This, the first in an exciting new book series, introduces us to ‘The World Of Supersaurs’. The book presents an appealing story idea - having dinosaurs exist in the modern day world alongside humans (or near-modern day world as the story is set in 1932). However, we have seen this idea employed before on several occasions - in Jurassic Park; The Lost World; Turok Dinosaur Hunter; etc. Even the Marvel comic universe has Ka-Zar and the Savage Land. However, the huge popularity levels surrounding dinosaurs always allow for more adventures.
The story introduces Beatrice Kingsley, a girl who lost her parents many years before, and is now looked after by her grandmother, Bunty, and her godfather, Theodore Logan. Bea, Bunty and Theodore take an exotic trip to the remote Indonesian island of Aru to view the elusive Raptors of Paradise, live in the wild. At least, Bea has been led to believe that is the sole purpose of their trip. The reality centres on a mysterious, delayed letter that Bunty received providing clues to the last know location of her daughter and son-in-law, i.e. Bea’s missing parents. But despite Bunty not wanting to upset her granddaughter and/or get their hopes up unnecessarily, it isn’t long before Bea starts asking questions. And the situation is compounded when they meet Christian Hayter, a mercenary dinosaur hunter and trader of live raptors who holds a stranglehold of anything dinosaur related on the island. But is there more? Does Christian Hayter know anything about Bea’s missing parents?
The book itself has a slow beginning, but the action picks up as the story goes on. The striking cover will entice many a young reader to give the book ago. The drawings inside are very good, but may have been printed in colour like the cover as the shading/computer colour blends made the art look too greyish, a bit like rubbed down dirt. The book also has a very useful Appendix section summarising factual data on the dinosaurs appearing in the story.
It additionally becomes very clear that the author is something of a cinephile. The following dialogue is presented on page 280 --> “ ... bring out the Beast.” “The Beast is sleeping ...” “Well, I guess you’ll just have to go wake him up now, won’t you?”
This is clearly replicated from the movie ‘Pulp Fiction’ (i.e. the ‘Bring Out The Gimp’ scene).
Then on page 324, we have a clear reference to ‘Jaws’ --> “I’m gonna need a bigger boat,” the captain muttered and headed the Orca out to sea.
Even the boat is called ‘The Orca’, just like the one owned by Clint, Robert Shaw’s character in ‘Jaws’.
Plus, on the final page of the story we have a replication of the mosasaur scene from ‘Jurassic World’ where the shark (in this case a pterosaur) is swallowed up whole.
It is a long book, but it is well written, and there is much to appeal to avid young readers, especially those interested in dinosaurs and adventure.