Title: Dinosaur Jazz (The Jurassic Club #1)
Author: Michael Panush
Pub. Date: June, 2012
Summary: Acheron Island is a world lost to time, home to prehistoric creatures from earth’s savage past.
The island’s occupants range from ferocious, man-eating dinosaurs and savage Ape Man tribes to strange ruins from a lost civilization. It is also home to Sir Edwin Crowe, son of the Victorian explorer who discovered Acheron Island, renowned big game hunter, scarred Great War veteran, and last of the world’s Gentleman Adventurers.
But now Acheron Island has some new residents – ruthless American businessman Selwyn Slade and an army of corporate cronies. Why has Slade brought all of his modern industrial power to conquer this world from the past? Can Sir Edwin uncover his strange purpose and protect this prehistoric world? Sir Edwin’s only allies are his stalwart Ape Man partner, a beautiful torch singer with a mysterious agenda, his strong-willed sister and her archaeologist boyfriend, and a family of American tourists – and they’re about to become the last hope of a lost world.
It’s Jazz Age meets the Mesozoic Age in a world where cave men, gangsters, hunters, zeppelins, pirates, warlords and dinosaurs clash for a chance of survival. All that and more is waiting for you in Dinosaur Jazz, a tale of high adventure in a prehistoric world.
Genre: YA, Fantasy, DINOSAURS
Beyond Nathan’s naivety and clumsiness, a gentleman adventurer would not be a suitable career for anyone. There was no future in it. Men like Richard Francis Burton, Henry Morton Stanley and my own father had been the great heroes of a previous age, one that had vanished with the advent of the radio, the automobile, and the airplane – and with the horrors of the World War. I remain, of course – one of the last of the gentleman adventurer in a changing world.
There are a few keywords that are my automatic “omg I NEED to read this!” words. Dinosaurs, the Jazz Age (or anything pertaining to Gatsby), and anything alluding to steampunk. Dinosaur Jazz has all three in spades.
Acheron Island is something of a lost world. Sir Edwin Crowe’s father discovered the island and made both a name for himself and a nice chunk of change. However, he made more than a few poor financial decisions and now, instead of carrying on his father’s legacy, Edwin has to resort to being a tour guide in order to make ends meet.
If Colonel Griffin found James and me being gobbled down by a tyrannosaur, I doubt he’d do much more than pass the beast some Worchester sauce to improve our taste.
Things are going well until the arrival of the American Selwyn Slade and his shady company Titan Amalgamated. Add in a rogue band of cossacks along with a young archaeologist seeking his sister’s hand in marriage and it’s easy to see Sir Edwin certainly has his hands full.
“Edwin, don’t do anything stupid!” Clara added. It was a fair bit of advice.
Dinosaur Jazz has it all: adventure, humor, romance, mystery, and dinosaurs. Did I mention there are dinosaurs? The setting and characters are so wonderfully crafted, I could easily picture Acheron Island and felt like I really knew Sir Edwin and company. Each character has a distinct personality (and flaws!) and feel real, as though they could be someone you know – given, of course, you know dinosaur-hunting gentleman adventurers and flappers. But who doesn’t?
I had to begin preparations for the party. After all, rifles, prey and hunting were simple subjects. Stalking a sure-footed astrodon through the swamps of the Lethe River was easy enough. But attending this kind of formal affair may prove quite challenging indeed.
Going into Dinosaur Jazz, I had the impression it was going to be a light-hearted MG novel. After reading it, I’d say the book is far more suited toward teens and the YA crowd: I was a bit surprised at some scenes! Things got a little graphic and violent and I wasn’t expecting that at all. It doesn’t detract from the novel and in no way did it lessen my enjoyment, but I definitely did a double-take when one of the characters shot another – and it was described in detail.
While there is a fair amount of violence, Dinosaur Jazz is an awesome book that will be sure to please readers. Also, it has dinosaurs.