There have been three previous Love books, all focusing on different predators and the other creatures that live in their environments. All have been visually stunning, with plenty of praise piled upon them from those that have noticed them. This latest book in the series takes a leap back to the late Mesozoic, essentially following a Tyrannosaurus rex on the hunt, but dipping into the lives of other predators and herbivores it crosses paths with, from the diminutive theropod Bambiraptor to the majestic Quetzalcoatlus.
The lives of the creatures play out without dialogue or narration, so all the drama, tension and terror is played through the skilled illustrative talents of the artist, beautifully utilising colour, light, angle and panel layouts to lift the action off of the page. No story such as this can work without a degree of anthropomorphisation so startled animals invariably look slack-jawed and wide-eyed, but that’s pretty much as far as it goes – the rest is through your interpretation and projection.
As with all the books, the animals only concerns are their own survival, which tends to mean their next meal, so the stories boil down to hunting and being hunted, regardless at what scale of creature that moment in time is focussed on. There’s a stunning double-page painting that takes in an underwater scene, a cut-away from the main drama unfolding above the waves, that is a snapshot of the chaos and urgency of the creatures down there that exactly mirrors what we’ve seen previously on land.
I think if you’re a keen dinosaur enthusiast you’re going to love this despite a few details being off, but it’s all forgivable due to the richly depicted panorama. I’m surprised this book, and the others in the series, aren’t being shouted about more. They truly are exceptional.
And if you liked that: Check out Age Of Reptiles