The Dinosaur Knight: Dinosaurs weren’t enough (somehow)

The Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milan fantasy book reviewsThe Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milan fantasy book reviewsThe Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milan

I’m always a bit iffy about reading a second book in a series whose first book I didn’t much care for, but I guess it’s the optimist in me that overrules my better judgment. Optimism, and the fact that while rare, occasionally the second book does reward that optimism. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for Victor Milan’s The Dinosaur Knights (2016). As I noted in the review of book one, The Dinosaur Lords, the pitch for the series is simple: Game of Thrones meets Jurassic Park. Simple and oh-so-alluring. Knights riding dinosaurs — what could possibly ruin that concept? Sadly, as also noted in that review, it turned out several things could, and that remains true in the sequel. Since it’s a DNF, this will be brief so as not to belabor the issues.

I struggled my way through a little more than half of The Dinosaur Knights, figuring that was enough to give it a fair shake. Some of the problems were the same ones that marred book one: flat storyline, flat characters; I just found I had no interest in what was happening or who it was happening to — I just plodded along like one of the book’s triceratops. The plodding pace wasn’t helped by the structure, which leapt about from one POV to the other with more than a few awkward/abrupt shifts, several of which felt forced — a scene shift simply for (too) obvious suspense. Throw in a few what felt like gratuitous descriptions of the female body, a bad sex scene (the writing; the sex seemed like it was going OK), and a few clunky lines, and the style/prose wasn’t going to save the book from plot and character issues. As mentioned, I finally gave up about halfway through, which may be the first time in my life I haven’t finished a book that had dinosaurs in it.

Book 1                                          Book 3
fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Dinosaur Princess (The Dinosaur Lords) Kindle Edition by Victor Milán

Publication date: July 5, 2016. Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often cruel world. There are humans on Paradise but dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden, and of war. Armored knights ride dinosaurs to battle legions of war-trained Triceratops and their upstart peasant crews. Karyl Bogomirsky is one such knight who has chosen to rally those who seek a way from the path of war and madness. The fact that the Empire has announced a religious crusade against this peaceful kingdom, the people who just wish to live in peace anathema, and they all are to be converted or destroyed doesn’t help him one bit. Things really turn to mud when the dreaded Grey Angels, fabled ancient weapons of the Gods who created Paradise in the first place come on the scene after almost a millennia. Everyone thought that they were fables used to scare children. They are very much real. And they have come to rid the world of sin…including all the humans who manifest those vices. THE DINOSAUR KNIGHTS is the second in Victor Milan’s lush, exotic tale about knights. Knights riding dinosaurs.

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BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.

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