Jurassic Ark

David Niall Wilson.. Crossroad, $16.95 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-63789-934-2
God speaks at the beginning of this clever alternate take on biblical myth from Wilson (the DeChance Chronicles series), commanding Noah to build a boat that will save a righteous few from an oncoming flood. The story develops several ingenious and challenging notions as Noah's family contends with deciding who deserves to be saved. Noah's son Ham travels to the wicked city to ask sage rabbi Balthazar for information on how to care for the myriad animals that will be shut up in the ark. As he befriends Balthazar's apprentice, Ezra, he discovers that some city folks aren't so bad after all. Meanwhile, another of Noah's sons, Shem, realizes construction of the ark would go much faster if they used tame dinosaurs to move timber, though Noah has dismissed such creatures as "unclean." And what's to be done with the Nephilim, offspring of fallen angels and human women? These meaty moral quandaries carry the story forward, and the insertion of wicked sorcerer Onan for the sake of a climactic battle scene feels comparatively cheap. Though Wilson barely sketches in some of the worldbuilding elements, the tension between the implacable divine will and the characters' evolving, empathetic understanding of their world makes for a fascinating tale. Readers will be hooked. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/13/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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