Wow, I am spinning. Two in one day.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excalibur and dinosaurs. How can you miss?, September 22, 2016
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This review is from: Shadow Over Avalon (Kindle Edition)
When I was a kid, my favorite book was T.H. White’s The Once and Future King (mostly The Sword in the Stone section with Wart and Merlin; I picked up the later sections as I grew older). Like many kids, I loved all things Arthur and tales of knights of the round table. I listened to the soundtrack of Camelot for hours, when other kids were listening to the Beatles and Herman’s Hermits.
Later, much to my wife Carol’s disbelief, I became a huge fan of Mark Schulz’ Cadillac and Dinosaurs graphic novels. I only wish he’d written more.
When C.N. Lesley wove the two together to create Shadow Over Avalon, she catapulted me in readers’ heaven. This juxtaposition does her injustice, however. Her prose cast a spell on me long before the heroine Shadow encounters her first Saurian after betrayal by her lover’s advisors and the priesthood.
Heroine? you might ask. Isn’t this a novel about King Arthur? And, improbably, dinosaurs? Yes and no. Shadow Over Avalon tells the story of the restoration of Camelot in the distant future after an apocalypse demolished civilization and repopulated the planet with resurgent predatory reptilian species. Lesley combines two narrative storylines, that of a young outcast named Shadow who forges an alliance of outlaws and a scholar named Arthur who pries into unauthorized records in the clerical database.
Neither realize darker forces conspire to control the planet and its human populations. Lesley weaves a compelling narrative that threads more elements than a North American quilt, adding revelation onto revelation to draw the reader into her story—genetic manipulation, undersea and space colonization, and Celtic mythology.
Lesley’s prose draws the reader in immediately, and keeps them riveted for the rest of the novel. It’s been a long time since I read a book that reminded me why I enjoyed reading as much as I do, or that I downloaded and read the sequel as soon as I finished the first installment. I admit that there were moments I felt I was in the middle of a Hong Kong or Bollywood movie as Lesley threw in yet another fantastic element or plot twist, but, in the end, they all mesh together into a satisfying whole.