Eternal Prey is an obscure little book that is completely bat-shit insane.
I am not kidding. The last thing that brought me this much joy was Sharknado. It reads as if the author took Twilight, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and a random number generator and shoved it all into a blender. There is not one fucking thing in it that makes any sense, and BONUS ROUND, the plot revolves around the Mayan Disaster of December 21st 2012.
It's mid-August 2013 right now. This book is fucking dated.
In other words, every single thing about this book is wonderful. And while I am sure there are a lot of bad things in it, unlike Anita Blake, Gor, Mission Earth and The Wolf Gift, I do not remember this book being relentlessly offensive. Mind-blowingly insane with internet references that I did not know should never be used in a book, but not "OH GOD KILL WITH FIRE" level dreck.
I actually recommend reading along this time, because personally I think you need to read it to believe it. Just how insane is this book? Let me put it this way: Jeremy Irons needs to play either the lead bad guy or the head good guy, and I don't give a fuck which one as long as he chews on the scenery.
So let's get started, shall we?
Trapped. Freaking trapped. In the wrong time, in the wrong place, defending a bunch of dumbass humans.This is Utah, our flaming ass of a male lead, and it's rather nice of him to get the whole insulting your entire audience thing out of the way this early in the novel. He complains about a guy who takes too long at a green light and contemplates casual murder. Quite the guy.
Oh, and this is the somethingth in a series, so we need a summery of past events. Hey, Utah, what happened before this?
And to think he’d really believed he could fit in here. Out of all the Eleven, he’d been the happiest, ready to put the past behind him and embrace 2012. Then the vampires had killed Rap, and he’d realized this time was no different from the last. It was just a different kind of jungle. Killing was still the only answer.I bought this book in 2010. Oh, and the naming convention. Oh GOD the fucking naming convention.
See, all the guys in this novel are not men who shapeshift into dinosaurs. Oh no. That would be a little too logical. They are men possessed by the ghosts of dead dinosaurs who then shapeshift into the dinosaur form because EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS INSANE. So that "past" he's talking about? That's the Cretaceous Period, back before he had a brain capable of sentience. Oh, and the dinosaurs are the souls saved from the last Great Extinction, an event that is about to repeat here on earth because Mayans. Their names all have something to do with the dinosaur they used to be. And I have to give Nina Bangs a cookie for not using Veloceraptors, and going with the lesser known Utahraptor instead. Because the Velosaraptors are actually fucking tiny, and Utahraptors are the movie sized version.
This is why we have heroes named Utah, Rap, Tor, and Rex.
The bad guys? Well they are officially Team Evil. That's what the text calls them. I am not making this up. They are eleven immortals who get to play on earth every time the Mayan boctun winds down, even when the Mayans and their calendar don't even fucking exist. And they are named One, Two, Three, ect. Utah up there is running from Seven. There's also a Zero, who is the bad guy. Utah and his dino-buddies are on the side of Fin, which is short for Infinity.
Everything about this fills me with bubbling joy.
The guys can be tracked by Team Evil, unless they have a human sitting in their lap. These humans are hired to be the guy's drivers because the last thing you want in traffic is a pissed off raptor behind the wheel.
The drivers are universally women, universally hot, and Utah is doing his level damned best to avoid his because he's a cranky prick and we need to have this established. The driver is following him, and she's better at it than he is. Hey, what's her personality like?
“Pull over, you prehistoric jerk. I’ve been trying to catch you since you left Fin’s. Let me guess, you had to dump all the Cracker Jacks from the box to find your driver’s license. No wonder Fin wants me to drive you around. You’re a menace.”...right. So we have two unlikable protagonists (who are obviously going to fuck halfway through the book) that I don't have to even give a fuck about. They were so made for each other.
The driver is Lia, and if you want to know what she's like, just think Bella Swan with a samurai sword and a blond perm.
The dialogue continues to be priceless:
“Not going to happen. And you absolutely need me. A human has to stay close— like inside your car— to keep this Seven guy from tracking you. Just an aside, but I feel stupid calling anyone Seven. Give him a human name like Bill or Tom. Anyway, that’s me, your designated human. Now pull over.”
Utah does what he's told just long enough to get a look at Lia's legs. Then he floors it and giggles to himself until his car randomly explodes.
