Review: Dinocalypse Now by Chuck Wendig

Dinocalypse Now  is the first book in The Dinocalypse Trilogy – Evil Hat’s first move into fiction, written by Chuck Wendig, and set in the wild-and-crazy early-20th-Century pulp universe of Spirit of the Century. In it we follow the adventures of six heroes, Centurions of the Century Club (including one talking ape!), as they take on a world-spanning invasion of psychic dinosaurs from beyond time itself. 1

YES. YES YES PLEASE FUCK GOD YES.

Oh I am so bored of Zombies and Guns and something this crazy is JUST WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW.

It doesn’t hurt that I’ve long been a fan of Chuck Wendig – his writing advice is brilliant, and his novel Blackbirds is one of the best I’ve read this year – and I’ve played a few Spirit of the Century games too – that whole alternative past with fantasy elements thing is MY thing.

Dinocalypse Now manages to completely avoid ALL of the problems I talked about in this post. It features interesting, unique characters who seem like real people, a breakneck, unusual plot – I actually cannot fangirl about it enough, so…

Let’s start from the beginning.

Dinocalypse Now is a book that is almost impossible to describe. If you try, it sounds like a mess… but it works. Oh, it works.

In Dinocalypse Now, the Centurions are the heroes of the Century club, a group of protectors. While trying to protect the president, they are attacked by Saurians… and from there the plot takes off with ridiculous speed. There are so many fantasic things about this book that would be spoilers if I explained them.  But suffice it to say the events grab the reader and take them away on a journey that would seem ridiculous if I explained it, but seems believable as well as fun when you’re reading it.

The writing in Dinocalypse Now is sharp and competent and descriptive, the characters well sketched and believable, and the whole thing is a wild ride of awesomeness. It’s sheer pulp, with airships and dinosaurs and talking apes and beautiful wench wrenches and love triangles and… and… and.

It’s a quick read, which I know is important for some of you (though myself I prefer a slightly more leisurely pace – that would be my only real criticism here).

Look, I find it really hard to review stuff I genuinely love. Is Dinocalypse Now great literature? No. Is it hella fun? Yes! Is it perfect? No. Is it utterly readable? Yes! Is it for everyone? Almost certainly not. But I love it. And if you like ridiculous, cracky plots, excellent characters, sharp writing, and a well-captured pulp sensibility, you’ll love it.

I look forward to the others.

You can buy it here.

I give it [4/5 stars]

  1. Review copy provided by Evil Hat

anninyn

Anninyn lives and works in the UK, though she writes in a world of her own. Raised on a steady diet of sci-fi, intellectualism and political thinking by hippies, she looks at modern life through a somewhat-...unique... lens. She is obsessed with the apocalypse, and can be reached at anninyn@incaseofsurvival.com for all apocalypse-based inquiries. She is working on her first novel. You can find out about her and her other work through her website http://cbblanchard.com/

2 Replies to “Review: Dinocalypse Now by Chuck Wendig

    1. Wendig’s style is very distinct – lots of short sentences and odd similes – and unless you’re into it it can be tricky. But if you like pulpish adventure, he’s your guy. (Read Blackbirds at some point, I think you’ll like it.)

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