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The Dinosaur Four

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They came for the coffee and wound up in the Cretaceous.

A ticking sound fills the air as Tim MacGregor enters The Daily Edition Café, hoping to meet his new girlfriend for coffee. Moments later, a chunk of building is transported 67 million years back in time, along with everyone inside.

Ten unlikely companions find themselves in a world of dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles. Several survivors compete for leadership as they search for a way home, and one member of the group plots to keep them all trapped in the past...

270 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 25, 2014

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Geoff Jones

2 books27 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 236 reviews
16 reviews2 followers
June 4, 2014
It's been awhile since I've read a kick-ass action/adventure, let alone a kick-ass dinosaur thriller. I tore through this like a T-Rex going after an afternoon snack - which in this case, is a group of Denver city folk who get zapped back to the time of the dinosaurs and have to figure out how to get home without getting smushed, stomped, or otherwise gobbled up. Solid, believable character ensemble, smart sci-fi that's not too geeky, and amazing set pieces and chase scenes that just scream out for a big-budget movie adaptation. If you're a fan of rollercoaster thrillers and authors like Michael Crichton and Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child, this is a great find!
Profile Image for SuperHeroQwimm.
135 reviews29 followers
January 21, 2016
I enjoyed this very much. There was only one disappointment, the "villian's" (because even in a book where dinosaurs are killing you, there has to be a bad person too, I'm not complaining, it was a good story line) ending was very anticlimactic, and I was hoping much worse was in store for him.
Profile Image for ᒪᗴᗩᕼ .
1,494 reviews147 followers
October 4, 2022

➨ Time Travel to the land of Dinosaurs ➨ Action & Adventure ➨ Even the Veggie eaters get in on the killing…

If you’re only here for the human buffet that the Dinosaurs have going on….then you might love this. Because it has minimal plot explanations and little to no character development. It does have quite a few species of Dinosaurs, though, so it will scratch that dinosaur itch.

◾Narrated by: 🎙️ Nick Podehl📣 One of my favorites because he’s always fantastic. I like him so much that I’m not even disappointed that it doesn’t have separate narrators for each POV.

Total Score 6.43/10 ◾ Opening-7.5 ◾ Characters-5 ◾ Plot-6 ◾ Atmosphere-7 ◾ Writing Style-6.5 ◾ Ending-6 ◾ Overall Enjoyment- 7 ◾
Profile Image for Brian Switek.
Author 6 books132 followers
December 2, 2015
It might not be saying much in its favor, but The Dinosaur Four isn't the worst time travel/dinosaur tale I've read. The opening drags, the minimalist environmental description makes envisioning the Cretaceous world difficult, and we spend way too much time in the perverted mind of a particularly odious character, just to name a few issues, but the dinosaurs are fairly up-to-date and the latter half of the story moves pretty fast. If you need a dinosaur yarn to pass a few hours on a plane, you could do worse.
Profile Image for Paul (Life In The Slow Lane).
617 reviews31 followers
October 21, 2014
Ever since they were first described in 1815, dinosaurs have fascinated and enchanted almost everyone. They were so different to anything living today that we all wished we could travel back in time to see them. The reality is, even if we could, our fascination would give way to terror pretty quickly. The prehistoric world was a pretty violent place.

Like most kids, I certainly became spellbound by palaeontology and have maintained a keen interest ever since. I just love any dino-related fiction, which is why I think Michael Crichton was a hero author of mine. He made bringing back a dinosaur seem possible.

Here we have a rip-roaring tale of a group of people cast back to the Late Cretaceous and having to deal with all the exotic dangers that involved. This book has surprise, suspense, romance, betrayal, horror and intrigue, all served with lashings of dinosaurian delights. Jurassic Park, meets Land of the Lost with a bit of The Philadelphia Experiment mixed in. (We even have the classic “Rumble in the Jungle” that made Muhammad Ali’s fight look like a game of marbles.)

I think this is a first class effort for Geoff’s maiden novel. I very much enjoyed this story and provided you just forget about the technical impossibilities for a while, I’m sure you will too. Enjoy the ride!
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
February 20, 2021
Okay, so maybe diving into this after a Jurassic Park book wasn't the best thing to do.. but hey - I did it.

