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Cretaceous Dawn    by Lisa M. Graziano & Michael S. A. Graziano Amazon.com order for
Cretaceous Dawn
by Lisa M. Graziano
Order:  USA  Can
Leapfrog Press, 2008 (2008)
Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Alex Telander

The authors of Cretaceous Dawn - Lisa M. Graziano, former professor of Oceanography, writer and researcher; and Michael S. A. Graziano, professor of Neuroscience are clearly experienced when tackling the subject of what life was like 65 millions years ago, during the age of the dinosaurs. In an adventure style like that of Jurassic Park and Ray Bradbury's short story Sound of Thunder, Cretaceous Dawn is a fun play on what if people existed alongside dinosaurs.

Julian Whitney is a paleontologist and a college professor who feels his life has little to offer in the way of entertainment, and he spends his days teaching his classes and hoping something will happen between him and attractive physics professor Yariko. Whitney is surprisingly called to Yariko's government funded and guarded lab to check on photos of unusual beetles at the start of the book. As he studies the photos that were taken very recently, he can't believe what he is seeing: the insects appear to be of a species that hasn't existed since the dinosaurs, which Whitney is used to seeing in fossilized form.

As Yariko and Whitney study the photos, her colleague, Dr. Shanker, starts up the quantum particle accelerator, while the two security guards return from lunch. There is a sudden explosion. Yariko, Whitney, Dr. Shanker and his dog (who was in the lab at the time) and one and a half security guards are miraculously transported back in time and find themselves alive and relatively well in the world of dinosaurs. Meanwhile police chief Sharon Earles is left with a much destroyed physics lab, a government-funded project gone horribly wrong, and half the body of a guard.

Cretaceous Dawn is a compelling story with plenty of plot and subplot going on. The authors do an excellent job of creating the juxtaposition between the 65 million year old world and the present day police investigation, keeping the reader interested until the end.

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