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Review: Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan

By / August 21, 2015 / no comments

Dinosaur Lords is the highly anticipated (by some) fantasy book touted as being a cross between Game of Thrones and Jurassic Park. Game of Thrones is great, Jurassic Park is great. So Dinosaur Lords must be doubly great, right? Wrong. It’s awful, and is possibly the worst book in the fantasy genre I’ve had the misfortune to read. Whether this is a reflection of my usual impeccable taste in choosing the next great fantasy book, or whether it’s a reflection of the fact that this book is a big pile of steaming dinosaur turd, is immaterial. The fact remains, I will never get back the £17 I invested in this book, the two weeks it took me to read it, nor will I be able to conveniently erase it from my memory.

Luckily for me, and to my enormous credit, I was fairly reserved in my enthusiasm for the release of Dinosaur Lords. I may have mentioned it a couple of times over in the BFB forum, but that’s about it. I certainly didn’t force my excitement upon any unsuspecting forum members. There’s no egg on this face!

 

the dinosaur lords
So what’s it about (includes spoilers)? Dinosaur Lords is a medieval type fantasy novel (nothing new there), set in the world of Paradise, where humans, together with dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses – who were all (apparently) transported to this world by the Gods, live alongside dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are used for pretty much everything; eating, riding, hunting, farming and war.

The plot centres around two main story lines. King Felipe sits on the throne of Neuvaropa, and faces rebellion from various quarters. He has two daughters, Melodia (the feisty elder daughter), and her annoying little sister. There’s Jaume, Melodia’s bi-sexual lover (and leader of the King’s bi-sexual army), and Falk, a noble who switches allegiances to serve the empire. The King sends Jaume off with his army buddies to bring peace to his country, by waging war on those who oppose him. Falk hangs around the King’s palace, rising through the ranks, and gets involved in some political shenanigans, which bored me senseless; there wasn’t a hint of intrigue in sight.

The other story line involves Karyl, a fallen war hero, and Rob, a dinosaur master, who are both hired by the pacifistic Providence to protect them from nearby raiders, by training up an army. This army, and the bi-sexual army, both win. And that’s pretty much it, other than a return of the Gods, which forms a small part of the story, but which will obviously form a larger part of the sequel(s).

The first 250 or so pages (over half the book) were painfully slow. The characters were boring and predictable. The world building was drab, and centred around run of the mill medieval fantasy (taking the dinosaurs out of the equation) that we’ve seen countless times before. The plot meanders aimlessly between the two story lines without any sense of purpose or trepidation. There’s no humour. There’s no excitement. There isn’t a lot of direction for the bulk of the story.

There are parts of Dinosaur Lords that made me angry. There is a pointless rape scene, which happens suddenly, and then isn’t mentioned again despite both characters playing integral on-going parts. There are countless references to the use of raptor feathers (you name it, it’s made of bloody raptor feathers). Homosexuality is actively encouraged within the King’s army, which is just bizarre. There is a token magical element, which is terribly incorporated into the story.

There is one good thing going for this book, and that’s the dinosaurs. I bloody love dinosaurs, and when, about 325 pages in, I find out that the war-dinosaurs have Sound Weapons (!!!), I was made up. There was a well-handled execution scene involving a head chomping T-Rex, the dinosaur art work was fairly special, but alas, these were the thinnest of silver linings to the big, brown-coloured cloud that was Dinosaur Lords. My generous rating, 2/10.

TomTB

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