The Dinosaur Four had it's interesting moments but it definitely drags you through the mud at the same time. I feel like the world building, in a way, was lackluster. There wasn't much to go on and after diving into the world of Jurassic Park - well, it was just all kinds of sad. Now while that's happening, the dinosaurs are the only thing not lacking in this world. I definitely enjoyed them more than anything.

I'm also not going to lie, this started off really slow for me. It eventually picked up towards the end but then it started to feel a bit rushed to me. Luckily, for me, this was a quick read to get through and was an interesting time travel one too. I just wished that I liked it a bit more than I did.
Profile Image for Magiccats.
198 reviews5 followers
September 12, 2014
Very good action packed thrilling novel. Couldn't put the book down! The idea of people in a cafe disappearing back in time to the age of the dinosaurs appealed to me and I thought I would give the book a try. Great job on the character development and their interactions with each other. Found myself disliking one character immensely which is the sign of a good writer who can evoke the reader's emotions. The author brings the book to life and one goes along with the fictional characters on the ride of their lives. Would definitely recommend this book. Enjoyed every minute reading this novel.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
37 reviews
June 7, 2014
Well done!

Well paced, written, and edited, "The Dinosaur Four" is a fantastic read. A twisted tale of disastrous accidental time travel back to when dinosaurs ruled the earth, and 15 hours later back to the future again. In a landscape full of territorial herbivorous and carnivorous giants, how long do you think YOU would survive? Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Paul Bonamy.
93 reviews
June 15, 2014
This was a surprising fun read. The book is quite short, but manages to move along at a nice pace. It's essentially the classic adventure / survival tale, with a bit of time travel thrown in for flavor, and manages to answer its own time travel questions at the end.

On the whole, a quick, enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Melissa.
121 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2014
This book is part of the Kindle Unlimited library. Reading free books can be a really mixed bag. Some of the books are okay and most are blasé. Part of me feels really bad about reading a book and then shredding it to pieces in the review but then I feel that I have to be completely honest about what I think and why I think that way. So here it goes. Note: there will be spoilers.

Readability: Honestly, this book was a little hard to stick with. Descriptions of scenery were confusing and not very easy to picture in my mind. It sometimes felt like there was obfuscation in certain parts of the book, particularly in the parts dealing with the cliff and T-Rex. The plot was especially guilty on this point. Once the team discovers the scientist who transported them back in time, things became seriously muddled and it was very frustrating. The scientist claims they were working on bending light to render the building invisible. The science team didn't know it would jump them back in time. Three or four pages later, the scientist tells everyone that the machine that brought everyone back in time will jump back to the future in 15 hours and it had a built-in safety in case they needed to fix any timeline issues. So I guess the scientists did know what they were doing all along. Somewhere along the way, one of the characters reveals that they merely did not just transport back in time. Whatever was in the spot their cafe landed would have been transported back to the cafe's spot. Like a teleportation swap-thing going on and it was mentioned like an afterthought.

Character Development: Terrible. Weird. Uncomfortable. This book wanted to be the next Jurassic Parkor The Lost World and falls short. A few characters are given decent development. William for example. He is a UPS truck driver and loves his boys. Single dad and all he wants to do is get back home to them. Al was weird and felt thrown in for some kind of sensationalist factor. He is The Token Crazy. He appears surprisingly normal at the beginning but makes a quick descent into crazy town. None of it appears natural. I'm going to single out Al for a minute because his character bugged me the most. Besides Helen. Passive aggressive old bat that she was. So Al would stop in the cafe every morning for three years because he had a crush on Lisa, the owner. He would never say much and was obviously awkward around women. He starts out as a weird and sad little man who turns into psychopath who wants to stay in the past with the two surviving young women. So he sabotages group efforts to get back home. He basically kills off the UPS truck driver. During the course of the book, the author takes particular pains in explaining Al's past. I felt like I was being assaulted with a sob story. The guy sort of can't help himself. He's crazy because his mother was crazy. He was too awkward around women and had to visit brothels in Nevada for sexual gratification. Why do I need to know this? What point does it ultimately serve? It did not further the plot in any way. It succeeded in making Al seem out of place with the book, which is different than making him out of place with the other characters.