NO. NO. I AM SERIOUS. HIS CAR RANDOMLY EXPLODES:
Utah listened to his instinct. Shoving the door open, he launched himself from the car . . . a second before it burst into flames.Seven is up there somewhere, and he telepathically grabs Utah's brain and threatens to squish it. Utah tries to throw Seven out of his brain, while Seven monologues like there's no tomorrow.
Utah compares this immortal to the other immortals he's fought:
The guy had to be Seven. Only Seven would know this much about the Eleven. But if this was Seven, then they were all in lots of trouble. Utah had fought Eight, but Eight’s power hadn’t felt like this—
Seven. Eleven. Eight. It's like a gas station and a hotel married and had dino-babies.
Lia shows up! She hits Seven with her car. The bad guy vanishes.
Lia and Utah exchange barbs for a minute or two. This gives Utah lots of time to look over her body and make snide side-thoughts about her breasts. Because this is a romance novel. They have to spend the next several chapters looking at each other's ass. It's in the genre checklist.
Lia's personal history is a little more logical than Utah's, which is like saying that Chernobyl now is a little less radiactive than Chernobyl was back in the 1980s. Lia is the daughter of a vampire, who was apparently a vampire when she gave birth. I think. Only Lia is fully human. And she wants to be a vampire. Because her mother was a vampire. This is her driving ambition.
Like I said. This is Bella with a perm and a sword. And maybe a spine.
Utah also had something to do with Lia's mother's death, which made Lia the human the leader of the vampires in the area, which she won't be if she remains human for long. He and Tor also rescued Lia and someone named Jenna from Eight after they were kidnapped.
Tor shows up! Utah's brother! It's very random. They leave the alley where the bad guy was and go somewhere that is also very random. Tor says something about bringing Rap, their brother, back, and Lia's all like "Huh?" So Utah explains:
“His body died. His soul didn’t.” Utah met her gaze, his eyes almost black in the darkness. “Fin can remove souls from bodies. That’s how he saved all of the Eleven. He sends the souls to a safe place near a strong natural power source until he can return them to a body. Rap is tucked away underground somewhere near Sedona, Arizona, right now.”
So basically not only are these guys men possessed by the ghosts of dead dinosaurs, but they come with a save point. Gotcha.
They go to Fin's house where the other eight members of the Eleven are--thus bringing the grand total of the Eleven to ten, because fuck your logic, and Lia gives a "be the biggest badass" thought-speach that wouldn't be out of place coming from Anita Blake. She looks at all the other men, though only Fin gets described.
Specifically, his hair. His shiny, shiny silver hair. Thank GOD it is not described as Christmas tinsel, but it DOES freaking sparkle. Then we get his face and...
It was a face carved from shadows and dark places where normal people never dared go. It was primitive force, sexual power, and unearthly beauty all stamped with an aura so ancient it took her breath away.Race? Naw. Jawline? Nope. Nose? Not important. Eye color? Well, I'm still recovering from Merry "Tricolor mood ring eyes" Gentry so I'll give this one a pass. Wrinkles? Pah-lease. But we DO know this guy is pretty and that his hair fucking sparkles.
Fin also introduces everyone because Lia doesn't know their faces. I don't either, or most of their names, and it's too fucking bad because all the book says is "he introduced them". Lia keeps their beasts firmly fixed in mind, because once you meet a rampaging triceratops, you never forget him.
This is a romance novel involving raging triceratops, cell phones, vampires, and ancient mayan bullshit prophesies. I have to giggle hysterically for a couple minutes. Excuse me.
Utah tells Fin what happened. Fin chews Utah out. Lia leaps to his defense because this raging asshole she only just met (ish) is the dude she's going to bone in a few more chapters, she needs to start that romance ball rolling right now. And of course, everyone is impressed that she stood up to Fin.
You know. The guy with this hair:
Utah goes off on Fin about how his last memory was eating something prehistoric with Rap and Tor, he's a killer animal and Fin had better deal, and Fin is all "YOU WILL CONTROL YOUR ANIMAL NATURE" and I am all like "DUDE. NEXT TIME PICK SENTIENT GHOSTS BECAUSE THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME"
Fin kind of gives up, because again, these are things that have only been freaking sentient for a couple months, if that, and asks if the dude that blew up Utah's car had red, sparkly hair. Lia says "Yeah," and he tells them in big Drama Voice (TM) that they just met Zero...and survived!
End of chapter.