Review – Love in the Time of Dinosaurs
By S. T. Cartledge
At this point in time I have read 6 out of the 7 books in the 2010 New Bizarro Author Series. I’ve read five others before this and enjoyed them thoroughly. Not only do they strive to be entertaining in that unique, bizarro way, but these books are remarkably well thought out, very clever writing. I feel this is not only proof of the authors’ talents, but also of the editor who saw this process all the way through. I feel that these books are a brilliant showcase of a group of seriously talented up and coming authors in the bizarro field. Kevin Donihe has done a brilliant job picking these guys up and ensuring their debut novellas are of a high standard.
Now, on to Kirsten Alene‘s title, ‘Love in the Time of Dinosaurs’ is brilliant. What can I say? It’s about a race of monks trying to fight off the dinosaurs and the philosophical implications that occur when one monk starts thinking what if the dinosaurs aren’t all evil? Monks vs Dinosaurs is a pretty awesome concept on the surface, but by introducing the forbidden love angle, Kirsten gets us thinking about love and war and peace. Universal themes that reflect kindly on the human condition.
Often, we find that because we’re so used to the culture that we live in that we don’t question it. We believe in the world being a certain way and it is because it’s the only way we’ve ever known. As much as this book is about forbidden love, it is also about stopping and thinking about the world you live in and the culture that surrounds you. It’s not natural, but because you’ve grown up with people killing dinosaurs and being killed by dinosaurs, you assume the point in life is to kill dinosaurs and, most likely, be eaten by dinosaurs at some point. Just like you buy junk because everyone else buys junk and you want to fit in.
I find comfort in things that go against the grain, that get people to stop and think about the ‘forces that be’, the seemingly invisible god-complex-culture that we aspire to, and think that maybe the dinosaurs are mainly evil because we keep killing them and so they keep killing us, but what if there’s another way?
‘Love in the Time of Dinosaurs’ is well written, entertaining and resonant. It’s the sort of reach I’d like to have in my own writing.
I am definitely excited to see where Kirsten Alene’s writing takes her in the near future.
And don’t forget that September 15th is the Dinosaur Apocalypse. If enough people get behind this book we will see dinosaurs walking the earth once again. Go forth and make it happen!