Creativity: Traveling back to the time of dinosaurs is not very creative. If it was done properly, however, that would not have mattered. We are given crazy and half-thought notions of time travel, meant to be invisibility experiments, with a little bit of teleportation and timeline craziness added to the bag. And the whole ending, with the weird timeline convergence, was odd and ill conceived. So Tim makes it back to the future, along with three other characters and the dog and the T-Rex who joined the ride. He makes it back just in time to see his girlfriend eaten by the dinosaur. He tries to save her and use the fail safe to go back in time by 20 minutes so he can keep the group from every being in the cafe when it leaves. He fails because he eventually runs into himself, returning from the past. Between his two selves, they manage to kill the T-Rex and save the day. His two selves then meld into one person. But it's clear that he never managed to keep the people from leaving the cafe while he's fighting T-Rex. The remaining survivors are called the Dinosaur Four. So how did the whole thing not keep going on a loop? Why did the cafe only go back in time twice? Why did it not keep going on its repetitious cycle? It's dumb to have it repeat the loop only a second time to help Tim save his girlfriend and stop there. Anything can happen in science fiction but this seems to heavily contradict itself.

Bottom Line: This book was weird and careless. Don't bother.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for BookLoversLife.
1,801 reviews9 followers
January 7, 2016
This was such a fun and entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!

The story follows a group of people who are in a coffee shop and get transported back to the age of the Dinosaurs. Just how and why, is something they have to figure out while trying to survive in a world where everything seems to want to eat you.

The plot of this, while completely unbelievable, was so much fun. Imagine going for coffee only to exit and you are in a different age, one where the animals will stomp on you or eat you! What would you do!! Well we find this out when a group of strangers get transported to an age with Dinos. They have to work together to get answers, but also to get food etc.

The characters were all well written. There is one particular character that I disliked, but that's the way the author wrote him. He was creepy and gave me chills! Each of the characters have their own strengths but can they work together? I loved the dynamics between the characters. Some hit it off straight away, while others were complete a88holes. It made them so much more believable because you know that in a room full of strangers, it takes time to trust them and not everyone will get on.

In all, this is an action packed, engaging, entertaining and addicting read. Going into it I wasn't executing to like it as much as I did, and that's in big part thanks to the writing style. The author just grabs you from the very first page and doesn't let go. This is also his debut book I think, so I'm equally impressed with that.

Nick Podehl did a great job. There were quite a few different characters but he managed to give each their own voice and personality. He also managed to portray the fear and confusion each felt when they realised where they were.

*I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affects my thoughts.*
Profile Image for Dustin.
1,017 reviews8 followers
March 23, 2015
Poor descriptions, stilted dialogue, mostly unlikable characters, an unimpressive opening, and a supremely disappointing ending. The dinosaurs, by virtue of not being POV characters, are the best written part of this. When the dialogue and character thoughts aren't stilted they're just repetitive.
I'll give the author one thing, he is really good at making some of these characters unlikable. Al is a creepy goon and fills in the "man is the real monster" part of the story.

I paid a dollar for this so you didn't have to.
Profile Image for Brian's Book Blog.
732 reviews55 followers
March 7, 2018
A Fun and Distracting Fiction Story

This was one of those books that sat on my TBR pile for a while before I gave it a shot and now I’m a little sad that I waited this long. It was a really entertaining read.

The story follows a group of people who were transported back in time to the age of Dinos. They have to figure out what the heck happened to them and how to get back home in one non-eaten piece.

Sometimes you need a book that is just total fiction to take your mind off of everything that is going on around you. This was definitely that book. It reminded me a bit of an old TV show that I watched where they were just randomly driving on a road and they “fell” into the past in the age of Dinos. This was similar where it was obviously strong fiction but just so darn enjoyable.

Definitely an action-packed fictional tale with pretty strong character building (anytime you can write a good character this isn’t super likable to start always gets my attention).

