Friday, September 20, 2013

Ralph's Rants does Reviews Cryptozoica By Mark Ellis

Book Review of Cryptozoica by Mark Ellis


I went into reading ‘Cryptozoica’ with a slight amount of apprehension, but the subject matter appealed to me. An island filled with dinosaurs that lay undiscovered by modern man, and the cover depicted raptors and a T-Rex type of Dino. Queue up the ‘Jurassic Park’ music!

While there were some similarities between the two properties it was not enough to spoil my enjoyment of this book. I have to give Mark Ellis credit; the amount of research he had to do to make this book work is very impressive. I was blown away by the depth of knowledge he wrote with.

One other reason for my apprehension was that I read some of the reviews for the book and they seemed to point in the direction of this book being anti-Christian, which to be honest I did not find. If anything I think it gave a fair argument for both sides, be it intelligent design or evolution. Now being a Christian man myself I was relieved to find that this was not a central theme to the story, in fact it was more in the background of the plot, sort of a ‘What if this got out what would it cause?’ type of situation.

But on to the details, this is an adventure book about a down on his luck ex-fighter pilot who’s been stuck on an island called ‘Little Tamtung’ for the past two years, ‘Big Tamtung’, where the Dino’s are is the island close by and where Cryptozoica was set up.  

Cryptozoica was originally set up as a sort of playground for the rich and famous. But it never got off the ground as there were several deaths of the financiers who decided they wanted more out of the island than just profit, but you’ll have to read it to find out what.  

Since that time ‘Tombstone Jack Kavanaugh’ has been basically trapped on Little Tamtung, because to go back to the states he would be held liable for the wrongful death suits involved in those men’s demise.

The story is filled with action, both of the Man vs. Dino type as well as Man vs. Man. It’s a deep plot involving Asian triads and who wants what money from whom.

But there’s more to it than just that, there’s also the fountain of youth, or in this case the ‘Prima Materia’ or Prime Material which in legend was supposed to be where all life sprang from.

There’s also telepathic lizard women as well.

And dinosaurs, did I mention dinosaurs?

All in all I have to say this was probably the best book I’ve read all year. While I caught small editing mistakes along the way (Tense of certain words as well as missing words all together) stuff like that does not bother me at all, so to me at least it’s not important. Hell I’ve read books published by Tor and other big publishers that have had worse mistakes.

I was surprised how much I liked this book, as I was sad to see it end. There is much left unsaid about Jack Kavanaugh, his partner Crowe, Mouzi the tough female repair tech, triad leader and former dancer Bai Suzhain, and the lovely Honore’ Roxton. Never mind the devil dwarf, Aubrey Belleau. The end looks like its set for another book, and I hope it is. I really liked this book quite a bit, actually more than I expected to, to be honest.

My one negative was not seeing Kavanaugh kick the evil giant Hamish Oakschott’s ass. That would have made this a 100% perfect book for me. As it is it’s only 99.99%. I can’t recommend this one enough. I absolutely loved it.
Cryptozoica is available at Amazon

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