oddmonster (oddmonster) wrote in bookish,

Review: Hot and Sweaty Rex, by Eric Garcia

Hot and Sweaty Rex by Eric Garcia:
There's something about the way they're treating me that reminds me -- quite unpleasantly -- of the way I spoke to Chaz the other night, As if getting in this car might not be optimal for my health. But I've thrown myself headlong into any number of nasty situations when intuition screamed at me to run like hell, and come out clean every time. Unless you count the broken legs. And the stitches. And the two subpoenas.

"Sounds great," I chirp. "Which way to the car?"

Synopsis: An L.A. P.I. gets drawn into dueling Mafia family problems, due to his shady past. And oh yeah, everyone's secretly a dinosaur.

Dinosaur PI Vincent Rubio is manipulated into working for one of the main families of dinosaur organized crime. The assignment takes him to Miami, where he collides with another dino mafia family, this one headed by a childhood friend.

So there's good news and there's bad news about this book.

The good news is the dinosaurs. They're EVEN MORE AWESOME THAN YOU THINK. Garcia's spent some serious time on his world-building, and what should be a fantastic concept actually works: based on this book, I would not in the least bit be surprised if some of you on my f-list are in fact, secretly dinosaurs. Especially seraphina_snape.

The fact that dinosaurs are mandated to wear human-shaped costumes, held on by straps and buttons, and that their corpses are disposed of by a dino-flesh-eating bacteria, and that they get drunk by eating cooking herbs totally makes sense. It makes a scary kind of sense, and the more details you get the more details you'll want. It's fabulous.

And here's the bad news: the plot? Eh, not so much. It's basically your garden-variety mob-based goomba dance. There's two families competing for the same cut of the action, there's a girl involved, there's bad blood stemming from past infractions, there's a not-so-innocent PI caught up in it all. Eh. Nothing particularly new here to see. EXCEPT FOR THE DINOSAURS.

Also, Garcia is really, really in love with flashbacks and I was really not as in love with them, especially when they went on for twenty pages and multiple chapters. Bring it on down, Slappy.

Plus -- and I don't know how we've gotten to this place with books, but: this is the fourth book I've read this year where the protagonist does something preposterous and/or lame on the very last page, right as the ink runs out. Authors: stop doing this. Now. Rar.

But feel free to add more dinosaurs to your stories, because that rocks. Seriously: new! culinary mystery series featuring a velociraptor running a bakery! A marine salvage adventure novel with a plesiosaur scuba team! Sky-writing, crime-fighting pterodactyls! The possibilities are endless.

Much, possibly, like the supply of coffee in this house.

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