Sunday 22 May 2022

Please Don't Feed the Dinosaurs - Corinna Turner - unSPARKed Book 1 (Redux)

Please Don't Feed the Dinosaurs
unSPARKed Book 1
Corinna Turner
Unseen Books
ISBN 9781910806753
eISBN 9781910806777

First an announcement, this is not a brand new book one, it is the reworking of the original book 1 Drive!, and one of the prequel stories A Dino Whisperer at the Zoo. I have read the original story Drive! 4 times, and my son has read it to me twice. And as much as I love the original versions of these two stories, this one reworks them in such a way that it is even more AWEsome and FANtastic!

I said it before, series keeps getting better and better. I first read a story by Turner in 2017, and read the first in this series in 2015. Since then I have read book by her a total of 53 times, and unSPARKed stories 26 of them. My son who is a reluctant reader has read most of the stories in this series more than once. The day this one released I picked up the eBook for myself and a physical copy for my son. But before I started reading it A Right Rex Rodeo unSPARKed Book 6 released and I read it first. The day the physical copy arrived he wanted to ditch the book he was on and start this right away. Then 2 days later book 6 arrived. I let him start book 6 that day (Yes I could not wait and had already read it.) These are excellent stories for teens, young adults and adults. And the series keeps getting better and better! It has real staying power.

As mentioned in this volume the original story, Drive!, and one of the prequel stories A Dino Whisperer at the Zoo, was rewritten into Please Don't Feed the Dinosaurs. In doing so Turner has merged the two main story arc’s right from the beginning. When recommending the series I often describe it as a mashup of Mad Max, Lost World, and Jurassic Park, and I have recommended it to many, all who have enjoyed them. We even bought a full set for my son’s school library.

unSPARKed is a series set in a not-too-distant future. Dinosaurs once again roam the earth. Just because a scientist could do something, did not mean they should have done it. Most people live SPARKed, in cities with walls and electrified fences. There are two groups of people who live unSPARKed, farmers who have electric fences around their farms and live in community with their close neighbours. And Hunters who live most of the time out on the road or off road in HabVI’s Habitat Vehicles. 

The description of this volume is:

In A Jurassic Future, Some Still Choose Freedom—Despite The Dangers.

It takes more than a T. rex scratching its back on his Habitat Vehicle to alarm young hunter Joshua—he’s used to living close to nature. But a routine visit to the zoo to deliver a new velociraptor turns deadly when he comes face-to-face with an eleven-foot allosaur called Gold. He knew her when she was a tiny chick—is he a friend from the past—or dinner?

Meanwhile, Darryl and her brother, Harry, are taken completely by surprise when their father remarries. Their new step-mom is a glamorous fashion designer who’s never been outside the city’s electric fences. How will she cope with a life of dinosaur farming? All Darryl can do is try to get her new stepmom safely to the farm. But once you’re unSPARKed, things don’t always go to plan…”

The story is told in a series of first person narrative chapters. And there is a wide range in chapter length. The chapters alternate between Joshua and Darryl.
Our main characters are:

William: father of Darryl and Harry. At least third generation farmer. Works hard, loves God and his family. Madly in love with his new bride.

Carol: Fashion designer, former city dweller. Married to Harold, and step mom to Darryl and Harry. Never lived out city.

Darryl: 16 and a half years old. Raised on a farm. Does not enjoy the city. And Harry’s big sister. Devote Catholic. Deep faith. A brave strong young woman.

Harry: Darryl’s younger brother. Eager to learn. A farm boy at heart. A youngster of faith, and strong work eithic. 

Joshua: He was raised unSPARKed, lived his whole life from the day he was born in a Habitat Vehicle. He was raised by his father and uncle. Both deceased. Can’t stand being in city.

Joshua does not encounter any of the Franklyn’s in this story but will in a few volumes. For those just starting out in the unSPARKed universe this is the new book one. It will introduce you to the key player through 6 novels and a few short stories, that are available to date. If you have already encountered the stories, this is an excellent rewriting of the beginning of the series. Turner states in the intro to this one that:

“Long-term unSPARKed readers, please don’t be caught out—this isn’t an all-new unSPARKed tale!

Please Don’t Feed the Dinosaurs knits together two books previously published separately—the original book 1, DRIVE!, and the short story ‘A Dino Whisperer at the Zoo’—along with a small amount of original material, in order to make a better introduction to the series.”

Even though I knew the story, I stayed up way too late reading this through the first time. It is masterfully written. This is an excellent new beginning to an amazing series. I consider it unSPARKed 01 Redux. And Turner has rebranded the unSPARKed logo and all the covers to match this new version of these stories. But be warned you will be desperate for the net volume. It is a great book by an excellent author. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.0 The Underappreciated Virtues of Rusty Old Bicycles (A prequel)

0.5 Brothers (Prequel)
1.0 I Am Margaret
1.5 How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)
2.0 The Three Most Wanted
3.0 Liberation
4.0 Bane's Eyes

5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
5.5 An Unexpected Guest
6.0 The Siege of Reginald Hill
6.5 Buttons (Short Story)
7.0 A Saint in the Family
I Am Margaret The Play - Fiorella de Maria

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:

Tomorrow's Dead

unSPARKed Series:

Mandy Lamb Series:
Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon

Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens

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