1. Cavern of the Damned by Russell James
Why I wanted to read this one: I read (and enjoyed!) James' second novel with Dr. Grant Coleman, Monsters in the Clouds, last summer, which then made me want to go back and read this first one.
The premise: A park ranger, a paleontologist, an untrustworthy spelunker, an actress, a film director and his two-man crew enter a cavern that's been sealed up for over 13,000 years. When the entrance of the cave collapses, they're trapped inside with a slew of monstrous prehistoric creatures. (And not everyone is going to make it out alive.)
The upshot: This one's a short, fast-paced, fun adventure. It's humorous, too. And while there's not enough time for a lot of character development, I did really like the three main protagonists. And the creatures in the cave were kind of awesome. All in all, Cavern of the Damned, was a very entertaining read.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
2. Island in the Mist by C. G. Mosley
Why I bought this one: The awesome cover! (I'm a bit of a sucker when it comes to dinosaurs.)
The premise: Angus Wedgeworth is a self-made millionaire; he's arrogant, selfish ... and aging. When he hears a rumor of an island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle with its own fountain of youth, he hires a crew to help him find it. There's just one problem. The island is full of dinosaurs. And they're not exactly friendly.
The upshot: I hated Angus and his bodyguards; liked several of the other characters, especially Silas, the big game hunter, and the two paleontologists; and loved all the dinosaurs. The dialogue feels stilted and artificial at times, but the action scenes are fun. And it's another book off my TBR shelf. One that counts for the 2019 Backlist Reader Challenge.
My rating: 3/5 stars.