Saturday 9 December 2023

A Very Jurassic Lent - Corinna Turner - An unSPARKed Story

A Very Jurassic Lent
An unSPARKed Story
Unseen Books
eISBN 9781910806999

A Very Jurassic Lent - Corinna Turner - An unSPARKed Story

Another amazing story in an excellent series. A deeply moving and powerful story! This story previously appeared in Ashes Visible & Invisible 10 Stories for Teens from Catholic Teen Books. I loved it the two times I read the anthology. And I devoured it again as a stand-alone short story in this volume. 

This is a masterfully written piece! I have read it three separate times now. This time as soon as I finished it I wanted to start reading it again. This is a FANtastic story in an AWEsome series. I have read stories in this series over 36 times now, not counting the ones I have read in anthologies. When my son was younger I read them to him, and mow he has read all of them to me, and reread them all on his own as well. We have been ordering them for my nephew his cousin, as he finished each we order him the next. We have also given a complete set to our school library that is how much we love these stories! It is a sign of how highly we regard these stories and Turner’s writings.

I first read a story by Turner in 2015, and read the first in this series in 2017. Since then, I have read book by her a total of 69 times, and unSPARKed stories 36 of them. This story is available as an eBook short but also available in the print edition of Three Clawsome Tales which also contains Liam and the Hunters of Lee'Vi and A Truly Clawful Christmas. This story and series are excellent stories for teens, young adults and adults. The series keeps getting better and better! It has real staying power. 

When I am recommending this series, which happens often, I frequently 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. In many ways it is like 50 years after Jurassic World Dominion. We have even bought a full set for my son’s school library and know from the Librarian that they are very popular.

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. The other are 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:

“Perfect Faith—Like Saint Desmond.

When a risky Ash Wednesday mission to sterilize T. rex eggs goes wrong, fasting is the least of Joshua, Darryl, and Harry's worries. Can they survive a protective Rex Momma and a pack of raptors, or will their Lent begin with tragedy?

From the Carnegie Medal Nominated author of the I AM MARGARET series, this thrilling unSPARKed short story provides a pulse-pounding introduction to the series.”

This volume is told in a series of alternating first person accounts. The breakdown of chapters is:

Harry 5
Darryl 7
Joshua 7

At the end of the volume is a series of discussion questions that can be used to test reading comprehension and retention or have a group discussion with. 

This was a very moving story, like many others in the series. As is obvious by the title it is a story that takes place at the beginning of Lent. It Starts on Shrove Tuesday. Harry and Darryl learn a lot about Hunter traditions for lent. Including full fasts, and marking with ashes. One of the Harry chapters ends with:

“Josh and Darryl open their mouths—I scowl, cheeks hot, wishing I’d kept quiet. “No! I am not eating anything after God just saved you two like that. Forget it! Not one bite until midnight.”

Darryl laughs so hard she holds her sides, and so does Josh.


“Sorry, just picturing you hovering beside the fridge at one minute to midnight, waiting.”

“Yeah,” smirks Josh. “’Cos I promise you, I shall be asleep in bed.”

I have to grin, too. “Oh. Yeah. Guess I will be too. We are allowed breakfast tomorrow, right?”

Josh nods. “Sure. Oatmeal. With the last of the ashes in it.”

The ashes. We’re going to eat them. Of course we are.

Welcome to Lent, hunter-style.

For some reason, I’m becoming increasingly sure I want to be a farmer. Unlike my big sis.

But we’re all alive. Yeah, after today, nothing a hunter-Lent can throw at me is gonna make me waver. Grumble a little, probably—but not waver.
Thank you, God!”

In this story Josh has to cull a T-Rex nest. One that has a lot of personal history for him. And God provides a Lenten miracle. But to find out what happens you will need to read this excelLENT story!  

Three Clawesome Tales released the same day as this volume, and a couple of weeks later What’s Done is Done was available. So many great books in a wonderful series in such a short time span. This story takes place over just 2 days. But it is a very moving read!

This is another great read in a MASTERfully written series. It is an excelLENT read by a gifted and talented author, and one of our favourite contemporary YA and Catholic authors at that! A volume we can easily recommend for fans of the series! And for those who want a Jurassic park kind of Lenten story.   

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 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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