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Thunder of Time Hardcover – 4 Apr 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; 1 edition (4 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765307707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765307705
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,384,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By book fan VINE VOICE on 30 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a decent adventure story for lovers of time travel and dinosaurs,there's even trips to the moon. The book is a sequal to Footprints of Thunder, which I haven't read but that didn't spoil my enjoyment in anyway, though it did seem to be a little disjointed at first, everything comes together well as the story unfolds. There's rather a lot of characters to keep up with too, but they all mostly play important parts in the tale. I sometimes found myself getting slightly confused with some of the time travel elements, but that's probably just me and with a bit of concentration I understood it. This book is well worth a read if the subject matter is your thing, I found it all fascinating and quite entertaining. There's plenty of blood and guts too,what with all the dinosaurs and a race against time to save the future of the world. Read it and experience the thrills, I think I preferred it to Jurassic Park and that's no disrespect to Michael Crichton whose books I greatly admire.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Time travel AND Dinosaurs?? Talk about Formulaic FUN... 27 Feb. 2007
By Jeff Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'll be the first to admit that yes, this story relies heavily on formula...but it's a formula that WORKS...so WHO CARES?? I was first introduced to James F. David when I discovered his original 'Footprints of Thunder' quite a few years ago in a Vancouver, Washington mall. It looked JUST interesting enough to get me through my then dry-spell of lame books I had been reading while waiting for something new to read by one of my already established favorite authors. It didn't take long to discover that 'Footprints' was something different. I was hoping for something that would fill the gap until Crichton released his sequel to 'Jurassic Park'...what I GOT was a dinosaur-themed novel that was ANYTHING but a copy of anything written by anyone else.

Jump ahead a few years. I have since read EVERYTHING by this amazingly talented and VERY creative author (my favorite of which is 'Before The Cradle Falls'--you HAVE to read it) and I had heard rumors that a sequel to 'Footprints' was a possibility. I had the opportunity to interview Mr. David a few years ago and I asked him about it, and he said that while originally he never had any plans to write one, after some interesting events, an idea sparked and it just MAY happen...well here we are several years later and I finally got my wish.

Two of my very favorite subjects in ALL of fictional literature is Dinosaurs AND Time Travel. David handled the time travel aspect with absolute style in 'Before the Cradle Falls' and wondered if he could manage to pull it off here with dinorsaurs, and I gotta tell you that, YES, he does. The idea behind how the 'Quilts' from the past intersected with the present as a result of nuclear detonations is unique and creative to say the least--and whether or not the science is even remotely accurate is not even on my radar as far as I'm concerned. I just want a story to entertain me, and that is EXACTLY what this story does. Again, the story really was formula in many parts, but you know what? I discovered that I didn't care. The overall story was so dang original that whatever formula that was used to convey it was just not that important...and while this bothered some readers, I found that to me it simply did not matter. The plot moves and moves F-A-S-T for most of the novel and taking us from Central America to the moon and back so quickly takes a careful hand, and for MY money, I believe Mr. David has written JUST what I wanted to read at just the right moment. For those who are overly critical of storylines, maybe you should skip this one...however if you can sit back and enjoy a novel for what it was intended to do (namely entertain), this is a wonderful discovery. I found that once again, I am anxiously waiting for yet another story from Mr. David. Unlike James Patterson who can produce a novel almost every time he sneezes, David works a tad slower--but the end results are far more enjoyable...which is fine with me.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Too complex to be thrilling, too action-packed to be serious 25 Jun. 2008
By T-Rexx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Thunder of Time is the sequel to the same author's Footprint of Thunder, published a few years ago. Although it features a few characters of the previous book (Ripman and John), most of the other characters are brand new.

The story leads the reader through a heavily transformed Earth, a heritage from the first book's nuclear blasts, both from History (WWII, Cold War blasts) and from the US' decision to get rid of the time quilts. As a result, entire places are inhabited by dinosaurs on today's Earth. But since the events narrated in Footprint of Thunder, humankind has managed to somewhat get used to cohabiting with the mighty lizards. They are parked, nurtured, protected, grown and respected in giant natural reserves. To the extent that an extremist animal-right movement starts plotting on getting back to an Earth in which people would be living with animals on the same, equal basis. Noble thoughts, dire plans. In order to do so, they must take control of a secret research facility in Alaska in which the US government is working on a new energy that has the potential of modifying time and space. Also, their ideals are far from pure, in a typical human way. In their path, they will encounter a fragmented group of scientists, with very different motives, that have understood how evil the "back to the roots, let's happily live with our brothers animals" group's intents are. Where the first book was intently focused on the day to day survival struggle of a few human beings among dinosaurs, this book is far more science-related and embraces a far broader, global, all-encompassing perspective on the events unfolding.

