Reader: Sam T.
Title: Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo
Author: Brian Falkner
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub Date: 07/14/15
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I thought the authenticity was really good. I felt the author really knew what he was talking about when he described various European locales, and he paints a great picture of war, family, and community. The characters are believable, although you never get to see a ton of character development (although it is in there!). The plot is really interesting, especially considering the extensive world-building that the author has done. The images are very vivid.
One thing I didn't like about the book was the battle itself. I was quite confused who was on which side, and who was fighting what where. I think maybe some explanations of who the various leaders were, some backstory for the war, and some explanation about the war itself would be helpful. I would also like some more in-depth descriptions of the few dinosaurs we encounter. I also feel like the Waterloo aspect of the story was emphasized a little too much and there wasn't enough of the dinosaur aspect. In short, I'd recommend adding some more dinosaurs.
Memorable or Forgettable: This was a pretty unique book. There were some slow parts, but overall it was interesting enough to keep my attention and help make this book more memorable to me. The concept is really original, and I definitely am interested to see what the author does with the next book.
Cover: One problem area seemed to be with the cover. On the cover, it shows a soldier riding a T. rex. When I picked it up, I thought, "Huh... This looks campy, comical, and ridiculous. What a lighthearted read." However, when I began reading, I realized that it was in fact very serious and dramatic with little or no humor. The soldiers riding rexes was in the story but the author made it sound serious, while the cover made it look a tad silly. I still liked it very much, but I feel that both the cover and the title put out the wrong message. Maybe something with both title and cover image that is far less revealing and keeps it a secret. Something without a full, unobstructed view of an actual dinosaur. Perhaps a muddy footprint, an eye, a scaly foot, etc.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 4Q - Better than most
Popularity: 3P - Some teen appeal
Additional Comments: I feel like this book would be far more interesting to European history buffs than to dinosaur enthusiasts. Although I'm the latter, I still enjoyed this book.
Annotation: In a world where prehistoric dinosaurs and humans coexist, life can be difficult for young Willem in 1815 France. Especially when Napoleon's army of trained dinosaurs and Great Britain's horse-mounted troops are about to fight one of the greatest battles in European history.
tags: historical fiction - dinosaur fantasy mashup / ya lit