Overall, a good book to distract you in these trying times. Combine that with Podehl’s narration and you have a winner.
Profile Image for Benjamin Roberts.
Author 1 book23 followers
March 23, 2022
Pure prehistoric dino action from cover to cover. We also have a bunch of crazy time travel paradoxes to spice things up. Super fast-paced, super gory, and super fun.

My favourite aspect was probably the perspective - omniscient. Normally writers avoid omniscient like the plague, but Jones leans into it. We see inside the heads of all the characters, as well as inside the heads of dinosaurs, sometimes in nobody's head, and sometimes inside a head that's been separated from its body. It's weird, and sometimes confusing, but very refreshing in a world of limited 3rd.

Check it out if you need some dinos in your life!
Profile Image for Alex.
4 reviews
November 4, 2014
The Dinosaur Four is a great book about time travel, survival, dinosaurs and people behaviours.

While few first pages of the book seem to last forever, introducing the story slowly and idyllically, the rest of the book is keeping the reader alert.

The biggest asset of the story is that the author really shows what every character is thinking and why they are making specific decisions. The whole plot seems logical. I was suprised by the truth shown in dangerous moments of the story as well. There is a lot of mistakes and a lot of blood.

The idea of time travel and dinosaurs may be old, but it's never getting boring with books like Dinosaur Four. Time travel idea and consequences were described in magnificent way.

Also, as a person that does not have huge interest in dinosaurs - I mean, I know a few spieces, but I don't remember all spieces by names - I was really surprised by the descriptions of the world and creatures living in it. I could imagine and remember the appearance of dinosaurs without reaching to google or other books.

On top of that all the book was keeping me busy, I wanted to read it all the time, straight to the last page. I read it on my lunch break, I read it between matches of my favourite video game and also when I wanted just to sit with a cup of coffee and chill out.

I highly recommend this book, well done!
Profile Image for Arun Divakar.
796 reviews380 followers
May 12, 2016
This story falls firmly into the category of brain popcorn. A group of people in a café become collateral damage when a time machine goes off directly above their heads. From a sunny and beautiful day in Denver, CO they are transported to a prehistoric landscape with them having no idea of how they got there. The rest is typical survival drama.

The dinosaurs are all pretty well depicted and relatively up to date. These are not the dinosaurs of Michael Crichton/Stan Winston, they are feathered and ugly brutes who are a few steps away from becoming birds. They are also as nasty as they come and having never seen humans before, they are totally badass. Everyone’s favourite anti-hero is the antagonist here too : T-Rex. However the men and women from the group come face to face with monster crocodiles, Titanosaurus and Triceratops and the body count keeps rising. The prehistoric backdrop and the dinosaurs are the best part of the story. Fortunately, the dinosaurs don’t slide down the cliché slope for there are no Velociraptors either !

The rest of the book is forgettable. The characters are all ctrl+c and ctrl+v of what you see in any B-grade monster flick and there isn’t much of a story to speak of. Remember the popcorn analogy ? It fits this story like a glove.

Kill a few hours with this one. It won’t hurt.
246 reviews1 follower
February 24, 2015
Part of a coffee shop, on the first floor of a building in Denver, along with the floor lying directly above the part of the coffee shop, is transported back in time to the late Cretaceous period. Those in the coffee shop at the time, had to figure out how to survive. They also needed to discover how to get back home. Any more information would reveal too much. Some characters were reasonably well developed and others weren't. The action was, at times, not so well developed. Some scenes were very detailed and others seem to have been glossed over. The ending totally disregards three characters. What happens with them? As expected, not all the characters were likeable. One was downright creepy. This story is not a deep one, and some of the scenes left me wondering why or what just happened. That said, it was an OK read. It wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t really good. I gave it three stars at Amazon, which is OK and two stars here on Goodreads which is OK. Three stars here was "I like it" which I can't really say is true. While I generally love time-travel books, I probably will not look for more books from this author.
Profile Image for Mark Speed.
Author 16 books76 followers
April 17, 2017
I wasn't expecting this to be up to much. It's advertised by the author as a 'B-movie' novel, and he's been promoting it to death for a couple of years.

