Book Promo · Book Reviews · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Terrible Lizard: A Memoir of My Time in the Police Dinosaur Unit

Terrible Lizard

 

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by the author, Doug Goodman, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Urban Fantasy

Plot: If you can train a chicken, you can train a dinosaur.

Or so Oak Jones thought. He’s wanted on the Police Dinosaur Unit all his life. Now that he’s in, he’s discovered that training a Police Working Velociraptor is a lot harder than he ever imagined. And if he thought training would be difficult, living with a Velociraptor is a whole new level of fun. Banshee can clear a six-foot fence like it was nothing, and he has a love for eating the neighborhood cats, which is putting Oak on the outs with his next-door neighbor, Christy Dao.

But there is a reason for everything, and when Oak discovers why Banshee struggles, it breaks his heart.

Terrible Lizard is a funny and endearing look at life with Banshee, a great working dinosaur, but one terrible lizard.

Opinion:

Move over Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.

There’s a new dinosaur tale in town.

Oak Jones has been obsessed with dinosaurs since he was a kid. With his classmates nicknaming him “Din-Oak” and “Oakasaurus”, he knew that the Police Dinosaur Unit would be his true calling. So he worked is way into Houston PD, and spent 7 of his 10 years in law enforcement in the Dinosaur Unit. But his journey to becoming a dinosaur handler was rocky, especially when it came to training his assigned velociraptor named Banshee – who had a tumultuous past and a pension for giving the cold shoulder. But once Oak learned more about Banshee, the two begin to embark on an adventure of hunting down criminals and forming an unbreakable friendship.

Guys.

This book is SO great.

It’s cute, fun, lighthearted, witty, comical, creative, entertaining and even gets a little dark! But only a little. 😉 The entire story is broken up into tales of Oak’s entry into the Houston Police Dinosaur Unit, his training, and the seven years he spent as an active member alongside his partner and velociraptor, Banshee. The book is obviously a work of fiction, but it is set in present times and closely mirrors how our world is now…except with a few dinosaurs roaming around and chasing after bad guys.

As always, author Doug Goodman executes this fantastical tale flawlessly by blending fact with fiction by way of research and his creative imagination. This book is filled with SO many amazing moments that had me giggling and blissfully enjoying every page! From a kleptomaniac dinosaur and dinosaur smuggling, to the PDU officers instructing their handlers to train a chicken to dance by way of positive reinforcement. This book is absolutely random, but everything you didn’t even know you wanted in an Urban Fantasy. The characters are relatable, likable and have a nice mixture of sarcasm coating their dialogue. I found it so easy to immerse myself in Oak’s stories of hunting down bad guys and training Banshee, and was completely impressed by the amount of inventive little tales that were shared.  

Oak is a great character to tell this story, and I’m glad he did. He is sarcastic, funny, charming and just a good guy all around. His character exudes such a fierce loyalty and love for dinosaurs, and when Banshee and him FINALLY start to warm up to each other…*sigh*. It’s just a magical little moment okay?

Just. Magical.

It never ceases to amaze me how thoughtful this author is when writing. He ensures that literally every reader will be able to form some kind of connection to the story or characters, and he does so in such a fun way. He talks about Pokemon Go, creates a backstory for dinosaurs that are trained in China, explains the civilian interactions with police trained dinosaurs and how people react to seeing them, and there is even a dinosaur named Chris Pratt.

I mean, come on.

Genius.

If you have read my previous reviews of Doug’s books, mainly his Zombie Dog series, then you will know how much I love gushing over the resources and real-life experience he entwines into each of his books. His time spent in Search and Rescue and his dedication to spreading the word of “dog working alongside man” really shines through in Terrible Lizard. The relationship between Oak and Banshee reminded me of the fierce bond and mutual respect that Angie and Murder (Cadaver Dog) share., and honestly…it took all I had not to shed a few tears thinking about that lovely duo.

*sigh*

Anyways, this is an Urban Fantasy tale that is suitable for all ages. I think it was originally intended for a YA/Adult audience…but the author knew a child might be inclined to pick up a book with a dinosaur on the cover, so he made sure the book was kid friendly. And it is! Thought there were some grammatical errors throughout the book, it was not enough to become distracting or deter the reader from the story as a whole. It’s a quick read that will have you fully consumed and entertained until the last page. If you are looking for a book that is a little different, packed with creativity, and wanting to read something with a light-hearted mood – read this!

Because who doesn’t want to read about klepto dinosaurs?

Silly people. That’s who.

4-5-stars

 

612B40E9C1CD2F68AD9B9A8097CED4FF

 

Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Fortuna Sworn by K. J. Sutton

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, K.J. Sutton, for an honest review. 

