An explosion of dance, color, psychedelia, dinosaurs, and inter-dimensional / inter-species romance. I found myself literally dancing in my chair as I read, sights and sounds evoked by the story.
When brothers Colin and Joe, along with Joe’s girlfriend Emma, see a light emanating from a cave during a camping trip, they never could have imagined that upon investigation, they would be launched into a psychedelic romp through a prehistoric island of dinosaurs on a pirate ship complete with a talking longneck figurehead.
Once they arrive on the island, they are greeted by dancing apatosauruses with vibrantly colored tie-dyed skin. The landscape around them is as strange and colorful as the dinosaurs: twisted and warping based on the apparent whims and dance moves of its inhabitants. Colin, Joe, and Emma join the dinosaurs and dance until they collapse from exhaustion. When they awake, Colin and Emma realize that Joe has gone missing in the night. Colin stumbles upon Rose (the apatosaurus he danced with the previous evening) in the bushes, and she agrees to help him and Emma on their quest to find Joe. She had bad news though: Joe has been captured by The Tyrannosaurus Task Force and will be fattened up to be eaten at a feast following The Ultimate Dinosaur Dance-off at the House of Rex.
What follows is a funny, heartwarming, brain-scratching, and terrifying trek that will leave you admiring Andrew J. Stone’s writing (beautiful, lyrical), as well as having learned more than you expected to about dance and dinosaurs.
We get a look into Colin’s relationship with dance and his brother, Joe, his infatuation with dinosaurs, and his attempt at love in flashback sequences sprinkled throughout. These always made me feel more fond of Colin, and helped me understand him a little better.
The author mentions in the acknowledgments that he has been influenced by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Land Before Time for most of his life, and these beloved children’s stories are both evidently imprinted upon the DNA of The Ultimate Dinosaur Dance-Off. I would recommend this book to readers of both of those works, as well as anyone who considered themselves a fan of bizarro fiction. It was a wild ride, funny as hell, and touching. Do not miss this one!