Age of Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex by J.F. Rivkin (1992)

AgeofDinosCover blurb

THE SEARCH FOR LOST CIVILIZATIONS

Famous explorer Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Brazilian rainforests in 1925. Almost sixty years later, young Christine Fawcett finds a mysterious package in the family attic that rouses her curiosity. Soon she’s on a quest to Brazil to find out what really happened to her illustrious ancestor.

Accompanied by her boyfriend, Tony, and his military buddy, Manuel, Chris sets out for uncharted territory and discovers something she hasn’t even been seeking – a Mayan pyramid where no should exist! But this temple is far more than just an exciting archaeological find. For the three intrepid explorers are suddenly thrown back into the Cretaceous epoch, confronted by deadly dinosaurs, and the deranged Percy Fawcett – still alive and trapped in the past after crossing through the same gateway to elsewhen… 

My thoughts

I picked up this novel expecting nothing more from it than a couple nights of old-fashioned pulp entertainment. After all it had: Dinosaurs! Lost temples! Missing explorers! Sadly, it failed even to  reach the very low bar I had set, thanks to some atrocious writing.

Christine Fawcett is the 29-year-old descendant of Percy Fawcett, a real-life explorer who disappeared in 1925 looking for a legendary lost city in the Amazon rainforest. (His story is recounted in the nonfiction Lost City of Z.) Rummaging through some old trunks, Christine finds a fresh T. rex bone. How does she know it’s fresh? She has it carbon-14 dated, which shows it’s not millions of years old. (No, no, no!) To track down where the bone came from, Christine and her slacker boyfriend head to Brazil, where they eventually find a Mayan temple that transports them back to the Age of Dinosaurs. And there’s a T. rex.

I’ve tried hard to erase this book from my memory since reading about three or four years ago, and I’ve been mostly successful. It’s simply awful, with eye-rolling dialogue, ugly writing, and no sense of story structure. It weighs in at a slim 250 pages, but feels twice as long. Is there anything positive I can say about it? Well, it has some cool cover art.

Trivia

  • Age of Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaur rex was supposed to be start of a series of dinosaur-themed novels, but I’m pretty sure no others were produced. Amazon.com has a listing for an Age of Dinosaurs: Stegosaurus by the same author, but no publication date.
  • J.F. Rivkin is a pseudonym for two unidentified authors, according to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. They are apparently best known for their fantasy novels.

Reviews

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