Reviewing JURASSIC by Ted Reichlen
A Thunder-full Dinosaur Tail
A baby Brontosaurus calf is the star of Ted Rechlin’s graphic novel Jurassic, which I find an interesting choice. Most dinosaur fiction focuses on the more popular, flavor of the day dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex or Velociraptor. There’s nothing wrong with that, i just like that Jurassic gives you something different. The story follows the daily life and death struggles of a Brontosaurus calf trying to reach full size, so it can more or less exist in its own food chain. Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and other dinosaurs of the Jurassic period make appearances in the book too, but the thunder lizards are the star of the show. Scientific accuracy, a story with a perpetual motion all its own, and incredible artwork make Jurassic easy to pick up and read in one sitting.
As someone who follows scientific developments in the dinosaur world more than most, I could tell that an obvious attempt was being made at realism. Carnivores with feathers and Sauropods (long necked herbivores) with a proper posture and no dragging tails, are the most notable examples. The artwork itself also lends to the accuracy, but we’ll get into that shortly. There are no talking dinosaurs in this graphic novel, instead the storytelling style is that of a narrator in a wildlife documentary. Adding to that same wildlife documentary feel is the obvious inclusion of pertinent scientific facts as the story progresses. I think the author shows a bit of sauropod fandom in Jurassic, as multiple sauropods (Diplodocus, Apatasuarus, and more) make an appearance.
Story and Characters
I thought Jurassic was a little short at first, but as I went back through the book I realized it wasn’t short at all. The story just unfolded so rapidly that I was surprised at how quickly I finished it. One event just snowballed into the next, creating a chain of events that are both believable and original. There are over 80 pages of story in Jurassic, and there are about three days worth of story packed in there. You see lesson after lesson learned from the perspective of an animal, some of them the hard way. The main cast of characters are dinosaurs after all, which are described more with the word ‘instinct’ than ‘intelligence’. Good old fashioned instinct makes an appearance too though.
The artwork is what stands out most to me most about Jurassic. I absolutely love the bright, vibrant colors Ted Rechlin chose for the various dinosaurs. Not everything is just browns, grays, or earthy tones. The dinosaurs in Jurassic are given the same spread of colors as their bird ancestors of today, which scientists are finding more and more that the dinosaur world may have been just as colorful. The look of the Brontosaurs themselves is new and cutting edge science. The colors stand out really well on my iPad’s screen, which is the device I chose to read on.
I think the biggest strength in Jurassic is how it aims to be true-to-life. If scientific accuracy is important to you, and you enjoy animal documentaries, then I think you will appreciate Jurassic all the more. The book is good for most any aged reader, as there’s no gore to speak of, but it’s a story that an adult can enjoy. The circle of life’s darker side makes a couple of appearances, so it’s not all sunshine and cupcakes. Currently Jurassic is only available as a phyiscal copy, and retails for $19.95 in many online stores including Amazon (affiliate link – I make a commission if you purchase). Jurassic is published by Rextooth Studios, and distributed by Farcountry Press, from which i’d like to thank Zachary for giving me the opportunity to read this fun book.