Oh. My. God. This book, West of Prehistoric, by Erik (Tracer) Testerman was BRILLIANT. The highlight of my 2020 reading journey. It came out of nowhere – I hadn’t heard anything about it – and perhaps that’s why I had no real expectations going in, but within two pages, I was already blown away, and knew this was going to be a helluva book.
What’s it about? Well, think Red Dead Redemption 2 meets Planet of the Apes, then has a threesome with Jurassic Park. The resulting love-child, is West of Prehistoric.
Ex-outlaw turned rancher, Jed Smith, is minding his own business working on his ranch, when he’s suddenly (and brutally) attacked by a dinosaur. From that moment on, the weird, the west, the carnage, and the awesome, don’t stop.
An excellently fleshed out cast of characters join Jed as he seeks to first understand the dinosaur/ape menace that threaten the west, and then to stop them slaughtering every human they come across. Action is crammed into these pages, but there’s still room for fantastic character development, wry humour, and yes, some romance. You know an author has a great handle on character development when he makes the reader love and care about the main character’s horse!
Though West of Prehistoric is Testerman’s debut novel, he feels like an old-hat at writing – there’s nary a jangled sentence or misplaced word to be found. And while the premise of West of Prehistoric might seem simplistic on first glance, it’s actually absorbing, engaging, and addictive. I had trouble putting this one down.
It’s pretty clear this is a setup for a sequel or possible trilogy, and I can only hope Testerman draws this saga out for a few more books – I for one, will be lining up to get the next instalment when it comes out.
Yes, it’s weird western. Yes, there’s gore. However, even to those of you who aren’t into this genre or gore, I’d suggest grabbing a copy and giving it a go, because at the end of the day, this is just a wonderfully told, greatly entertaining story.