What's great is that it is what it says it is. I like that honesty. You signed up for a B-movie novel, you get a B-movie novel. It is unpretentious, but quite well-written. The plot keeps you going nicely, and chapters finish on page-turning events. The characters have their flaws and hidden motives, so there's plenty of conflict and tension. The point of view does jump around a little bit within chapters, which writing courses teach you is a bit of a no-no. But you know what? It doesn't matter, because it's a B-movie and this guy makes it work.

And the author is absolutely not afraid of killing his characters. The clue is in the title: The Dinosaur Four. There are ten of them at the start, so you 'do the math', as the Americans would say. Well done, Geoff Jones!
Profile Image for Preeti.
210 reviews160 followers
September 21, 2014
I don't expect a lot from these dinosaur/prehistoric creature books, based on bad previous reads. But I still read them, because they're amusing for a short amount of time. (I can amuse myself by yelling at characters in my head.)

Surprisingly, this book was not only entertaining but the characters weren't infuriating. Well, I should amend that - their actions didn't seem utterly ridiculous in the face of what they were experiencing. My first impression was that the characters were acting real. Did they do stupid stuff? Yes, but it seemed natural for the most part, not just done to move the story forward in some contrived way, like other books I can think of. *cough Fossil River cough*

The science was... maybe not quite present, but nonetheless, this book kept me engaged and was a nice, short diversion for a couple of hours.
Profile Image for Mae Clair.
Author 18 books554 followers
March 26, 2015
A fun, thrilling read with plenty of action. This would make a great summer popcorn movie on SyFy. A group of people in a café are transported back in time to an era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Enter survival mode as the group tries to sort out the best way to remain alive-- especially when they become the favored prey of a hungry Tyrannosaurs Rex.

But it isn’t just the T-Rex that’s the problem. There are plenty of dinosaurs here, each presenting its own unique danger. Toss in the usual squabbling and power struggles that result in group dynamics and this becomes a page turner. The reader is treated to everyone’s POV, right down to some of the dinosaurs. I almost wish the author had limited the number of POVs, allowing me to form my perspectives through the eyes of one or two characters, but that’s a minor glitch in a well-written, entertaining tale.

Thumbs up for an exciting ending with the T-Rex stalking the streets of present day Denver. Break out the popcorn and enjoy!
Profile Image for John.
346 reviews28 followers
September 17, 2014
I had my doubts about this book when I picked it up for free on Kindle, but I really enjoyed it. It's about a group of ten people, mostly strangers to one another, who enter a Denver coffee shop and are somehow transported back in time to a land of dinosaurs. The author's descriptions of the setting and the dinosaurs are very realistic. The ensemble cast is diverse and the characters well developed. They are not standard stock character types, but real people with strengths and weaknesses. There were those I liked and those I disliked, as well as some that I couldn't make my mind up about. The dialog is excellent. Can they survive long enough to find a way back to the present? If you're looking for a quick fun read with lots of action and suspense look no further. An amazing first novel. I look forward to his next book.
1,294 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2016
I liked it. It was fast, different and original. 10 people are in a coffee shop when suddenly, a loud ticking occurs, and then a pop. We find out that part of the shop has been transported back to the dinosaur area. The book occurs in a 15 hour period. We discover that some geniuses on the second story of the building invented a time machine, that goes off before they had planned. It is set to return in 15 hours. During this time period, the people are introduced to several dinosaurs, some okay and some very dangerous. One man thinks he would like to stay there, and sabotages their efforts to return. By the time all is said and done, 6 of the people have died, only four return. But what a story they have to tell! First book I have read by this author.
Profile Image for Tina.
758 reviews40 followers
April 17, 2022
I listened to this book on Audible. It was a short quick read and the narrator did a great job.

It's an exciting, action-packed time-travel science fiction horror that places ten people (but there's a reason it's called the Dinosaur Four) against dinosaurs.

I love Jurassic Park. I had a Jurassic Park themed wedding, so I'm all for a book about dinosaurs. It's not Jurassic Park of course. It's not rooted in hard science as we don't know how the time machine worked - it just does. I was fine with this - time travel is hardly a "science" and if you think too hard about it, it unravels, so I was fine with minimal explanation.

One thing that I noticed was a lack of description of the flora of the area. I could never really picure exactly what the layout of their area was, but it didn't really bug me. I just pictured Isla Nublar.

