Book Review: The Dinosaur Chronicles

The Dinosaur Chronicles Book Cover The Dinosaur Chronicles
Joseph Erhardt
Short-story Collection, Science Fiction
December 21, 2015

A scientist creates a time machine and precipitates the Ultimate Disaster.
Two boys enter a county fair and encounter the world's greatest juggler, who has a secret that's both wonderful and double-edged.
A man kills and forgets--utterly--that his victims ever existed; a nurse tries to help and uncovers a shocking secret.
Of what use is a planet with a 20,000-year lifespan? And why would it be a locus for murder?
A couple is stranded in their Colorado cottage by an antagonized creature that they can't see, and it's getting bolder and smarter as the hours go by.

The Dinosaur Chronicles contains 14 long and short tales of science fiction and fantasy in the classic style; they run the gamut from the thoughtful to the witty to the poignant. Tales of adventure and tales of discovery teem with characters that are everyday, one-in-a-million and from beyond the edge of reality. Let the stories from this collection take you to places strange, wonderful and--sometimes--downright scary.

My Review

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t usually read a lot of short story collections, but I am glad that I gave this a shot, as I thoroughly enjoyed the format and the stories within.

The Dinosaur Chronicles contains short stories (some that took me only about 5-10 minutes to read, and some longer ones.) with various different themes and topics, but most of them were of a science fiction nature. The author developed some very great characters, even in such a short amount of time. I think it takes a talented author to be able to do this well, in such a succinct way.

Even though I felt a few of the stories were a bit slow or confusing at first, what I came to love is that there was always a really great twist at the end that nobody could predict, and sometimes these were just downright hilarious. I really enjoyed the surprise endings.

The author also explores some important themes in science fiction, such as time travel (and the consequences), and memory modification technology. These stories get the reader thinking about the potential pros and cons of such things, while also keeping them entertained.

I’m not sure if this is common for these types of works, but I also really enjoyed the brief commentary from the author after each story giving background to where they came from, and the meaning (or lack thereof) of a particular story.

Are you a fan or short-story collections, or want to try something new? Check out this collection. You won’t be disappointed.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Time of Useful Consciousness

Time of Useful Consciousness Book Cover Time of Useful Consciousness
Jennifer Ott
Historial Fiction, Thriller
June 28, 2015

Louisa Unger, a young German woman in Post-War World II Germany kills a man in cold blood. Despite her crime, her fate is up to her - give up her countrymen for her freedom. She decides to play the loyalty card and remain in prison.

During the interrogations, Louisa weaves her tale of the events by evading any real information. She relives reuniting with her estranged brother Freddy, falling in love with Kris, a former reconnaissance pilot and learning to fly to a plane. She recounts in fairy tale fashion of monsters cloaked in shadows and lessons learned by incorrigible children.

Seduced into the bliss of romance and flying, Louisa fails to recognize any threat. She grows immersed in the life of a smuggler, a pilot and a lover. It is hard to come back down to earth, when soaring so high.

My Review

“Such beautiful scenery for such evil men. Why were the evildoers blessed with such beauty and the good masses succumbed to the gray darkness of the city?”

This book takes place in post WWII Germnay, and follows the story of a German woman, Louisa, and the part she plays as a pilot in a smuggling operation. After murdering someone in cold-blood, she is taken into custody by the U.S Military. The book takes place from the prison, and also acts as a retelling of the events in the years previous to her capture. This story is interesting in that it is told from the perspective of a German woman, and explores the post-war conditions they were facing.

There is strong character development and relationship building in this book, whether it was with Louisa’s brother Freddy, or her mother’s lover, a Colonel in the U.S. Army. Louisa starts out as a young immature woman, and in the end, is bold, adventurous, and confident. She will stop at nothing to protect those she loves.

The story was quick-moving and captivated me all the way through. It was well-written and easy to follow, even though it jumped between different time periods frequently. The only negative point I would make is that the book ended quite quickly with a twist. The author didn’t waste any time wrapping up the story.

I would highly recommend this book for all of those interested in WWII historical fiction, or anyone who loves a great thriller.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.