Time Spike - The Ring of Fire Author:Eric Flint, Marilyn Kosmatka Captain Andrew Blacklock was overseeing the change of shifts at the state of Illinois? maximum-security prison when the world outside was suddenly ripped. They thought it was an earthquake until they found that the Mississippi river had disappeared, along with all signs of civilization. Then the sun came up?in the wrong direction. And a dinosaur... more » came by and scratched its hide against the wall of the prison . . . Something had thrown the prison back in time millions of years. And they were not alone. Other humans from periods centuries, even millennia apart had also been dropped into the same time. Including a band of murderous conquistadores. But the prison had its own large population of murderers. They couldn?t be turned loose, but what else could be done with them? Death walked outside the walls, human savagery was planning to break loose inside, and Stephens and the other men and women of the prison?s staff were trapped in the middle.« less
A truly engrossing addition to the Ring of Fire series. Obviously the start of another offshoot series within a series based in the Cretaceous period with modern prison guards and convicts mixed with Cherokee Indians from the time of Herndando De Soto as well as his Spanish Conquistadores. Don't let the cover picture fool you - the dinosaurs themselves are barely in the book and the conquistadores are there but only as a vague group of murderous thugs going around doing what conquistadores did best... raping, murdering, enslaving..
That being said, the story centers around a maximum security prison with about 2,000 hardened convicts and a few hundred guards. The entire prison finds itself suddenly thrown into the age of dinosaurs where they have to figure out how to survive in a situation where the guards must worry not only about watching over 2,000 murderous felons, but also how to survive in the age of giant reptiles with no ready food supplies, a lack of weaponry, and all the other problems that have been inherent in this series. The character development is complete and in depth and you come to know and care for the guards who wrestle with some severe moral dilemmas as well as some convicts who are not as hardened in the criminal dept as they seem as well as some who are. The idea of morality and honor amongst thieves is explored as is the fact that not all of the worst criminals are those convicted of violent crimes - or of any at all.
All in all, even without much todo about dino's I give the book four stars.
Trina P. reviewed Time Spike (The Ring of Fire) on
This alternate time/ historic fiction /whatever you want to call it epic was very fun, engaging and not hard to follow (cough harry turtledove, cough!). It also contained a very satisfying amount of dinosaurs. :)