Stephen Llewelyn

Books and other scribblings!


The first review for SURVIVE and The lovely lady gave it 5 stars! 😂

Review 1 –  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I wish to start this review by saying I am a dinosaur fan, a big one. I never grew out of my dinosaur obsession, and even considered palaeontology before teaching. There are not enough dinosaur books out there, in my opinion, so I squealed with excitement when this book arrived.

I read this book in 2 days flat. I found it very difficult to put down, I even managed to shut out the noise of a coffee shop and read for 2 hours – high praise indeed from me. The idea of space travel to Mars and Earth being over – populated and destroyed by humans has been done to death; however, this book has a twist. Whilst on their way to Mars, our cast of characters find themselves in the midst of a terrorist attack that sends them back to the Cretaceous Period, interestingly most other books I have read and films I have seen contain dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period so it was nice to have a change.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about our eclectic cast of characters, with a particular fondness for Douglas and Tim – I could read about these two all day. This book had me hooked, I couldn’t put it down. Things would calm down and then the next minute, drama and action would start again and I couldn’t tell what was going to happen next.

There was enough scientific knowledge to keep me happy, along with a host of action (that did not follow all of your classic sci – fi tropes) I gasped audibly at times, felt genuine emotion and worry about what was going to happen to the characters and also snorted with laughter at times – always a good combination.

I also really appreciated the fact that on the brink of disaster, hosts of couples didn’t start cropping up. There were jokes about people liking eachother, but people were more worried about surviving than getting together, you don’t often get that in stories!

There was also discussion around ethics and religion in relation to this cast of characters finding themselves in an awful situation, and trying to figure out how to cope with it. I appreciated this as it reflected human nature and just how we try to survive in the face of sheer terror and disaster.

My only criticism would be, more dinosaurs please, we always need more dinosaurs. Also, why can’t I have the next book please? I need

it in my life now. But I have to wait, and that just doesn’t seem fair!”


Review 2 –  ⭐⭐⭐⭐


So, if you know my family at all you know that dinosaurs play a large part in our daily life. My oldest daughter is completely fascinated with the science of Paleontology and could rival most Paleontologist in her knowledge of dinosaur science, ha.  Sufficed to say that when this came across my desk I jumped at the chance to read it even though Sci-Fi is not my typical go to for a genre preference.  I really wanted to read it in hopes that maybe it would be a book that would interest my daughter and would be appropriate for her 12 year old age. What I can say is an absolute YES to both of those things.

Survive starts out by giving us a look at a few of the cast, their social and home lives and the reasons that place them on this journey.  I really liked getting this little glimpse inside these characters heads, this main cast of characters are young adults who are about to embark on the journey of a life time with their families. Some are excited by the prospect and others reluctant tagalongs being forced into a situation because of family ties.  I immediately fell in ‘love’ with Tim Norris, which I think will be the case for everyone and expected since he ends up playing quite the role in this saga.  I loved him for his quietness, for his pessimism but still positive  (quite the conundrum I know but it’s true) outlook.  I loved him for the fact that he’s this nerdy kid, who is a bit of a social recluse, and what I imagine to be a lanky somewhat awkward kid (reminds me of my oldest, lol) who is the bravest of the bunch.  I love that Stephen takes the perception that the nerdy kids aren’t as good as the athletic/rich/beautiful, etc ones and turns it on it’s head.  He proves that every one is a hero when a hero is needed.  I also really enjoyed meeting the character that becomes Tim’s best friend Woodsey, even when Woodsey grates on my nerves, ha ha.  He is the antithesis of Tim, outgoing, bubbly, a tad wild, a trouble maker but yet still pure of heart.  He will drive you a bit batty with his brashness, but he brings a much needed humor in to lighten the drama.

With that said I am going to walk away from some of the characters for a bit only because there are a LOT of players in this book and I could spend three days talking about them all before ever telling you who everyone is and what their role in the story is.  I also am not a fan of spoilers, I actually abhor them, so I don’t want to go much more in to detail about who’s who and all that, but I had to tell you about Tim and Woodsey.

So what’s this book really about you may be wondering.  Well, it’s fairly simple and terribly complex all at the same time.  The world as WE know it is gone.  The Earth is over populated, resources are dying out, crime is on the rise…the only hope, MARS.  Travel to Mars has become fairly easy, though not easy enough for the whole planet to just pick up and go, and groups of people have slowly been going over and transforming the Mars we know today into a world that can be inhabited by humans.  Our cast of characters that we met in the first pages have all been selected as a group of 100 to take the quick and easy journey and begin to create a new settlement for future inhabitants.  Things aren’t always what they seem of course and their quick journey turns into a “3 hour Gilligan Style tour” that places everyone in peril and 100 million years in their past!


I thoroughly enjoyed the way that Stephen Llewelyn set up this book, the little snips in each chapter that kind of bounce between the characters and the action.  It gives the feel of multiple stories in a continuous line if that makes any sense at all.  It read to me like a movie script might, so one minute you might be calm and hanging with the ‘kids’ and the next you’re discovering a dinosaur and running for your life.  It kept the action at a fast pace and keeps the reader actively turning pages and not wanting to set the book down for fear of what you might miss.

The only two things that I could have wished were different were that there is a HUGE cast and sometimes I’d loose track of who is who and I just wanted more Dinos.  Now the great thing about this book is that it is only the beginning so I look forward to seeing where Stephen is going to take us on this journey.  We’ve been left with a bit of a cliffhanger, like literally, I have images of some of the cast standing on the edge of the cliff as they watch….well, I can’t tell you that, I guess you will have to read it yourself. 😉

If you are a fan of Sci-Fi and dinosaurs grab this book.  The dinos aren’t as much a factor in this book, but the science fiction aspects are all there and we have two more books to go, with no telling what is coming for this cast around the corner!



© 2019 Stephen Llewelyn

Theme by Anders Norén