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Dinosaur Wars: Earthfall (English Edition) Formato Kindle
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Nice steady pace.
Easy to follow and well thought out plot.
Very interesting descriptions of animals and dinosaurs
Good development of characters
Lots of action
A bit of health suspension of belief is needed to enjoy the novel. But that is true of virtually all sci fi.
Some unresolved issues, but no giant cliffhanger ending.
Overall, I liked this novel and give it a solid B+ rating. Well worth the time to read.
Yes, the plot is whacky, the science is at least half fantasy, as is the military reaction, and the characters' activities--not to mention the intelligent dinos waging war on humankind. But the book was a blast to read, fast paced with accessible, if somewhat one-dimensional characters.
I think what got me, besides the whole Jurassic Park meets War of the Worlds plot, is the way the author managed to weave a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor into his non-stop, dino action. For instance, when the paleontologist, one of the main characters in the book, is rounded up with some millitary men to be the intelligent dino's dinner, he thinks to himself, as the dinosaurs he's spent his whole life studying lean over him with their jaws ready to take a bite: "So this is what they mean when they say you're consumed by your work." How can you not like puns and dinosaurs in the same book???
And there are moments of real pathos, terror, anger...the author manages to get the reader to feel the whole spectrum. Yes, including, eyerolling "you've got to be kidding me" moments. There are a lot of those, it has to be admitted. And I thought the ending was the biggest eyeroller of them all, especially how the lone For Peace dino never has a moment of angst over the humans blowing away his home base where his beloved, pregnant wife was nesting. He's STILL bent on making peace with these tasty, so-called intelligent humans.
I do think that you will enjoy this book, as I did, if you park your modern outlook and knowledge of real science, and instead let yourself channel the days of Edgar Rice Burroughs and scienece fiction adventures from the pulp fiction days of yesteryear.
***************** SPOILERS FOLLOW *************************
Okay here we go. Thomas Hopp is a scientist by training. He is obviously a brilliant man. Unfortunately the requirements for disbelief are repeated strained beyond the breaking point. He is also something of a historian about the WWII military. I have a hard time reconciling that with the many logistical and military errors in this book.
A JPL moon orbiter discovers artificially created structures on the moon. The scientists are sworn to total secrecy under threat of force by the military acting on presidential orders no less. Astronauts are send to the moon to what turns out to be a base built by aliens again in total secrecy. They power it up and shortly thereafter contact is lost. A second mission is lost before it can land on the moon. Two years after the initial mission the dinosaurs attack a completely unprepared earth. Let us list a few of the problems:
1: Whether or not you were old enough to be around in the 1960s all of us are very familiar with the moon landings and most of the space program from Gemini on. Why? It was on television. Amateur radio operators around the globe monitored all communications from the spacecraft to the earth. While space exploration is not as popular now as then, there are still thousands of hams that monitor transmissions today. It is simply not possible to send a mission to the moon in secret. It is further not possible for the results of that mission to be kept secret with out encryption. The united states does not encrypt the data from manned space missions. To do so would cause immense scrutiny. Once contact is lost with the first mission the "rescue" mission would be monitored by every conceivable method and group. Foreign and domestic, professional and amateur, civilian and military every group. It would be impossible to keep secret the loss of the second mission before it could land. Imagine the congressional investigations.
2: We are supposed to accept that the lost of a mission to an immensely large (city sized) underground alien facility after we powered it on would not be treated as suspicious by the our military and government? We are supposed to believe that upon the loss of contact with the manned mission unmanned satellites and walkers would not be immediately sent to the moon while the rescue mission was being readied? We are supposed to believe that when the rescue mission was lost every available monitoring method possible would not be focused on the moon? We are supposed to believe that upon the loss of the second mission every other advanced country in the world would not also focus on the moon?
Simply too far a reach. Much too far a reach.
3: The dinosaur's initial attack is using a single moon based "death ray" which in the first 24 hours destroys the military capability of every land based military base on earth, every military air asset not at sea, every power generation station, every communication resource that broadcast in the previous 24 months, every space asset in earth orbit. Care to guess how many of those there are? Keep in mind that these are precision strikes which take out individual assets and leave surround building and people untouched. Yes hundreds of thousands perhaps tens of millions are killed as collateral damage but many strikes are required for each base. In some cases individual vehicles are targeted. The beam is seen to flicker on and off are human detectable intervals. Sorry simply not possible.
4: All that's left is NORAD whose mountain survives repeated heavy assaults by the death ray. The only communications are via a few CB and amateur radio operators who had not transmitted in the previous 2 years. There are more than 2.5 million hams on earth. Over 500,000 in the USA alone. Many ham's, by the way, participate in field day events where they haul equipment to remote locations, set up and power emergency communication nets which they can interface with government, rescue, and emergency personnel. Wipe out every stationary tower and hams would be on the air within 8 hours. Can't happen.
5. Tight beam communications can't be detected unless you are able to intercept the beam. The military has a hardened, buried, optical communication network that would survive until every node was destroyed. NORAD would still be able to communicate. As would the POTUS. As would every surviving military base. The death ray can't blind and silence human kind.
6: Thus there could be no "surprise" attack, from a single moon based weapon, that devastates earth's ability to respond. The attack begins in Asia and Europe so the US gets a "few" hours warning but is still caught with it's planes and tanks parked on the ground at various bases. A few hours is an eternity, especially for the air assets. You have military resources under cover in parking lots, planes on single strip fields all over the country. The number of targets would be orders of magnitude greater than just their original bases.
Okay enough of that premise. Why does the author do this to begin with? He needs to make the story about a handful of remaining military assets along with his main characters as earths only hope. Sure fine lets go with that. Unfortunately he mismanages the results of that as well.
1: Finally group of national guard make it to fight with the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs have armored walkers armed with lasers and powered by "powdered light". Earlier in the story an apache gun ship reconnoiters the earth base that the aliens are resurrecting and destroys two of the walkers, one with its 30mm gatling gun the other with a hellfire missile. When the walkers encounter the ground troops their Bradly's 25mm chain gun rounds, which carry an explosive charge, "harmlessly bounce off" the canopy of the walker. Probably not. Initially a single laser shot blows the turret off an Abrams A2. Ok fair enough. Only later when the author needs the humans to exchange shots with the walkers, the Abrams "armor boils" from multiple laser hits but keeps fighting. Lack of consistency is a weakness often found in the early works of authors.
While there are other issues I end with one that really annoyed me. The crusty old scientist who is fascinated with the dinosaurs is only looking at making peace. He continually sees the dinosaurs side. After all they just want to come home and it never occurred to them we might have evolved here in their absence. The sneak attack on Pearl Harbor ensured that either Japan would unconditionally surrender or be destroyed. The attack on 9/11 ensured that Afghanistan would find itself with a new government and Bin Landin would be pursued to his death. The dinosaurs could have contacted the earth. Under the precondition of the storyline they could have done so secretly through the human mission that turned on their power. Instead they decided that humans were a lower life form to be destroyed and eaten. If we tasted good perhaps some of us would become meat animals. There is simply noway, given the death and destruction, that peace would have been sought so early in the fight. Especially since the Navy was able to disburse and was largely untouched. Consider the firepower conventional and nuclear available between the Navy's ballistic missile submarine fleet, and 11 aircraft carrier task forces. There would simply be no dinosaurs left.
There are other similar plot issues. So why three stars? Despite the farcical behaviors and all its flaws the book is a not a bad read. There are good things here. The author has thought through his dinosaurs and it shows. While his characters are shallow, they are reasonably engaging most of the time. What's good is actually pretty good, but what's bad is pretty bad. Coin toss.
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