From new Bizarro author Kirsten Alene comes a tale of monks, kung-fu, dinosaurs, rocket launchers, ray guns, reattached limbs, and forbidden love. Yup, it’s Bizarro time!

From Amazon’s description:

“DINOSAURS! LOVE! WAR! MONASTIC LIVING!

Three days after his partner is bitten in half by a brachiosaur, a nameless monk meets the love of his life.  Her name is Petunia.  She is a dinosaur.  But a twenty-year war between their species is about to come to a head, and only one will survive.  To be together, the monk and the dinosaur must fight their way through hordes of pterodactyl samurai, anti-aircraft stegosaurs, gigantic kamikaze moths, and machine gun-wielding tyrannosaurs.  Love in the Time of Dinosaurs is a surreal war tale of forbidden love, betrayal, and magic kung-fu. Forget Jurassic Park, this is the greatest dinosaur story ever told!”

Rarely is a book’s description so accurately indicative of what awaits the reader.  Love in the Time of Dinosaurs is simultaneously a love story, an action-packed sci-fi adventure, and full-on 100% Bizarro gold.  Alene has created a truly imaginative world here, one which I could foresee being filled out enough to become a full-fledged series.  In roughly 80 short pages, Alene manages to weave together a world filled with complex politics, spirituality, history, and a sense of actual existence in some parallel dimension.

The interactions between monk and dinosaur are quite thought provoking…the monks are given very animalistic traits (from a reasoning, logic, and physical sturdiness point of view), while the dinosaurs are anthropomorphized, as far as their technology, use of tools, and ability to communicate are concerned.  Her descriptions of the weapons the dinosaurs use conjured up memories of Dino Riders for me…the idea of a Tyrannosaur running around firing off missiles, or a Stegosaurus slicing things up with a buzz-saw is immensely fun.  No explanation is given for the origin of this technology, and frankly it isn’t needed; all the reader needs to be concerned with is a Pterodactyl wielding a samurai sword.

The depth of her storytelling and imagination aren’t even the highlights here…it’s her writing style that really stands out.  The book is written entirely in the present tense AND in a first-person perspective, creating a sense of tension and uncertainty  that permeates every page.  She doesn’t dwell on descriptions; she tells you only what you need to know in order to paint a picture in your mind, and then moves on to something else.  This not only keeps things flowing at a quick pace, but provides a sense of “real-time” to her tale.  Despite this, she manages to cram a LOT of activity into this short read; there’s more that happens in one paragraph of Love in the Time of Dinosaurs than what happens in entire chapters with other books.

The “New Bizarro Author Series” is offered by Eraserhead Press as a way of giving new authors a chance to make it big in the weird world of Bizarro fiction.  Kirsten Alene’s published foray into the world of Bizarro is a resounding success.  I honestly cannot WAIT to see what she comes up with next!

Special thanks to Kirsten Alene and Eraserhead Press for providing a copy of Love in the Time of Dinosaurs for this review.  You can purchase Love in the Time of Dinosaurs from Amazon.  Be sure to take a look at our reviews of other Eraserhead Press books.  Be sure to check out Eraserhead Press’s other offerings from their website, too!