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review 2018-08-25 01:00
Excellent start
Anonymous Rex: A Detective Story by Eric Garcia (1999-07-27) - Eric Garcia

While this is an excellent start to what I hope turns out to be three excellent books, I had my issues.   The thing is this is fun.  A lot of fun.   The concept is dinosaurs have lived into the modern world - with sixteen different species surviving.   (Mad at the science of species?   Don't blame me: this is what the author calls them.   He might not be so wrong at this point: since they've all evolved into human-sized, bi-pedal animals, the impression I get is that they're far more similar in this novel than they were back in the day.)


Vincent Rubio is a Velociraptor - and also a PI.   This uses a lot of noir tropes - from what I understand, although I don't read much noir - but also turns them on their head due to this world.   The changes seem to have to do a lot with how the fact that dinos - and yes they tend to call themselves dinos - fit into this new world. 


With his partner dead, Vincent Rubio has become so obsessed with the solved case - Ernie's death was a tragic suicide, according to everyone but Rubio - that Rubio has become a drug addicted mess.  And blacklisted by almost everyone.   When a final chance to become solvent lands on his lap, Rubio has to try and focus on a burned down club.   Was it arson to get insurance money?  Was it burned down because of malice?   Was it simply an accident?   Rubio's case takes him across the country, to the place where Ernie died. 


As he continues to purse the case, a human woman, and what appears to be a much more complex case than before, he also sidetracks into solving Ernie's case.    


Like I said, it's fun, but there are problems.   The whole 'dinosaurs were the minority so they just hid from humans' doesn't track: it seems like their evolution into human sized would be slow and I'm not sure they couldn't have just crushed humanity, like killed them off.   But they're better than that, you say?   They literally are so scared that humanity will try to wipe them out that they hide away in latex suits.  At some point, they would have had the chance to destroy humanity - and considering that carnivores did survive to this point, I'd think they'd push hard to hunt down and eat all the meat. 


And the latex suits.   Snouts fit into them, but the bones in snouts do not work that way.   You have to accept it, and I did eventually, but I wish the author had went with the holograms in Anonymous Rex, the movie - which seems to be mostly based of Causal Rex, although I haven't finished it, although it may have used plot points from Anonymous Rex. 


So a mix of good and bad, but enjoyable enough that I now own the Anonymous Rex/Casual Rex omnibus and Hot and Sweaty Rex. 



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text 2018-07-30 18:36
Time to vote: next Big Library Read
Death by Dinosaur - Jacqueline Guest
Away Running - David Wright,Luc Bouchard
Lumberjanes - Noelle Stevenson,Shannon Watters,Grace Ellis
Down by Law - Ni-Ni Simone
Mask of Shadows - Linsey Miller
before I let go - Marieke Nijkamp
King Geordi the Great - Gene Gant
The Jumbies - Tracey Baptiste
IA: Initiate - John Darryl Winston,Valerie Winston,Video Explainers,Deon Mixon Jr.,Jones Heraux,Bobbi-Lee Hunt

Please do reblog to spread the word.  If unfamiliar with the Big Library Read, it's a global book discussion with the chosen book 100% freely available in ebook form via overdrive (no waiting, no quantity limit).  This time the theme is Young Adult; not all nominees pictured.


Source: biglibraryread.com
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review 2018-07-29 02:51
It's got almost all my favorite things in it
Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery - Kevin O'Malley,Patrick O'Brien

Velociraptor?   Check.  Space adventures?   Check.   Comic books?   It is one, although not traditionally paced and more painterly illustrations than is usual in American comic books.  Also, mechanical things, although nothing with AI.   (If they did have one with AI, my brain might explode from happiness.)


Got this from the library, and may have to own the two that are out and the third one coming out soon.   Lushly illustrated, the colors gorgeous and striking, and a clever storyline about a problem on one of Jurassica's moons. 


Needless to say, I hope that Captain Raptor has many, many more adventures in the future.  I will read them all. 

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review 2018-07-27 13:17
Fun, slow, with flawed science
Jurassic Park - Micheal Crichton

And I should clarify: some parts of this books are fun, mostly everything with dinosaurs.   The baby raptors, the dinosaurs chasing everyone and terrifying them in the process?   So much fun!   Even the descriptions of dinosaurs, or the remains as Alan Grant and Ellie Satler are on the dig in the beginning?   A lot of fun. 


Other parts are slow.   The whole history of genetic engineering?   Necessary, especially the part about how a lapse in ethical and legal guidelines could allow this to happen.   It didn't have to be quite so long, however. 


More scenes were simply drawn out in the middle, and towards the end of the book, as well.    I can't see myself rereading those parts, but with the X-Ray function in Kindle books, I can see myself rereading the parts with the baby raptors, or with the adult raptors. 


This also plays at being morally 'responsible' by showing how you shouldn't play god, especially with dinosaurs, but it's really all Ian Malcolm nagging everyone, bless him, and no one really listening or learning.   There is no real nuanced exploration of what it means to bring dinosaurs back, and so I found this lacking in that regard.   I found it a little pitiful that it tried, since it was so obviously an action book with one character pretending to be a moral compass without truly encompassing what it would mean to societies and the world - ecologically - to bring these dinosaurs back.   Although I mentioned I was reading this to a customer, and he scoffed: dinosaurs couldn't exist in this world, as the percentage of oxygen in the air, for example, was different.  And that, he pointed out, was just brushing the surface of the issues of bringing dinosaurs into the modern world. 


Like I said, super shaky science.   Of course, I wasn't reading it for realism.  I know velociraptors are really turkey-sized, not-very-smart beings, or so we think.    But I didn't really care: I wanted the super smart, human sized predators that I find fascinating to the point of obsession.   (And I mean like little boy obsessed.   Y'know how little boys tend to love dinosaurs?   Yeah, that's me, just I focus on raptors.)


And this provided me with enough compelling raptor scenes that I stuck with the book.   

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review 2018-07-07 22:26
Princess Fisk
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015-) #32 - Natacha Bustos,Brandon Montclare

And yes, her first name is Princess.  


She's taking over Lunella's school as Fisk gets way more involved than anyone wants him to with the school system. 


This is not going to end well...

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