Friday, 8 February 2013

E-pulp Review of the Week - Dinosaur Jazz by Michael Panush.

One of my reviews for e-pulp series. This week it's the whacky and oh so pulp, Dinosaur Jazz:

Dinosaur Jazz (The Jurassic Club, #1)Dinosaur Jazz by Michael Panush
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Pulp Warning* My ereading pretty much revolves solely around epulp. My reviews are thus skewed. Reader beware :) *Pulp Warning*

Overall score: 4 stars (Recommended)

This is a story about Jazz Age dinosaurs. And whacky people who spend lots of time within close proximity to said Jazz Age dinosaurs.

If that doesn't excite you then check your pulse.

This is a fantastic read about a world that anyone with an adventurous bone in their body should want to visit. It's pulp at its pulpiest with genre smashing concepts embedded deeply within a period setting that would be familiar to anyone who holds fond memories of ye olde movies such as Lost World and its many derivatives. It's a fantastic idea that is backed up by great action and fantastic characters but, to my personal taste, does trip a little over its main protagonist.

Pacing and Action: 4 star.
This is a story that involves people who hunt and shoot dinosaurs for a living. Trust me, there's plenty of action. Throw in despotic robber-baron lunatics, Tommy gun toting gangsters, zeppelin flying smugglers and peace-averse cavemen all chasing after the same Macguffin and - trust me - there's plenty of action. About the only thing preventing this from being 5 stars is the protagonists bad habit of constantly going emo and reflecting on the world around him and how it doesn't understand him etc. This can become infuriating when you know there's a T-Rex just over the next ridge. I found myself internally screaming "GET ON WITH IT" more than a few times. But then I can be a bit impatient that way.

Pulp Concept: 6 stars.
You read me right. 6 stars out of 5. Pulp concepts don't get much better than this. It could have easily been implausible, having that many different dinosaurs stomping about on such a small geographical space, but this actually has a lot to do with overriding conspiracy of the island and is therefore saved on count back. Apart from that (and a fairly American-centric explanation about people going to the island just to drink booze. When they could just go, you know, anywhere else in the world) the concept is well grounded. Which is impressive considering how out there everything is. The concept is so good that you even forget about some of the other annoying parts, and that's why it gets 6 out of 5. The concept is just that good.

Character development: 3 stars.
This is probably more a personal thing than anything but the protagonist annoyed me. A lot. For a bloke who spends his work hours shooting T-Rexs with a hunting rifle he is incredibly mopey and passive. Very emo in all the worst ways. In the end I wondered if he would even be the hero of the story if the other people around him didn't make him do what everyone else knew he should be doing. The supporting cast however is very strong and diverse and helps to reveal the breadth and depth of what is possible in this crazy world. They help a lot.

Production: 5 stars.
No problems here. Good cover, well formatted and has maps and other things that help the reader and give the impression of a professional job. I think there was a few spelling mistakes but only enough to rile the spelling Nazis. Well done.

Series potential: 5 stars.

Be a crying shame if this doesn't continue. Absolute crying shame. Most of the story is wrapped up, and personally I wouldn't mind another protagonist, but the future adventure potential of this concept needs to be explored. Pronto.

Wrap up.

An excellent story with fantastic concepts that only suffers from a vaguely wearisome protagonist. Most people won't even notice so I highly recommend this to anyone who likes adventure or fun or dinosaurs. It's awesome.

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