What I loved in the book were the action scenes - they were disgusting! He doesn't hold back when it comes to dinosaurs mangling stuff, and the dinosaur attacks never got old. This could be because it was clear no one was safe, but also because it wasn't just one dino the whole time but multiple, and herbivores too, that attacked.

The story also moves at a fast pace once it gets going. The first quarter is a bit slower, but it also suits the characters - they aren't sure what's going on. Once they get moving, the story really picks up.

One thing I didn't love was the characters. I have no issue with a multiple POV-story (in fact, limited third person that jumps around to all the characters is probably my favourite POV), but the development of the characters weren’t given equal focus. I also didn't really like any of the characters as people, except for Beth.

We only get a deep backstory on three of the characters yet we see into the minds of the others, so the ones who only get a bit of backstory feel a bit flat. For example, Lisa, the store owner, isn’t consistent. If we’d been given more detailed information on why she was at times wishy-washy and sometimes take-charge, it would have worked well. Instead, we get a lot of backstory on one of the most unlikable characters I’ve come across in awhile. He was clearly meant to be a gross creep, which was why he was so odious, but it was almost too heavy-handed. Had the story been focused on just he and maybe two others, perhaps there would have been space for nuance or a real explanation of why some men turn into, well, incels and how it’s a societal problem. It also felt a bit unfair that this gross turd of a person was given so much more internal thought time than all of the women combined.

Yet, these are just my opinions as I'm more of a character-focused reader. Some people might not notice or care about the latter points with the characters, given this is primarily an action novel. So, if you like a gore-packed story about dinosaurs where you can’t be sure of anyone’s survival, this was a fun, entertaining book, and I do recommend it!
Profile Image for Andrew Hindle.
Author 20 books45 followers
September 16, 2021
For some hilarious reason this book was misattributed as "time travel dinosaur erotica" among the SPSFC reviewers and as such we have all been looking forward to reading it. As it happens, we were right to be anticipating it - but not because it was a titillating carnal romp through the Cretaceous era. I mean, what would that even be like? Maybe Jones can take up his pen and get to work on that, because apparently reviewers be horny.

But no. What we got was goddamn brilliant and make no mistake, I was far happier that the leprous hadrosaurs didn't fuck anyone.

What am I talking about and why am I still making it weird?

The Dinosaur Four opens in the Daily Edition Café where Lisa, the owner, is soliloquising about taxes and liquor licenses and the absurdity of being allowed to sell alcohol before you can drink it. The barista, Beth, flirts briefly with a delivery man  named William and makes reference to his large package. Please keep in mind, at this point I still thought I was reading erotica so I had a really solid idea of where this was heading. The only question in my mind was whether William was a Chuck-Tinglian T-Rex delivery man with abs for days, or Beth was going to turn out to be a saucy Madame Vastra type. Or both, to the lyrical but total detriment of the protagonist's ass.

Anyway, that didn't happen.

The café, along with a fun little crowd of positively Stephen-King-worthy employees and customers, is abruptly transported to the distant past where they all get absolutely fucking bodied by dinosaurs (not in that way) for a couple of hundred pages.

It's fucking glorious.

I was, as I said, immediately reminded of Stephen King - specifically The Mist, The Langoliers, and other neatly contained dramas. My initial thought was that maybe King would make more compelling or grimy characters more instantly identifiable and distinctive (Tim remained something of a nonentity for a while but - and this is the great bit - I'm pretty sure he was meant to), but there's no shame in being out-grimy-charactered by Stephen King. However, as I read on, I realised that Jones had actually just gone a more slow-burn and subtle road with his protagonists. They may not have been as gross, but they were all just as distinctive and - if anything - more relatable, making everything that much more horrific.

I can't say much more without spoiling various plot points and revelations, so I won't - except to say that Lisa could probably have remembered and mentioned certain things a bit sooner and more readily than she did, and to wonder whether I missed a part that explained how "invisibility cloak" became "time travel" - was the former just a cover and I just missed the discarding of said cover? Anyway, read the book and you'll see what I mean.

