A year or two ago, I heard of a book in progress by the name of The Dinosaur Lords. I legitimately can’t remember the last time I got excited for a book based on literally nothing but the title before that day, but I was definitely interested. An epic swords and sorcery adventure with knights riding on dinosaurs? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! This is literally the kind of nonsense you’re REQUIRED to read as a member of the male gender. Remember that, F2Ms, there will be a test.
In the end… I suppose it was my own damn fault for getting as excited as I did. I think I may’ve set the bar a little too high on this one. If I didn’t do it, the author certainly did.
I’ve grown to love the fantasy genre in my adulthood. As a child, I really preferred scifi. As a teenager, I preferred horror, and even considered the fantasy genre to be “nothing but a bunch of gay-ass hobbit crap full of elves and trolls.” Try not to judge me too harshly: the words GAY and RETARDED had a nasty habit of meaning the same thing in the early 2000s. But in adulthood, fantasy is actually pretty appealing. Probably because the future ended up sucking ass. Still waiting for my robot butler and awesome flying car, you know. Fucking big oil.
Still, even as a guy who’s a lot more willing to shut his brain off and enjoy an idiotic sequence of battles between wizards and ogres or whatever, The Dinosaur Lords was a monumental disappointment to me. And it’s not entirely hard to see why, either.
There are definitely dinosaur knight battles, but seems like they’re a little too far and few between. Obviously, you have to have a story, or else it comes off as a montage of battles rather than a fantasy novel. Still, I found all the attempts at political intrigue more boring than anything else. It was a miracle I could keep half of these characters straight!
I honestly found Rob and the voivod more interesting than Melodia and the royal family. I also found myself wishing the book would just pick one and stick with it. Even if it went the boring route and picked the royal family, at least it committed. The book will often shift perspective from the royals to Rob and the Voivod and back in one chapter. Maybe it’s just how I write anymore, or maybe it’s just the kind of authors I read anymore, but it seems like a much better idea to build the chapter around one set of characters. I suppose you COULD build the story around both sets, but it’d probably work a lot better if you just let Rob and the voivod have their own chapter, then have the royal family sort out shit in another chapter.
Each chapter begins with a passage from “The Book of True Names”, which is just a fancy name for an encyclopedia of dinosaurs. And I guess that’s kind of cool… Except sometimes, the dinosaur they talk about has nothing to do with the chapter about to unfold. Or maybe I need to pay more attention. Seriously, I was so fucking bored listening to this audiobook, it wasn’t even funny. When they run out of dinosaurs, though, they give you a primer on the religion of the universe. It’s honestly not as fascinating as it ought to be.
The audiobook is read by Noah Michael Levine. Frankly, the way he goes about it, the Talkback app on my fucking Galaxy S5 would’ve made for a less mechanical reader. My god, this guy is boring! The dude reads the book with absolutely zero enthusiasm. I imagine as a reader of audiobooks, you tend to get some that you normally aren’t a fan of, but god damn, bro! The character dialogue is probably the only time NML shows any hint of personality. I can forgive a reader for being a man of two or three voices, but I just felt like this guy could’ve been doing literally anything else but reading this book right now.
There’s at least one other book in the series as of this writing, but after this experience, I’m thinking of calling it good here. I have no interest in pursuing this story past chapter 32. Frankly, I thought about picking up where I left off in the fucking Demon Accord after this. Yeah, The Demon Accord is basically gender-swopped Twilight at the point I left off, but at least the reader of THOSE books has some god damn personality.