Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rex Riders by J.P. Carlson

Rex Riders by J.P. Carlson

Rex Riders is a "weird western", a combination of weird tale or science fiction and western story. The story is an adventure story for teenagers, but it can be read by most anybody. It is an attempt to bring back the old fashioned pulp style story with better writing and more historical accuracy. There is plenty of action and a strong sense of old fashioned frontier values in this story.

The descriptions of riding include both horses and dinosaurs. Two of the dinosaurs featured are the tyrannosaurus rex and the triceratops. We move between the setting of the old west in the town of Dos Locos and a dinosaur planet. The setting of the west is described in beautiful detail; ranching, square dancing, country doctors, and small town life.

The story has themes about greed, bravery, loyalty, and taking advantage of peoples weaknesses. The villain D'Alessandro has his ranch destroyed because of his greed and his violent henchman, Cooper comes to a bad end.

J. Califiore is the artist who illustrates the book. He is a comic book artist for both DC and Marvel. Bob Eggleton has a small illustration on the back cover. The illustrations by J. Califiore are very precisely rendered, with lots of action, and clean lines. I like the picture of Zeke Calhoun, the main teenage character riding a t-rex, as well as a picture of a stage coach being rammed by a triceratops.

The one flaw I found was the occassional tendency of the author, J.P. Carlson to tell not show. For example, in one instance, he describes the way a pike is used in logging in the old west. This broke the flow of the story. It might have been better if there was a captioned illustration at this point. On the other hand, there is a lot of very fine detail written into the story like exact descriptions of cowboy instruments, tyrannosaurus rexes eating beef jerky, and a stampede of triceratops.

At the time I read this book on June 8, 2010, there was no website for this book. There also was no availability on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It was released on May 3, 2010. I picked up an advanced reading copy at Book Expo America. The ISBN for the book is 9780982579633 . It is priced at $19.99 . This is the first book by a new press, Monstrosities, Inc.

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