3 out of 4 stars
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According to modern paleontology, dinosaurs disappeared from earth roughly sixty-five million years ago. Most scientists attribute their loss to an external catastrophic event, such as a large meteor strike. Glenn Paris offers a speculative alternative in his book, Dragon’s Heir.
In Dragon’s Heir, the dinosaurs are really an advanced society known as Efilu. Together, the Efilu chose to leave to colonize space when their actions created an inhospitable environment on earth. Sixty-five million years later, the Efilu face a conflict that drives a secret mission back to Earth to locate an untainted food source. When they return, the Efilu discover that one of the species of nuisance has gained sentience and now controls the planet.
It took me a little while to get into this novel at first because of the detailed world building Paris put into his novel. Efilu characters use terms and language without necessarily explaining them to a reader. After a chapter or two, I found myself truly appreciating how well Paris built his world. Paris trusts his readers to be intelligent and figure things out with context clues. As the book progresses, Paris reveals more details and masterfully draws the plot and setting together. At the end of the novel, Paris includes a glossary of Efilu terms that can be helpful to understanding the alien races, customs, and terms. That said, this still might not appeal to readers that dislike the feeling of being dropped into the deep end and forced to sink or swim.
One of my favorite features of this book is the way that Paris never introduces a detail without using it later. Small details, such as the oils on the coat of one of the characters or the fact that certain species always hunt in pairs, may seem insignificant in one scene and become critical in another. I thoroughly enjoyed Paris’s well-planned story and attention to detail throughout the novel.
With Paris’s attention to detail and clever story-telling, I give Dragon’s Heir 3 out of 4 stars. While the book seems to be generally well-edited, there were just enough errors scattered throughout the book to force me to remove a star. I recommend this book to readers that love detailed worlds and epic stories of science-fiction survival.
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