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review 2017-02-17 08:00
The Dinosaur Lords
The Dinosaur Lords - Victor Milán

O, Dinosaur Lords, how much I was looking forward to you! The idea of combining knights and dinosaurs just sounded so great, it had to be great. Then the reviews started to come in, and they were not that enthusiastic, but I held a copy in my hand, and the drawings were so nice. It had to be good. Needless to say, my expectations for this one were sky high.

It managed however to bother me from page one. It starts saying that this world in which it plays is not like Europe, and the book goes on to be one of the most Europe-like settings I've read in a long time. Admitted, it's more like Spain than England, but all the names are like in Europe, just slightly different. It would need a good story and lots and lots of Dinosaurs to make up for the bad start.

Unfortunately, at the end of The Dinosaur Lords, I felt disappointed. It was an okay story, but in a field so heavily populated as High Fantasy it is easy to get lost between all the other stories out there. You'll need something that adds to your story and there was this perfect chance: Dinosaurs. I thought they played too little a role. At times I almost forgot they were there. A shame.

While it was a fast read, it was not the book I'd hoped for.

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review 2017-01-22 19:55
The Dinosaur Knights - Victor Milán

I actually enjoyed this one far less than the first. Have no fear, I intend to read the third book, and there are parts of this book that are great.

As many other reviewers have pointed, this book does pass the Bechel test. When the women talk to each other, they do not talk about men.

And yet, there is something off about the women in the book. We are given several characters to follow, of those, the only woman is Melodia, who was wonderful in the first book but seems to have been dosed with stupid pills in this one. And yes, considering the

[spoiler]rape and imprisonment she underwent

[/spoiler]

 in the first book, some mental issues are not surprising. But this stupid? Additionally, it is strange that the male buddies tend to survive bu Melodia's women friends don't.

 

In particular the

[spoiler]

 

the  death of Pilar came across very badly for several reasons. It felt overly violent with the description of the raptor juggling her breast. It felt like too much titataltion. It also felt like fridging because it was used to show angst for Rob and Melodia. Both of whom seemed to recover rather quickly. [/spoiler].

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text 2016-09-13 15:02
The Dinosaur Knights / Victor Milan
The Dinosaur Knights - Victor Milán

Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often cruel world. There are humans on Paradise but dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden, and of war. Armored knights ride dinosaurs to battle legions of war-trained Triceratops and their upstart peasant crews.

Karyl Bogomirsky is one such knight who has chosen to rally those who seek a way from the path of war and madness. The fact that the Empire has announced a religious crusade against this peaceful kingdom, the people who just wish to live in peace anathema, and they all are to be converted or destroyed doesn't help him one bit.

Things really turn to mud when the dreaded Grey Angels, fabled ancient weapons of the Gods who created Paradise in the first place come on the scene after almost a millennia. Everyone thought that they were fables used to scare children. They are very much real.

And they have come to rid the world of sin...including all the humans who manifest those vices.

 

I enjoyed the first volume, The Dinosaur Lords, but the second volume The Dinosaur Knights is better. The world is already established, the reader knows the main characters, and the action is already underway. The dinosaurs continue to be awesome and the “rules” of their behaviour in Paradise (our non-Earth setting) are refined a bit. Now it is clear to me why the Tyrannosaurs don’t run amok. What is less clear (and may be fodder for future installments) is who exactly the Creators are and what their aims may be.

There are an awful lot of gritty battle scenes in both books, which generally are not my thing. However, to counter-act that, we have Imperial Princess Melodía joining the rebels and learning to be something besides an imperial princess. This book continues to honour the Bechdel test, as Melodía discovers unexpected female friends along the way. My only reservation is that these amigas seem to be very expendable and Milan eliminates them almost as quickly as he introduces them and never gently. There are fewer sex scenes, which is a blessing, as I don’t care for Milan’s execution of them.

I think the trick to enjoying these books is to go into them with an open mind. Probably it helps for me that I have never read any of George R.R. Martin’s books, to which Milan’s books are compared, most notably on the dust jacket. Milan shares Martin’s willingness to dispose of characters, and a certain gritty, somewhat medieval-like setting. Empty yourself of any other expectations before entering the world of Paradise, and you will be free to enjoy what Milan is offering.

There are a certain number of editing errors which bugged me along the way (‘our’ instead of ‘your’ and similar little glitches that would require re-reading of sentences to figure out what was meant). But over all, these small snafus didn’t ruin the reading experience.

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text 2016-09-08 15:46
TBR Thursday
The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
The Dinosaur Knights - Victor Milán
On Her Majesty's Occult Service - Charles Stross
The Raven/The Monkey's Paw: Classics of Horror & Suspense - Edith Wharton,Charles Dickens,Wilkie Collins,O. Henry,Saki,Ambrose Bierce,W.W. Jacobs

 

Next up, once I finish Miss Zukas and the Library Murders.  I had to order Miss Zukas as an interlibrary loan (I'm on a kick of reading books about libraries & librarians).  I noticed the other day that the paperwork with the book says it's due on Sept. 24, but the library website tells me I have until Oct. 8.  I decided to get it read & returned well before either date, just to be safe.

 

I've had The Dinosaur Knights out of the library for ages now (I think I've renewed it 3 times).  Time to get busy and read it. 

 

The House of the Spirits and The Raven and the Monkey's Paw are both for the Halloween Bingo.  Yay!

 

Another interlibrary loan, On Her Majesty's Occult Service is actually two books in one, the first two volumes of Charles Stross' Laundry Files.  Calgary Public library has some of the later volumes, but not these first two.

 

Happiness is....lots of good books!

 

Happy Thursday!

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text 2016-06-21 12:31
Reading progress update: I've read 69 out of 445 pages.
The Dinosaur Lords: A Novel - Victor Milán

My second attempt  at reading this book. 

 

I don't know what to make of it yet. I really want to like it. 

 

 

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