The characters were really great. Don't be discouraged by the take-off - once they're airborne, they really soar. Patricia is a giant Karen, Callie and Hank are a complete goddamn train wreck, and Al ... Jesus Christ, Al. But for me, perhaps my favourite part of the story was just when you start thinking things are going to settle down for the Act III coast, and one of the characters ... how to put this? They give their little group a name and it's not the name of the book and you realise things are about to get so much worse.

Very good. Very, very good.


For all the sweet-to-gross spectrum of human interpersonal relations taking place in this story, the horniest thing in it was the triceratops. Am I right? *goes up for high five and is left hanging, and deservedly so*. Fuck it. I guess my point is there wasn't really any sex in this. Two desperately sad and awkward mother-shamed Al-boners from accidentally-on-purpose side-boob contact while hugging out of a possible five. I would have awarded it one desperately sad and awkward mother-shamed Al-boner from accidentally-on-purpose side-boob contact while hugging, but I just remembered that the T-Rex does in fact eat a giant bag of ticks, so there's that. And no, that wasn't a typo.


Amazing. No notes. Four and a half flesh-gobbets out of five. I'm still giving us a final half-gobbet to fill out if an absolute fucking bloodbath crosses my Kindle because recalibrating the gore-o-meter isn't cheap and I'm doing these reviews for free, but something tells me we're not going to get much more gory than this one.


This is a time travel adventure with a solid dose of causality and timeline-crossing and all of that. It would be weird if it didn't register on the WTF-o-meter. One thing I was really interested in at the start of the story was how gross and diseased the dinosaurs were, and for a while I wondered if that was a plot point that was going to end up being significant. But I think in the end it just turned out to be a gritty, realistic look at how fucking disgusting giant feathery lizards would actually be, with an emphasis on the stuff we tend to sanitise out of our dinosaur lore. Jones is clearly an enthusiast and he's done his research. I give The Dinosaur Four an Al's mother out of a possible Toomey's father (and that's not as minor a reading as you might think).

My Final Verdict

Glorious. Just fantastic. I have no more words. Okay I lied; five stars.
461 reviews397 followers
February 2, 2022
hahaha, well that was a thing. Thanks SPSFC
Profile Image for Sabrina Ricci.
Author 19 books23 followers
June 21, 2016
It all happens so fast. Ten people in a coffee shop, going through their morning routine. Then a ticking sound. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

And all of a sudden the group of strangers find themselves and the coffee shop at the end of the Cretaceous, on a prehistoric riverbank.

From there, author Geoff Jones puts his characters through the wringer, as they struggle to comprehend what happened to them and why, while dealing with injuries and dinosaur attacks.

First, there’s Edmontosaurus, a deadly herbivore that feels threatened by the newcomers encroaching on its territory. The group finally manages to scare away the herd by banging spoons and trays. Then there’s a T-rex, who is drawn to the scene by the loud noises, multiple angry Triceratops’, hungry pterosaurs, and a persistent Deinosuchus (a giant crocodile), just to name a few of the group’s obstacles.

Each quick chapter is told from a different character’s point of view, and there’s plenty of terror and gore. Everything is so fast paced, that each chapter feels really crammed full of information, about the characters and their backstories, the challenges they’re facing, and their plan for getting back home.

*Spoiler alert*

And yes, there is a way to get home, because it turns out the coffee shop was accidentally transported back in time by a group of scientists who work on the floor above the shop. Geoff gives clues throughout the story, and his characters slowly piece together what happened. It’s that age-old story of smart scientist gets government contract to build something cool, scientist gets arrogant and rushes the job, and scientist and his team suffer dire consequences from it.

The title of the book is a spoiler too, when you think about it. The book starts with ten people, and ends with four. However, Geoff has a great twist at the end—and it’s action-packed, of course.

The ten people who get transported are all very distinct and full of personality. There’s William, the level-headed mailman with two young sons who like dinosaurs—and the only one in the group who can name any of the dinosaurs they encounter.

There’s also Lisa, the brave owner of the coffee shop, and her employee Beth, Al, a man with a complicated past who has a crush on Lisa, and Tim, a loyal young man still figuring out how to make his own decisions. Others in the group include Hank and Callie, who are engaged though Callie is much younger than Hank, Patricia, the type-A personality who wants to be in charge, Helen, the elderly woman afraid of being left behind, and Morgan, the punk kid who provides comic relief.

