extraneous weight gotten rid of. I don’t need to know about Henry’s daughter’s bad life choices and how she’s getting her life back on track and how Justin is falling in love with her. I don’t need to know the backstories or family histories of the 2 men driving the submersible. Sure, it makes them “real” characters but so what? Those 2 men were dinosaur food.

Now my main problem. Henry. Loving, gentle, caring Henry. Who is supposed to be an Ex New York City cop. Who got shot by a 10 year old and had to plug the kid. He is an emotional Gary Stu and really made me sick. In one instance, his wife sneaks into the danger zone to get pictures of the dinosaur to save the local paper even though Henry has reiterated over and over and over how dangerous and smart the dinosaur is. So of course she runs into the dinosaur and Henry’s best friend saves her, at the expense of his own life. Does Henry get angry or upset? Oh no. He gently and carefully takes care of his wife because she almost died and he really needs to focus on that. Forget about that her selfish actions DIRECTLY caused the death of a good man, for no point. In fact, it was probably better that George died that way, so he wouldn’t end up in a nursing home or something.  The “bonding” scene between Henry and the former FBI Agent was what made me throw up in my mouth though. FBI-man tells a story about a whole town going missing and how the gubba’ment covered it all up. It added pages to the book without adding one bit to the dinosaur eating people.

The dinosaur eating people was the blank canvas for everything else to be painted on. It was the paper while it should have been the painting. Frustrating as Phrack.

There are 2 more books in the Dinosaur Lake series, but since I’m guessing they’re in the exact same vein as this, I’d rather cut off my toes than read them. Because if I can read 1 page in 10 and still get the story, something is very wrong.