How does the greatest gunslinger of the old west end his career? By hunting a dinosaur animal spirit, of course.
Karl Redgrave has a big plans for his retirement party. He's bringing together the world's greatest criminals, murderers, warriors, and assassins to hunt something worthy of them all: a highly intelligent, seven-foot tall dinosaur spirit; known to the natives as the Grishla.
Of course, Karl wants only the best on his safari, so he has pitted these men against each other in a deadly contest in an old ghost town, with five winners securing a place in the hunt.
Who will live? Who will win? And if they win, can they survive the final confrontation with the beast?
I loved book 1 of this and was excited to listen to the prequel to it. This is almost two short stories that collide together at the end. On one side, we see Jack (Sorry, I can't even begin to spell his Indian name so I'll stick with Jack). Jack belongs to the tribe that the Grishla cursed. His tribe sacrifice people to appease the Grishla, but when his mother is sacrificed, it hits Jack hard. He is too young to do much about it but he's never forgotten or forgiven them for doing it. Now he's grown, he finally gets tired of their ways and when his childhood friend gets offered as the sacrifice, he decides to rescue her and run away. They are hunted by the tribe for their desertion.
On the other side we see Karl Redgrave calling the elite of the hunters, assassins, murders etc, to fight a battle. They are to find 5 Faberge Eggs and whoever finds it will be rewarded. There are no rules so it's a fight to the death for some. Those 5 winners will hunt a very elusive creature, called the Grishla.
Initially when I started reading this, I was quite confused as to what was going on, but once I figured out the two separate stories, I enjoyed this a lot. It wasn't as enjoyable as book 1 but it was close! The plot, as I said, was two separate stories that come together in an unforgettable way at the end. I liked Jack's story the most and really felt for him. His tribe was horrible and it was nice that he found his own path.
The last half of the book was extremely fast paced and intense and made up for the confusion at the start. This is a solid addition to the series and I'm hoping we get book 2 soon!
Terry F. Self had a lot of different tones and voices for the different characters and was easy to listen to, I just found him to be a little unenthusiastic with the reading. A little emotion behind his words would have brought this to life fully!
I was given this free audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Roma Gray is quickly becoming a favorite writer, at this point I have listened to three of her books, and loved every page. Here, she crafts a tale that is a western, but with the added flavor of dinosaurs. This is particularly fun genre, and one of my favorite flicks is The Valley of Gwangi, in which cowboys fght dinosaurs. How could I NOT be interested in this book?
This is a prequel, as the title says, to an existing series. So, I expected a lot of set up, or nuggets that were there just to round out the earlier books. Instead, as far as I am concerned, we got a perfectly fine stand alone novel. The book is told through two seperate characters, Jack and Karl. Jack is a native American who comes from a tribe that tries to appease the rampant dino (think of virgin sacrifices to dragons), and Karll, a retired hunter/gunslinger.
There are points where I saw Karl as Masten Thrust, a millionaire hunter in the made for tv movie The Last Dinosaur. This is a good thing, I loved that movie (see how much I enjoy dino movies?) And his determination to get the Grishla (dino) drives him forward.
The characters are well drawn and fully fleshed out, the story is well paced, and the writing just flows. It almost feels like Roma just has the idea in her head and dashes it off fully formed. She has a wonderful writing style. I do not want to sound sexist, but I feel that women sometimes have a hardtime writing male characters, and vice versa. I don not see a sign of that here, and I will happily admit that she dispels my myth.
I enjoyed Self in Gray's short story, Blue Bell, and he is good here, too, but he could put a little more effort in to bring home the emotional scenes, or better pace tha action ones. The story is great, but I always feel that a good narrator will elevate a story and make it even better. Still, I can't complain. His voices are distinct, and believable. His ennunciations are crisp and clear, and his pacing is spot on.
This is a great start to a series, but could just be read as a stand alone, either way, I bet you'll listen to it a few times just for the fun of it all. It is a great world that Gray has created, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what she does next.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Author Roma Gray
This is the best Western-Dinosaur book/tape on the market. Certainly a niche category, but a good one!! :)
I completely enjoyed this and will look for this author again.
I received a free copy in exchange for a honest review. I would have been satisfied and happy even if I had paid for it.
Never a dull moment.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Roma Gray is an amazing writer. I love her stories, especially this one. Western meets Sci-fi meets horror.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Different but very good. Roma Gray is an excellent author . She writes in a way that you get caught up in the characters and can’t wait to see what happens to them. Terry F. Self does all the voices extremely well. You can definitely tell the characters apart in his narration.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful