Friday, August 12, 2016

The Dinosaur Hunters

The Dinosaur Hunters is a novella that takes place in the world Patrick Samphire created for his Secrets of the Dragon Tomb series. The first book in the series is one of my favorite reads of this year. If you haven't read it, you should. You should also get your hands on this prequel novella that gives a wonderful glimpse into other elements of the world Samphire created and introduces a fabulous heroine.

Harriet George is determined to rescue her brother in law Bertram from his own stupidity. Bertram has bumbled his way along as a police inspector, but as rumors of a famous jewel thief no can catch coming to Tharsis City begin to spread, Bertram finds himself volunteered to capture the criminal. Harriet knows he will be unsuccessful and this will end his career leaving the family destitute. Harriet, disguised as a boy, goes along with Bertram on an expedition to hunt dinosaurs with the person believed to be the target of the famous jewel thief. The jewel thief does indeed strike, but he is not the only criminal lurking in the shadows of the hunt. Soon Harriet and Bertram find themselves investigating a murder while trying to not get eaten by the dinosaurs their expedition is there to hunt.

As a novella, The Dinosaur Hunters is a short quick read. Yet I was impressed with how much character development Samphire was able to do with the limited pages. Harriet is a force to be reckoned with. She is smart though far out of her element. She has no investigative training or much idea of how to handle a weapon. What she does have in abundance is instinct, common sense, and the ability to think quickly on her feet. I hope that this novella is the just the first we get of her in this series and that she will feature in one of the novels later.

The other characters are fairly standard for a mystery of this type, but I had no trouble keeping them straight in my head. None of them were forgettable. The plot is one of those mysteries that I love: a small group of people cut off for the most part and everyone is a suspect. The plot takes several twists along the way. I enjoyed every one of them and the ending was incredibly satisfying. The dinosaurs the expedition is hunting gave a whole other edge of danger and adventure to the story. I enjoyed seeing their place in the Martian world and connection to earth's fossils further explored.

This is a perfect introduction to the world Samphire has built if you are looking for one, and a must read for anyone who has read and enjoyed The Secrets of the Dragon Tomb.

I read a copy given to me by the author.


Kim Aippersbach said...

Secrets of the Dragon Tomb has been on my radar for a while. I just requested it through ILL. (I love interlibrary loan; it seriously gives me hope for the future of humanity that such a thing exists!)(Ahem.) Looking forward to it!

Brandy said...

I hope you enjoy it! I think this word is so much fun.