(NOTE: All parentheticals in this review were added by the reviewer's Ego for its own personal enjoyment/entertainment and do not reflect the views and opinions of the book or its author. The Ego does hope that the author's husband appreciates the joke. Okay, enough with this insidery bullshit. On to the review!)
Look out, monks! Here come the Jeremy (Johnson)!
It's the End of Days for this mountain forest's monastery and villages, hostile dinosaurs won't stop until every last human is dead and eaten. Our monk feels there must be a way to end the fighting, but knows his death at the hands of a samurai sword wielding pterodactyl or cannon blasting stegosaurus is most likely what fate has in store for him.
If only the Steve, energistic forest creatures birthed from the monks meditative thoughts, hadn't abandoned the people all those years ago. What shitheads!
Before they left, they bestowed upon Elder Zohar the secrets of a magic kung-fu most helpful in making lethal warriors out of the monks, but still not as effective as the monastery's stockpile of plasticizing ray guns and explosive elephant guns, or ingenious as their regenerative medical procedures. Unfortunately, all these combined still don't equate to a goddamned thing when stacked up against the monster tank Jeremy (Johnson) and their far superior technology.
During a surprise attack on the watchmen, our monk hitches a ride on one wild pterosaur flight that lands him in a clearing currently settled by an unknown species of mysterious dinosaur.
This revelation confuses our monk, leading him to seek enlightenment from the Elders. His searching eventually brings him to Petunia, a beautiful and peaceful Trachodon whose tribe, like the monks, only wants the fighting to cease.
The monks are on the losing side of an epic war and running out of options. Their prayers won't be enough to save anyone's ass.
Hope survives in the light of a billion fireflies burning brightly inside our monk!
Jeremy (Johnson), the Great Destroyer, must be stopped!!
For Petunia, and to give the whole world a chance at a tomorrow, at a new day!!!
I had such a blast seeing inside the mind of our protagonist. The cornfields were fucking beautiful!
In true warrior monk fashion, our protagonist has learned the art of calming and focusing his mind to stay fighting fit. But amid so much violence and bloodshed, coupled with foreign but strong emotions for Petunia, he finds it increasingly harder to find balance with his inner self.
The elders are not making life any easier for him either. Most respected of these leaders is Elder Zohar. His legs were bitten off during the first victory against the Jeremy (Johnson) and now he crawls around on the ten fingers of the hands grafted onto his torso. Like a wise master should, he knows our protagonist is troubled and instructs accordingly, all the while keeping a watchful eye on him.
The Jeremy (Johnson) are the ultimate Cretaceous warriors. Killing machines evolved to be as swift and brutal as possible. Advanced also in mind and intelligence, their weaponry is unmatched by even the strongest of magic kung-fu.
It is our protagonist's higher level of awareness that helps him gain insight into a greater problem lurking underneath their current fight. The monks and the Jeremy (Johnson) have fought for so long now that neither side knows how to live any other way then through death.
I think if our protagonist isn't careful, he could find himself the enemy of both sides.
My absolute favorite sentence in Love In The Time Of Dinosaurs is as follows.
"You are only a series of still images conjured into existence by three objective perceivers."
That one, uttered by the stars to our narrator in order to calm his rising panic, clicks well with the LSD in me.
This is epic prehistorical fiction, its words bursting to life with Ms. Alene's vibrant, colorful language. Scenes of dinosaur carnage and monk guerrilla warfare tactics are juxtoposed with whirlwind mirages of pure symbolism created in the four dimensional space of our narrator's mind.
The book is also, as the reader might expect, a tale of love. Forbidden love even. The Jeremy (Johnson) and monks do not mix. Our narrator seeks to break monastic tradition in a world where their history is all they have left. It matters not how great the risks are, his life was unalterably changed the day he met Petunia.
For me, it is the kind of book I wanted to read when I was a kid, a fairy tale with meat on its bones and never afraid to get dirty. Our narrator's faith will be tested often as he bets it all on the dream of something perfect...
Does the dream of true love, however, even have the capability to conquer the Jeremy (Johnson)?
I believe it is possible. I have to believe in our narrator and Petunia. Together, they can stop the spread of this tooth and claw cancer. Watch out Jeremy (Johnson), you're about to get vaccinated with one serious love injection. Kah-Zow!
Here's a picture I drew of a dinosaur for my nephew Elijah. He was pretty amazed that it could breathe fire.
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