Let's stop narrating the plot here and let's focus on what worked -or not- in the book.

Primarily, any book that features, like this one, an encounter between the two most powerful species that have ever inhabited the Earth deserves attention. Humankind Vs Dinosaurs. Intelligence Vs sheer Power. Thunder of Time delivers truckloads of confrontations. It becomes quickly clear that, in spite of their weapons, human beings are almost powerless against the mighty lizards. Their only skill is their brain and their capability to adapt. One of the opening chapters of the book features a very interesting action, set in Alaska. A dog-pulled sled is inadvertently confronted to a group of fierce Raptors in the cold of winter. This encounter is brilliantly written and, to some extent, is believable. In short, most of the gruesome encounters are appealing. It is so refreshing to see human beings struggling for their own survival in a place where they are no longer the ruling predator! A real lesson in humility.

Bits and pieces of genuine data on dinosaurs litter the book too. For one, I discovered -but is it true?- that some of the powerful giants' central nervous system could not get the input to a bite or touch of its tail to its tiny brain before an amazing 8 seconds... True or not, this characterizes the giants and could have been used to a greater potential by the author.

Also, with a few exceptions, the characters are well rendered. They have distinct personalities, mostly Ripman, Emmerett, John and Nick -all male characters. Female characters get a lower lever of "scrutiny" and lack personality depth.

But what bothered me most was the extent of the time travel complexity. After a while, it becomes difficult to follow the action in terms of causes and effects, with so many groups traveling in time -and space-, with distinct linear times. It is just too much. From a logical standpoint, I am not sure that the actions undertaken by each of the group, in each of the time eras, in each of the places -pardon the complexity of this sentence!- are truly compatible with each other. Plus, the electronic devices used by the characters as "maps" don't make any sense to me, nor is it clear how the computers used by Kenny could have survived so long in such a harsh environment. Beyond the complexity of time travel, the headline preceding each chapter are not welcome additions. They rarely add anything to the story, even slowing down the pace. It would have been interesting for the author to limit these statements to real citations, to put some further credence to his views.

It's not sure that this book is the actual end of the "saga". There might be a third one. I would buy it of course, but let's hope that the author puts less unwelcome complexity in his story and focuses more on the man-to-animal relationship -read Human Vs Dinosaurs instead...
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Barbarella revisited: Dinosaurs, time waves & the moon. 18 Jun. 2006
By Colin P. Lindsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Thunder of Time is the sequel to Footprints of Thunder, a story in which the nuclear weapons tested in the fifties come back to haunt modern society. The early nuclear testing caused microscopic black holes to form which propagate "time waves" which, when they intersect, cause geographic areas to shift in time. In the first novel, these times waves create a "time quilt" as patches of modern earth are replaced with land from the Cretaceous period creating a checkerboard Earth, mostly as we know it, but now with the occassional big chunk of dinosaur infested areas. Portland and Atlanta disappear into the past, and dinosaurs start roaming freely through our modern time.

Thunder of Time takes up ten years after the initial time quilt. The time waves, initially thought to be stabilized, are again creating more temporal dislocations, although this time the patches of dislocated Earth are nearer and nearer to our own modern period. Most of the survivors of the first novel reappear here as they try to discover why the time quilting has started again, what the mysterious structure on the moon has to do with the new problem, and why there is a previously undiscovered Mayan temple in the Yucatan also affecting the time waves.

The novel has all the predictable tyrannosaur and velociraptor confrontations ala Jurassic Park that you would expect, but throws in time travel, space travel, and nuclear warfare too. This adventure novel kept me reading through the beginning and midparts to the point where it was difficult to put down, but I found myself losing interest near the end as the plot lines became more fantastic and unrealistic and my suspended disbelief began to fail. The time-quilting more or less follows the Hollywood version of time; first there were dinosaurs, then big scary mammals, then primitive society circa 1300 AD, not realizing how long these periods really lasted and how brief, chronologically, the period of man is. From a story-telling perspective it may be attractive to jumble all this together but from a math perspective time simply doesn't line up that nicely. I would have bought it except for the author failed to provide any rationale for the huge skips in time.

