Pros: Original and a lot of fun
Cons: Needs a lot of willing suspension of disbelief
Rating: 3 out of 5
Raptor Threat (Dino Squad Book 1) by Tom Wright concerns dinosaurs from other planets converging on Earth. One group wants to save us, and one group (the raptors) wants to destroy us (and the other dinos). The book largely consists of humans and dinos going into battle against raptors and the humans helping them. Dinosaurs flew here in a spaceship, and they are “outfitted with electronic enhancements on various parts of” their bodies. They team up with humans, doing disaster aid (largely to keep the world thinking of them as good guys) and going after the raptors when possible.
The good part of this: It’s fantastic that folks are realizing that the existence of electronic publishing–not necessarily in conjunction with a big publisher–allows writers to strike out in new directions. Each weird thing they come up with has a chance of hitting a previously-unrecognized niche. My hat’s off to people like Tom Wright, who are diving in to take advantage of this opportunity. This short piece of fiction consists mainly of the dinos and their allies going toe-to-toe with the raptors and their people. The action scenes are tightly wound, and non-violent scenes offer brief glimpses into how this all works.
I definitely had some problems with the willing suspension of disbelief. I wanted to buy into the whole thing, but I couldn’t let go of some of the holes. Given the fact that most dinos wouldn’t be able to manipulate fine machinery, how did they build spaceships? How did they arrive already fitted with electronic enhancements? Why would the government agree to the immense amount of money, time, and collateral damage required to send in a team of dinos with weapons blazing, when they could just drop a carefully-targeted bomb or SWAT team? The dinos don’t exactly fit in any building they go into, so they are less effective, and more globally damaging, than much of our own weaponry. At the very least I’d think they’d be reserved for outdoor fighting.
Yes, it’s funny that I can buy into the idea of dinos coming to earth to save us from raptors, but I can’t buy into many of the details. For readers who need to have careful, reasoned plotting, read something else. For the folks who just want the joy of seeing dinos and humans beat each other up, absolutely read this. The action scenes are well-detailed and a lot of fun!