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Deadlands: Hunted by Skye Melki-Wegner

Skye Melki-Wegner invites you into a world that is both prehistoric, but still fresh. The trope of dinosaur adventure stories has long been dominated by a certain ‘park’, but with this new focus on the dinosaurs themselves, and the positioning of the plot from their perspective - well, that changes everything.

These are not your ordinary dinosaurs. They have survived the fallen star and those who are left are finding themselves forever changed from their ancestors. They have learned shared languages, the ability to strategise and, most importantly, to fight in coordinated ways. They have found war.

Eleri is a young and plucky dinosaur who has chosen compassion over the state of war that they find themselves in. Eleri is banished from the Deadlands for their part in saving the son of a prince from their opposing side. Two foes become intertwined and are forced to work together in order to save both their sides as the war becomes more and more intense for the dinosaur pods.

Working in exile, Eleri learns more of the depths to which their society has sunk, so much so that they become disillusioned and frustrated with the way that things have evolved.

Melki-Wegner has an incredibly fluent style of writing adventurous prose. Constantly pushing the reader on, there is a real feeling of movement as the plot unfolds. It draws you in, chews you up, and spits you out - just the way you want a great adventure story to do.

Without doubt this is a series that will delight and enthral younger readers from around 10 plus. It must be noted that there is some pretty graphic violence at times - especially in the war scenes - but other than that there is a wonderful story supporting it and driving that narrative.

This has to be on the ‘to read’ list for every intermediate student. It’s a cracker.

Reviewer: Chris Reed

Walker Books


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