Rating: 3.7 Stars
Star crossed lovers takes on a new meaning when the children of paleontologist rivals fall for each other amdist interesting circumstances. With everyone in search for “Black Beauty” the ultimate dinosaur, we are thrown into a time and place where Sioux Indians are fighting for their territory, women are without credibility, and science is advancing every day.
I’m so used to Kenneth Oppel being a middle grade author that this one threw me for a bit of a loop. I would put this in the decidedly young adult category. The characters are older, and the Romeo and Juliet setting is a fairly apt description of their story.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book was the cast of characters. Samuel and Rachel were excellent perspectives to examine this piece through, as each of them perceived the romance portion quite differently, and not what I had expected. They both come across as intellectual characters with an understanding of morality and goodness that you root for, unlike their flawed fathers which were ripe with tension and conflict.
Oppel has clearly done his research, as the world building, and the historical references are all very convincing and well done.
Recommendations: If you’re a fan of paleontology, this is an adorable book told from a YA perspective that isn’t often seen, and so therefore, an interesting read, but it is 13+.
(Mild spoiler below)
There is a page and a half of a light description of ‘relationship consummation’ around page 279 (I believe), that prevents me from handing it off to just any 10-year-old kid.