Genre: Adult/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Romance

Plot: We were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure humans in.

Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.

Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.

He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.

It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.

Opinion:

Like the nightmares that came at night, we were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure our victims in. Then, when it was too late to draw back, we struck.”

This book is a nightmare beckoning you into the shadows of your fears and insecurities.

It sings promises of love and protection into your all too innocent ears, reaches a tender hand of surety out into the open space between you, and just as your fingertips meet…

just as you begin to taste the sweetness of heartfelt completion

it drags you down, down, down.

Into the recesses of sorrow, lies, heartbreak and death.

Until you’re nothing more a than mermaid trapped in a puddle, in a lonely decimated forest.

You’re a Nightmare.”

Fortuna Sworn is one of the fallen, a collection and species of various creatures descended from angels with intriguing abilities. But Fortuna is the last of The Nightmare’s – a creature of intoxicating beauty whose face shifts and transforms to accommodate the onlooker’s tastes. A creature that can reach into your mind with a gentle caress, find the fears that lay delicately in the folds of your thoughts, and turn them into a horrifying reality. But when Fortuna is captured by two goblins who intend to sell her to the highest bidder, she is freed by a strange faerie that offers her a deal she can’t refuse. He knows where her brother is, who disappeared two years prior, and he can take her to where he is being held if she agrees to just one thing: to be his mate.

Where do I even start with this book?

It…

*sigh*

it pains me.

I love and hate it. It makes me happy and sad, thrilled and disgusted, excited and revolted. I have so many feelings and thoughts on this book. About the questions that are left unanswered. About the characters I THOUGHT I knew, but obviously don’t know at all. About the direction I assumed this story was going, until the trap door opened up beneath my feet and swallowed me whole. But there is one single feeling that stands high above all of this.

Pure obsession.

Because I, am obsessed.

There is SO much happening in this story, and I barely even know which direction to turn to first. The Unseelie Court is the epicenter of the turmoil in this tale, and the Fae in this book are not the sweet and caring creatures we have come to love from Sarah J. Maas books. These are Holly Black level Fae. Twisted, dark, deviant and 100% psychotic! They love to get inside your head and jumble your inhibitions, to see you writhe in pain. They kill each other, own slaves, and even have sex in the middle of the damn throne room during parties!!

Oh no lassies.

This is NOT your fluffy little Fae tale.

But absolute horrors and atrocities aside, the real confusion of this book starts and ends with the lovely Fae male that Fortuna becomes mated to: Collith. He is…pure sex in earthling form? Can I say that on here…? He is mysterious, brooding, regal, rough and goddamn drool-worthy. Things get heated between Fortuna and Collith, and I don’t just mean Fortuna’s temper. It’s going to get steamy, and it’s going to get intense. But remember, no leading Fae male would be ever be complete without him contradicting EVERY single thing he says with questionable actions, vague answers and secrets on top of secrets on top of SECRETS. . So go forth, my child. Fall for this dreamy, tall, dark and handsome Fae male that stalks women until they mate him. Be my guest.

And enjoy the whole in your chest later on, okay?

It’s your funeral, I’m just always dressed for it.

With every lash, I lost more than skin and blood. I lost the potential to someday love my mate.”

But of course, the true gem of this stomach pain inducing book is Fortuna. She is a fiery, snarky, sarcastic and saucy woman who my dark little heart can only PRAY to resemble one day. This woman is badass incarnate and would have ZERO problems sinking her claws into your face while she takes a trip into hell, and drags you down with her. From the very start of the book she proves to be an intelligent and ruthless character, but also incredibly human. She is both powerful and unique, but she is also so relatable and heartfelt in everything she does. She is confident and tough, as well as sensitive and compassionate.

I adored Fortuna and every deliciously horrifying comment that dripped from her lips like sweet wine.

For a terrible moment, I considered snapping my brother’s neck.”

Though I wholeheartedly am ravaged by this book, I do wish it was a bit longer and more drawn out. I felt like the trials Fortuna had undergone were a bit rushed, and therefor her emotions towards what she was forced to do and endure weren’t focused on as much as I would have liked. What can I say? I like to see characters in immense suffering. I also would have preferred more time with her and Collith to see if their relationship would grow/evolve/crumble, but I guess that is what book two is for…right?

As this is Kelsey Sutton’s first Adult book, I am positively impressed and not at all surprised at her abilities to make me lose my mind over another one of her books. Fortuna Sworn is an addicting and vile book that you need to get your spindly hands on NOW.

 

 

4-stars

 

612B40E9C1CD2F68AD9B9A8097CED4FF