James F. David

Footprints of Thunder

Monika says:

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An inexplicable natural phenomenon blurs the line between past and present. A group of students is on to the secret, but nobody wants to listen to their warnings, especially since they can’t tell what is going to happen, only that something is going to happen.

All over the world entire regions are replaced by landscapes from a distant past, including fauna and flora. Towns vanish and appear again until the phenomenon reaches a balance and a new era begins.

James F. David spins a fantastic yarn in his first novel. By temporal shift cretaceous landscapes appear all over the world, so that the citizens of New York for example find a wilderness in their backyard that is inhabited by dinosaurs. Some people may wish to take a journey through time to the Mesozoic to see a real life dinosaur. Now this dream comes true, because parts of that lost ecosystem were catapulted mysteriously into the present.

Other than in Michael Crichton’s thriller JURASSIC PARK these dinosaurs were not man-made but appear in their natural environment as a danger to humans who in turn are thrust into a strange world. No fences seperate civilization from the wilderness. Where just a minute ago skyscrapers stood there’s now a jungle or a prairie. The novel tells the story of various independent groups of people who are confronted with this new reality. The scenes change abruptly from one setting to the next, but since the characters are introduced properly in the beginning you can easily follow the plot. While the powers-that-be still look for a solution of the problem the normal people adjust to the new situation. The ending that rounds off this original first novel is especially well done.

Small mistakes like the fact that there was no grass in the Cretaceous or that the dinosaurs are partly described the traditional way should be overlooked. After all this is a ficticious story and serves the purpose of entertainment. A good book for people who just can’t get enough of dinosaurs.

Publisher:  Tor/New York 1997
ISBN 0-812-52402-0 (Mass Market Paperback)

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