3 out of 4 stars
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What if one archaeological/paleontology find could change the way that we understand all of history? That is exactly how B.A. Vonsik begins his tale of Primeval Origins. The book begins rather normally, with a paleontology dig taking place in Bolivia. An extremely large, carnivorous dinosaur’s fossilized remains have been found and a team of American scientists are working hard. This, however, will not be like any other dig these men and women have experienced before. Not only are there marks in some of the bones that hint at an extremely sharp, sword-like weapon being used on the dinosaurs, but the potential implement is fount lodged in the skull. The team quickly realizes that there is more here than meets the eye, when a full cache of these weapons are discovered, and powerful forces are released.
The reader is then transported, presumably, back millions of years and the story takes another angle. We now follow Rogaan, a Tellen adolescent, who has finally been given the opportunity to join his tribe on the annual hunt. Rogaan ventures out into the dangerous world beyond the walls of Brigum and seeks to prove himself as a warrior. During the hunt, Vonsik weaves a tale of a land where humans, dinosaurs, and all sorts of prehistoric creatures live on the same Earth. He leads the reader through how they would interact with each other and through the humans’ fight to survive the creatures and each other. Upon the hunts conclusion, Rogaan (and the reader), are quick to realise that not all is as peaceful as things seem. He is thrown head over heels into a controversy that he clearly doesn’t understand and finds himself, on more than one occasion, running for his life. Not knowing who to trust or where to go, Rogaan tries desperately to keep himself and his friends alive amongst all those who would help and harm him.
Vonsik is an extremely good story teller and goes the extra mile to put you into whichever location he has set up next. He has built a backstory, history, and a world for his characters reminiscent of any great epic fantasy. He has evidently put countless hours into developing his characters and his world in order to make the fiction come to life in the eye of the reader. The plot itself is well thought out, exciting, and full of action. It was definitely more than enough to keep you flipping page after page. What I liked the most about this book was how the author was able to imagine humans and dinosaurs living together. It was very fascinating for me to read of how these people would have avoided being eaten, hunted the monsters, developed techniques to avoid detection, and even tame some enough to ride these beasts.
There were two things that I found either annoying or distracting about this book. The first, and what I disliked the most, is often found in the annals of epic fantasies throughout literature: the creative naming of characters, places, and things. I understand that the point is to extend the reader beyond reality but when I am faced with instance after instance of items like Kiuri’Ner, Dubsa’Sauru’Saar, shuni’ra, Zagdu-i-Kuzu, or Ursa-ne-Ursa, I get slightly annoyed. My second point also is often the case with epic fantasies. There was a ton of information and history packed into this book and, in my opinion, not long enough. Books like these are often massive tomes of literature and there is often a reason for this. All of the background information needs to be passed along to the reader alongside the main storyline. Although this book did very well in passing both messages for its duration, I really did feel like I only got half a book. There is a blatant cliff-hanger at the end and nothing was entirely resolved. I much prefer it when books in a series can either act well as an individual novel or at least tie up a few loose ends before sucking you into a sequel. This is not the case for this book.
I really did enjoy this book and have no qualms giving Primeval Origins a solid 3 out of 4 stars. It is very well thought out, well written, and definitely thought provoking. Unfortunately, based on the points above, and the blatant forcing of the reader to read the sequel to get modicum of closure, I had to take away a measly star. If you are a fan of epic fantasy novels, love reading about new worlds, or have a thing for humans and dinosaurs co-existing, this book is for you. If you absolutely need closure at the end of a book and don’t care for an author forcing you into a sequel, this one won’t be for you.
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