Overall, The Dinosaur Four is a really enjoyable book, especially for dinosaur enthusiasts. As Geoff Jones puts it, the book is “an adult B-movie time-travel thriller.” And really, you can’t possibly go wrong with that.
72 reviews2 followers
July 4, 2016
It was only 30 minutes or so into “The Dinosaur 4” that I began to compare this fun audiobook to the various “creature features” available on any given weekend on the SyFy Channel. Whether it is Megladon vs Mecha-Shark or Sharknado, there is an inherent joy to be found in a little escapism mixed with the blood of characters that were too slow to get out of the way of something with rediciously large teeth. Especially so when it is well done within these mainly low-budget movies. Dinosaur 4 compares very favorably to the “Well Done” members of this genre and I could very easily see it as a SyFy movie one day. Dinosaur 4 shares many characteristics of the typical entrée of this genre: small cast of characters, a minimum of different locale changes, stereotypical characters, and (most importantly) predators with big teeth.

This 8 hour audiobook started off with a bang, wasting no time in getting to the action. Within 10 minutes of hitting play, we are back in time and can see the writing on the wall for the first victim. Character development is done on the fly and, while the characters are stereotypical in their motives and actions, it works: we have a dislike for him or her, we are rooting for that one to survive, we have the 70 yr old widow knitting a scarf, and the 20 know-it-all punk and everyone inbetween… in short, like in the creature features, we have the annoying ones who we want to get eaten and we have the brave noble ones who we hope will save the day. We start off with 10 characters and not everyone is gonna make it to the end. And some of the victims and survivors are going to be surprises.

The performance by Nick Podehl was excellent. Mr Podehl has established himself as a new arrival to the Top Tier of professional narrators and he does not disappoint with his skilled narration. He provided unique voices and accents to each character and there was never a question of who was speaking at any given time.

I would not say The Dinosaur 4 is a literary masterpiece, but then again, it isn’t supposed to be. It is simply a well written, fun bit of escapism. I enjoyed it and I think you will also.

I received a copy of The Dinosaur 4 in exchange for a fair and unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookJukebox.
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27 reviews
September 21, 2018
Difficult review to write as I don’t want to be shitty about an author’s first attempt at writing a book, especially when it has dinosaurs in it. More dinosaurs in the world should always be encouraged.

That said, I really didn’t enjoy this book. The plot felt very episodic, like it had been put together in discrete segments designed to each have their own arc whilst simultaneously forwarding the main plot arc. I’m pretty sure that is exactly what you are told to do in writing classes, the problem here was that it felt very obvious. The reader ends up feeling like they’re being herded down one of those zig-zag queues at airport security.

I’m not getting into the realism of the plot as all plots in this genre have to be pretty far fetched. This one however is a bit thinner than most.

The shitty title means you know right from the start that a number of the characters are dead before this is over. I am guessing this is supposed to be a tension device, like “oh no, who will make it?” -“I hope it isn’t that asshole x” but all it makes me think of are Enid Blyton novels. Just sounds very 50s straight laced lame.

The dialogue is terrible, infuriating at times. It feels unnatural and often forced. One of the characters is like a caricature of a teenager as envisioned by an old man. Another of the characters is just downright disgusting creep, uncomfortable to deal with his point of view when it comes up.

As for the dinosaurs; I’m not an expert so not up to date on latest research but it looks like the author has made an effort to portray them physically realistically (though I had always thought deinonychus was about 6ft tall, maybe wrong on that). As always with fiction the frequency of encounters and the nature of the encounters has to be dialled up for plot purposes. The dinosaurs, even the herbivores, seem a lot more murderous than in most similar novels. They also tend to come out species by species on an episodic basis (cf. above on the episodic plot) like a carousel or theme park ride. Occasionally providing some nice deus ex machina for moving the plot along. That said, dinosaurs are what we are here for, and dinosaurs are delivered.

TL;DR - weak plot, bad dialogue, has dinosaurs.

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