Book Review - Cretaceous Dawn by by Lisa M. Graziano and Michael S. A. Graziano
So what would happen if you took three scientists and a dog, a security guard, a machine that can transport objects over space and time, a lab accident and mixed them into a novel? You might be fortunate enough to come up with the novel Cretaceous Dawn by Lisa M Graziano and Michael S. A. Graziano. This is very different (in a good way) than anything I've read of late, and the Graziano siblings did an excellent job in weaving this tale.
Julian Whitney is a paleontologist that works for a small college in Montana. He's called over to the physics lab one day by Dr. Yariko Miyakara and Dr. Shanker, two scientists who are working on a machine under secret contract to the military. This machine is supposed to allow for the transport of items over space. But the two Drs. are confused by strange beetles that appear after each of their trial runs. They can't identify the insects without Whitney's help, as the beetles are from the Cretaceous period, over 65 million years in the past. Even more unusual is the fact that most of these items that have appeared in the machine also disappear on their own a short time later. The theory that the machine transports items over both space *and* time is confirmed when an accident occurs that sends the three doctors, a security guard (and a half), and a dog back to a place in time where no human has ever been. If the bugs that disappeared are any indication, the items that are transported do revert back to their original time and place if they are in the proper position at the proper time. But bugs have far less mass than humans, so the calculations to be in the right place at the right time means that they have to travel approximately 1000 miles in a short period of time, in an environment that bears no resemblance to anything they know. And if they don't make it, they could end up being the first humans on the face of the earth...
I almost didn't accept the offer of the review copy, as I have a horrible backlog of books I'd like to read and review. But the premise sounded interesting, enough so that I decided to add one more book to my pile. I'm quite glad I did. In my opinion, the Grazianos have written a novel that ranks up with more well-known authors. Plot and pacing are perfect, and the twists at the end are more than enough to make you step back and think a bit about the implications. Even in the few areas where I thought a bit more light could have been shed on parts of the stories, it wasn't enough to detract from the enjoyment of the story. Hey, when you write about things 65 million years in the past, you can take a few liberties. :)
An interesting novel, even more impressive by the fact that this appears to be their first collaborative effort at fiction. If they decide to follow up with another novel, I *will* be there to read it.