Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Hard Time: A Dinosaur Thriller by Alex Laybourne.
About the book: Rookie officer Peter Malone and his heavily armed team are sent on a deadly mission to extract a dangerous criminal from a classified prison world. A Kruger Correctional facility where only the hardest, most vicious criminals are sent to fend for themselves, never to return.
But when the team come face to face with ancient beasts from a lost world, their mission is changed. The new objective: Survive.
My review: I think it’s only fair to say I’m a huge fan of the sci-fi angle with dinosaurs, and as a fan of the author’s other work it was only a matter of time until I got to this one. First off, I loved the synopsis. I think the idea of a prison sending their prisoners doing hard time to a prehistoric world is a perfect fit in the dystopian genre.
The “out of sight, out of mind” thought process really hits home when the guards are sent to retrieve the lone prisoner to ever make it through his sentence alive. The thought of being in a place where you’re surrounded by plants and animals, yet unable to see them is terrifying, and I thought that was captured with the story’s claustrophobic nature. Add to that the fun of witnessing a different way for the creatures to eat the men made it a fun and entertaining plot.
The characters were an interesting mix with the guards offering a civilized approach to nature while the prisoners adopted a wild animal type of personalities similar to what we hear of real prisons. I do have to admit I’m curious how or why they couldn’t find a way to come together to build something for their mutual benefit. It could just be the optimist in me. lol
One thing that bothered me was the ending. The author’s approach didn’t bother me as much as the how of a certain pair came about. I don’t want to go into greater detail due to spoilers, but it’s an interesting idea that leaves open the potential for a sequel. I did love the fight scene near the end, as my favorite dinosaur won, but I’ll leave the details to you all to figure out.
If you’re a fan of dinosaurs, sci-fi, and dystopian settings, then this is the thing for you.