There were also some substantial characterization problems of the "show don't tell" variety. Every character, when introduced, is immediately followed by a paragraph long physical description, which is just lazy, annoying writing. Moreover the characters were ultimately not believable. There were many irritating passages wherein individuals were more interested in flirting with each other than in reacting to life and death situations. Moments before they were in perilous situations with man-eating dinosaurs, the bodies of their friends are still lying around, the wounded are dying, they have just discovered the improbable means of walking from the moon to the Earth, so now is the perfect time to put the move on the cute blonde? Yes, humans have strong sex drives, but in life and death situations and when facing paradigm shifting new science and technology we tend to give it a break for a few minutes and pay more attention to the velociraptor waiting to chew our face off or the stunning new technology that no one could imagine. But no, together with these situations we are treated to fashion descriptions of red tank tops, underwear, and overall cut-offs.

The villains in the book were also a bit hard to swallow, a bunch of greenpeace types who had little compunction about murdering people but foibles about shooting a velociraptor that is attacking them. Yes, there are people like that, but where this becomes a problem was that the book gave most of them Ph.D.'s and concentrated them in one scientific outpost. In a random sampling of twenty people you will find a nutcase, but having 15 out of twenty be nutjobs, with the same psychoses, and with advanced educations which ordinarily teaches one to question assumptions and to not ignore inconvenient facts, snapped my credulity. I could live with one or two, but not the majority of a random sampling. The most noble people in the whole book were a group of Spetsnaz commandos, which, while fun, was also fairly improbable. Nothing against the Spetsnaz, they're tough guys, but they were a little too warm and fuzzy and not nearly as ruthless as they are actually trained to be.

Overall, I found myself reading through this and enjoying the beginning of the book but I actually put it down about 40 pages from the end and can't really be bothered to finish it. Whatever it had to start with fails near the end with the improbability of the story and the characters by that point. I've never not finished a book when I have gone that far but with this one I really just didn't care. I think if you like this author's earliler works you'll like this book too though, just be prepared to push a little bit at the end to get through it. If you haven't read him before, or if you like dinosaurs and adventure stories, especially the ones where the monsters are smarter than the people, you'll like this. It's a bit like Matthew Reilly, but without the frenetic pace, not as much action, and much less intelligent characters. It's also a bit like James Rollins but without the superhuman protagonists and less research into the science. The book was decent at the beginning, if you can forgive a few problems, and I did enjoy it for the first half, especially for a scene in Alaska with an Iditarod dog crew.
Very Back to the Future... 22 Mar. 2010
By bluechimeraz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Unlike "Footprints of Thunder," this book is more about time travel than it is about dinosaurs running amok. It was like reading "Back to the Future" gone haywire, without the characters managing to tie up all the loose ends and make everything right again. Personally, I think the book got a bit weird at some points. It didn't grab me as well as the first book did, which kept me up until 7 a.m. finishing it. I read this one sporadically over a few days. About three quarters in, I was having a hard time keeping a grasp on what exactly was going on with all of the different time periods and alternate realities that were happening all at the same time.

However, those of you who loved the first book may be glad to know that most of the characters from "Footprints of Thunder" show up in this one, as well. The insight to how the familiar characters had coped and gone on with their lives a decade later was interesting. Of course, there were plenty of new characters, so don't expect this to be a simple continuation of book one. Furthermore, James F. David has such a grasp on the human psyche. All of the characters, both old and new, were so believable and were such individuals. They get you taking sides, or rolling your eyes, or really hoping someone will hit them and knock some sense into them. They're really quite real. This book is worth the read just for the sake of the quality characterization.

There isn't such a large volume of plot points in this book as there were in the previous one, so it's a bit easier to follow, at least at first until the time traveling chaos occurs. Also, the author doesn't jump plots as often from chapter to chapter, so he really lets you get sucked into whatever action is going on with one set of characters. Unlike the previous book, there are no "extra" or "unnecessary" plots, and they are also all connected to one another.

I guess there really isn't much else to say, except that this book was really really good! It clears up the questions you may have been wondering about from "Footprints of Thunder," though I found the ending a little abrupt and thought there could have been a little more detail. But overall, I still loved it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Dino Thriller 19 Sept. 2010
By C. Nina Farley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like dino's you will certainly like this book.Its full of action and mystery.I found it deep and I needed to really be focused compared to other books.Great fun,action,mystery and adventure for me.
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