When Faye messaged me and asked me if I would like to take part in a blog tour for ‘Survive’ by Stephen Llewelyn, a book about space travel and dinosaurs, I leapt at the opportunity. There aren’t enough dinosaur books out there in my opinion, so it is fabulous to see another one hit the shelves.
Earth – population 50 billion. Population, crime and scarcity are out of our control. Instantaneous travel provides hope for the terraforming of another world, but then:
A terrorist attack. An explosion at the event horizon of a wormhole. A murder. A trail of clues, misinformation and sabotage. Nothing is as it seems as an old enemy returns from the shadows.
100 years from now, the 100 souls abours the USS New World are thrown back 100 million years to the deadly Cretaceous Period. From there, an epic fight to save humanity begins; but first they must survive.
A multi – national, eclectic crew; among them the good, the not so good and the no damned good at all. Loss, courage, genius and sheet blood – mindedness bind them.
NASA Captain, James Douglas, and his first officer, Jill Baines, expected a taxi run to Mars. Now they must escape a fearsome Mapusaurus pack, survive natural disasters, brutal discoveries and treachery.
I wish to start this review by saying I am a dinosaur fan, a big one. I never grew out of my dinosaur obsession, and even considered palaeontology before teaching. There are not enough dinosaur books out there, in my opinion, so I squealed with excitement when this book arrived.
I read this book in 2 days flat. I found it very difficult to put down, I even managed to shut out the noise of a coffee shop and read for 2 hours – high praise indeed from me. The idea of space travel to Mars and Earth being over – populated and destroyed by humans has been done to death; however, this book has a twist. Whilst on their way to Mars, our cast of characters find themselves in the midst of a terrorist attack that sends them back to the Cretaceous Period, interestingly most other books I have read and films I have seen contain dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period so it was nice to have a change.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about our eclectic cast of characters, with a particular fondness for Douglas and Tim – I could read about these two all day. This book had me hooked, I couldn’t put it down. Things would calm down and then the next minute, drama and action would start again and I couldn’t tell what was going to happen next.
There was enough scientific knowledge to keep me happy, along with a host of action (that did not follow all of your classic sci – fi tropes) I gasped audibly at times, felt genuine emotion and worry about what was going to happen to the characters and also snorted with laughter at times – always a good combination.
I also really appreciated the fact that on the brink of disaster, hosts of couples didn’t start cropping up. There were jokes about people liking eachother, but people were more worried about surviving than getting together, you don’t often get that in stories!
There was also discussion around ethics and religion in relation to this cast of characters finding themselves in an awful situation, and trying to figure out how to cope with it. I appreciated this as it reflected human nature and just how we try to survive in the face of sheer terror and disaster.
My only criticism would be, more dinosaurs please, we always need more dinosaurs. Also, why can’t I have the next book please? I need it in my life now. But I have to wait, and that just doesn’t seem fair!
Trigger warnings: Discussions of Nazism and an abusive relationship
Originally from Dudley in the West Midlands, Stephen Llewelyn works in construction. Years spent digging into the foundations of ancient buildings, steeped in a vivid sense of the past, inspired his research into palaeontology and, in turn, shaped his inventive science fiction trilogy. Llewelyn lives with his wife and their four dogs in the mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales. The cover design for Survive features a line drawing of a Giganotosaurus skull by Hannah Armstrong, a young artist who died in tragic circumstances; Llewelyn plans to donate a percentage of royalties from the sale of Survive to the charity, MIND, in Hannah’s memory.
It is also worth highlighting further that 5% of the proceeds go to Mind, the mental health charity, which is fabulous!
Blog Tour Information
Also, if you are a big dinosaur fan, why not join us for Dinoathon?!