Fans of Dino horror rejoice, Tim Meyer’s short novel, Primal Terra, is here and it just may have the bite you’re looking for.
The book hits the ground running. A police chase gone wrong leads Carla Scarletta to a portal that seems to lead millions of years into the past. All isn’t as it seems with the setting though. I won’t dig too far into, I’ll let you read that yourself. Primal Terra actually reads like a genre blend of Action-horror and sci-fi. For the most part, this blend works unless you’re expecting a deep dive into the specifics of the portals. Meyer delivers a story here with enough action to keep you entertained, while still maintaining a sense of isolation within the jungle. The Dinosaurs found within these pages are vicious killing machines, truly terrifying creatures that will have you feeling thankful our species wasn’t around to share the planet with these beasts.
One issue I had with Primal Terra was the characters. Throughout the book, I never really cared for them. It’s not that they aren’t good characters, but the short length of the book and the fast clip at which it moves doesn’t allow for much character building. There is a tie in here to an earlier book of Meyers’, Sharkwater beach. I don’t think it’s necessary to read that first, although I feel it will enrich your enjoyment of Primal Terra.
Primal Terra, by Tim Meyer is a fun romp through a Dino-rich planet. Strong action sequences and a beautifully descriptive setting pick up the slack of characters that don’t feel fully developed. I had a fun time in this prehistoric world, and if dinosaurs, horror, and sci-fi thrown in a blender sound like your thing, you will too.
John is a native of Cranston, Rhode Island. He served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps, deploying twice to Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s a lover of all things horror, pizza and cheeseburgers. When he’s not reading or watching boxing he spends his time with his amazing wife and two beautiful sons.
One-minute Carla Scarletta is chasing a thief through New York City. The next, she is stepping through a shimmering portal into the Mesozoic Era. What ensues is a rip bang adventure filled with creatures you may have read about to your children at night. Except in this story, they’re not teaching us how to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ or any other catchy little tune. Three days after hearing of his ex-wife’s disappearance, Phil Moody is recruited by an old friend to embark on an unbelievable journey to help bring her back. Accompanied by mercenaries and a paleontologist hand-picked by an agency with ulterior motives, what could go wrong?
While this novel is a healthy dose of cosmic horror and science fiction, I’m just going to go ahead and classify it as ‘super awesome adventure time’. The action starts in the first few pages and does not let up until the very end. There is blood. There are guts. There are prehistoric brawls and snarky banter. The characters are developed enough for a shorter novel that you will be able to find at least one that you would give a high five to and one (maybe more) that you just wish would bump into a giant flesh-eating lizard.
I will always be a huge fan of science, in some form, being incorporated into fiction. Anything short of quantum gravity being explained by String Theory and I am all in. I think that Meyer could have entered a few more “talk nerdy to me” moments in this story and not only would I have been completely thrilled; it would clarify a few tidbits for other readers as well. Time hopping through portals is how this adventure is even possible yet, we don’t spend that much time reading about them or even really get a brief history of their discovery in this story.
I have become a huge fan of Tim Meyer in the last few months and this wasn’t entirely what I expected when I picked it up. I assume that most creature feature novels are going to move at a quick pace and when I see a dinosaur on a book cover, there is nothing that makes me think for even a second that the story will be a slow burn. However, I think in the case of Primal Terra, even a paragraph more here and there describing this ancient world we have been thrust into would have provided me with a more visual reading experience.
As far as horror stories go, I am not sure that this one did the trick for me. However, it absolutely ticked all the boxes for a fast-paced action novel. In fact, I think every action story should have as much blood and viscera as this one did.
You can find Keely on social media @keelyfuse85