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Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo by Brian…

Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo

by Brian Falkner

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This novel is very unusual. Don’t just it by the cover or the title because you will be wrong. I was. I was expecting a silly novel, but this is well-written, interesting novel that is well-worth reading.

Willem is the son of a great magician, but he and his mother are hiding because Napoleon got angry at Willem’s father. They have been hiding in a small village for several years with his mother as the town baker and Willem is the bread delivery boy. The perfect storm, however, is brewing. It’s 1815, and Napoleon escapes from Elba while at the same time Willem decides he will perform his father’s magic tricks for the town. His mother is furious; if words gets out, they will be found. Willem agrees to do silly magic tricks, but he can’t help but do one amazing trick.

Napoleon actually did escape from Elba, but in this version, history takes a stranger turn. In this version of history, there are dinosaur type creatures. Many people would stop here and say, stupid. I thought it would be silly and stupid, too, but it works and it works well. Willem has special abilities. He can control some of these creatures. As a child, he even secretly saved a girl from dying at the hands of a Firebird after her mother was killed. He’s kept this secret, but now that a creature has killed people in his village, he may have to use his abilities to save the town.

With dangerous and deadly creatures, a tyrant on the loose trying to take control of the country, divided loyalties among the citizens, a fear of Napoleon hearing of a boy with powers to control creatures who has magical abilities, and the desire to grow up and be his own man freely, this novel is exciting from beginning to end. About halfway through, I was shocked at the turn the story makes and was disappointed that the novel didn’t end. I will definitely read the next novel because this is inventive and intriguing. If I were the publishers, I would change the cover, the title, and the summary of the story because I know no one will want to read this book, and it should be read. ( )
  acargile | Nov 4, 2015 |
This alternate history story has the French winning the Battle of Waterloo because of their secret weapons - dinosaurs. Willem and his mother have been hiding in a small village since Willem's magician father angered Napoleon. Willem had learned a lot from his father and wants to be a magician too. He has a unique talent for taming the smaller saurs that inhabit the area and has used his talent on some of the larger more dangerous creatures too.

His talent has made him a special target for the French commander of the the dinosaurs. He doesn't want Willem to escape his control and share his knowledge with the British. Along with a blinded British officer and a British artilleryman who is caring for him, they need to get to the sea and find a way to get to England.

This story was filled with adventure and the sheer horror of war. The descriptions of the Battle of Waterloo and the horrific effects on the wounded soldiers was vivid and harrowing. Willem and crews flight from the French was packed with action.

We also get to see what it is like for ordinary people when their country becomes a battleground the the rulers keep switching sides. The Mayor of their small town was a great example of someone whose loyalties shifted with every breeze.

I felt that the pacing of the beginning of this book was quite slow. There was a lot of setup before the action of the story really began. Once it did, though, the pacing got fast and furious. Fans of war stories would be a good audience for this one. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jun 12, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374300755, Hardcover)

Did you know that beasts called "saurs" were a part of everyday life in 1815 Europe? Did you know that Napoleon won the battle of Waterloo? Did you know that he did so by using a terrible secret weapon against the British and Prussians? Did you know that only one boy--the son of a magician--knows how to foil the would-be Emperor's plans at world-domination? It's all true. At least according to this head-spinning historical fantasy by adventure author Brian Falkner, just in time for the bicentennial of the battle that re-shaped Europe.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:00 -0400)

In this alternate history, Napoleon wins at Waterloo by unleashing a secret battlefield weapon--a legion of giant, carnivorous dinosaurs imported from the wilds of the Americas--and only fifteen-year-old Willem Verheyen stands in the way of the emperor's plan for world domination.… (more)

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