Doug's Book Reviews

Dinosaur Samurai Rating
Stephen Leigh and John J. Miller
Series Info Related Books
Dinosaur... Samurai. Brings up images of big huge lizards in a martial-arts pose, katanas out in front, and shouting "Yaaaaaa!" The book is a bit better than that, but only a bit.

The whole gang is together again at last... sort of. At least, they're all on the same world. Eckels stole the time machine and, unable to make it time jump, drove it onto one of the sections of the path. This one goes to a parallel universe where Europe, for whatever reason, never colonized America, but the Japanese did. Everyone else, of course, runs after Eckels. Once in the new universe, they quickly get embroiled in the local politics and the struggle between the Japanese and the Amerinds. And Mundo is making trouble as much as Eckels this time, trying to get in good with the local ruler so he can... uh...

Actually, it's never clear why he tries to get in good with the local Japanese lord and leave the rest of the time travelers in the lurch. It makes no sense. Even someone as unused to thinking of other people as a world-spirit should realize this path is foolhardy.

And that's not the only problem, here. Jen learned the Mutata language over the course of months, and has gotten rather proficient at it. But now she can speak Japanese! I mean, what? Where did she learn that? When? No mention was ever given of it before, no hint other than that she was "good at languages". But a small town in southern Illinois wouldn't have a Japanese language course in its high school, and she's not of Asian ancestry, and she's not a military brat whose father was stationed overseas. So how can she speak Japanese?

Travis seems to have entirely given up his leadership role, which seems a bit unlikely. He's the most experienced of the group. And Mundo seems to have entirely given up his accent, which displeased me. He's not human; he shouldn't have human speech patterns. I think the authors got tired of going through the effort of keeping it different, though.

And lastly, in one spot Jen prevents Travis from shooting Eckels. "Who appointed you judge, jury, and executioner?" she demands of him. I had real problems with this. Some acts deserve the ultimate punishment. Part of being a good guy is killing bad guys when they get really, really bad. Eckels screwed up Time itself and has betrayed them at every opportunity. This guy needs to die.

But alas, he lives, and everyone figures things out enough to move on to the next book.

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