For my first book review on the blog, I really wanted to write something profound about the state of modern literature, the power of the written word. I chose for my first review DINOCALYPSE NOW by Chuck Wendig. Here’s my sophisticated review:
This book is fun.
DINOCALYPSE NOW is written in the style of a 1930’s pulp novel. Inspired by the Spirit of the Century role-playing game from Evil Hat Productions, the book features the heroes of the Century Club defending FDR, and ultimately all of time and space, from extinction at the hands of dinosaurs, psychic dinosaurs, and warrior apes.
Here’s what I like most about this book. I’ve never played the game on which it is based (though it sounds awesome), but I still totally get the appeal. It feels like my childhood toy box full of action figures splayed out on the page of a book. I was a HUGE action figure kid: Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman, Superman, GI Joe, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Zorro, Indiana Jones, Dukes of Hazard, The Love Boat. (Yes, Love Boat action figures really existed. And I had some. Don’t judge me.)
Did I mention the book has psychic dinosaurs?
What does a kid with a box full of action figures do? Dump them all out and make them battle it out for supremacy over the whole family room/yard/backyard pool/bench seat in the back of the conversion van on family vacations. I even staged a battle once while on a fishing boat in Canada.
The cast list could have been drawn directly from my childhood favorites. Consider:
Flyboy Mack Silver = Han Solo
Fix-it queen Sally Slick = Kaylee from “Firefly” (not from my childhood, but the best comparison I can think of)
Amelia Stone = Princess Leia
Benjamin Hu = Zorro
Professor Khan = Ape from “George of the Jungle”
Jet Black = Luke Skywalker
And not just the Centurions. This book has an army of evil apes. Time travel. An old wizard dude who controls all of that time. Marauding neanderthals. And, oh what the hell, the Lost City of Atlantis shows up too.
So as I read about Mack Silver piloting his plane “Lucy” through a flock of soaring dinosaurs, I imagined The Love Boat’s Yeoman Purser Burl “Gopher” Smith piloting Bobba Fett’s ship through a long ago battle for supremacy over my living room. I’m right there again, an eight-year-old Centurion grappling with my own dinocalypse.
Thanks for the memories, Chuck.