Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rex Riders

Carlson, J.P. Rex Riders
Copy received from author.

Zeke has a rocky time with his uncle in 1880s Texas, and his impetuous ways get him in trouble. He runs afoul of local villain Dante D'Allesandro when he takes his horse for a ride, but is grudgingly forgiven when he saves D'Allesandro's sister and niece from a rampaging triceratops that obliterated half the town. Zeke also comes across a very strange man who is badly injured and accompanied by a T. Rex! It turns out that D'Allesandro has very evil plans afoot that involve raising herds of triceratops that he is importing... from the planet Ismalis! Inhabitants of this planet managed to transport dinosaurs there before they became extinct, but over the intervening years they have evolved to become even more dangerous! Can Zeke figure out how to stop D'Alesandro and return the dinosaurs to their own planet before too many people on Earth are hurt? The Wild West gets a lot wilder when there are both space aliens AND dinosaurs roaming with the buffalo!

Strengths: This is certainly a totally original idea. Space aliens transporting dinosaurs to the Wild West? That has not been done. It will intrigue a cross section of boys, especially since there is lots of action, adventure, fighting and blood and gore. Surly Teen Boy read this and grunted that it was "Okay", which is practically an indication of a Pulitzer! Mr. Carlson has clearly thought about the type of topics that boys like to read.
Weaknesses: This is a long and complicated book, and in my library, the only students interested in dinosaurs seem to be 6th graders who struggle with their reading. This could be different in other schools, but there could have been some more editing done. Also, this is not available from Follett, although Baker and Taylor does carry it. Check out the publisher's Rex Riders web site to read an excerpt and find more information.

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