Reviews

JUR: A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH
SAVAGE LAND OF JUR
LOST LAND OF JUR
QUEEN OF JUR
JUR: A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH by Tom Johnson and James Reasoner 
A Review by Christine I. Speakman  - Five Stars!
Do you like adventure? How about "Journey to the Center of the Earth" or "Lost World" or "The Land That Time Forgot." You'll love JUR.

You're a frustrated writer, sitting in a Paris bar, when an older stranger joins your table. Talk turns to storytelling and you find yourself listening to an unbelievable tale of adventure. Surely this stranger didn't just make it up, but then it's just too fantastical to be real. Right?

The time: the Great Depression. The place: Central Africa. Our hero and heroine: French archeologist Odette-Aimee St. Claire, and American playboy turn adventurer Aaron Colden Jameson.

Separately they stumbled through a portal (she looking for a lost city; he looking to rescue her) and land in what looks like prehistoric Earth. However, things just aren't right. It's as if someone has plucked animals and beings from different evolutional times and left them here. It's only by searching for the makers of the time portal that Odette and Aaron learned the truth. They also end up fighting giant tigers, cannibalistic beast-men, massive snakes, and thwarting a mad ruler.

This story had me doing what I want all my reads to do...wanting more and furious because it ended. Okay, so I'm also furious at how it ended. How could the authors do that to me! No! Dang, but I love it! More!

Yippee, there's going to be more! (The sequel, SAVAGE LAND OF JUR, is due to be released later this summer.)
Chippewa Publishing
eBook, $5.00
ISBN 1-933400-23-4 (PDF)
A Review by D. Peter Ogden Publisher, ERBania
In the aftermath of the Burroughs and Howard boom of the sixties and seventies, the bookstores were filled with tales of heroic fantasy, some good, some bad and some indifferent. Unfortunately the genre seems to have disappeared. If you have been so desperate to read a story of prehistoric times, that you have been reading Jean Auel, fear not, help is on the way. 

This entertaining and well written novel brings back those good old days and is a fine example of the genre. It opens in the 1930’s with Odette-Aimee St. Claire, a young French archeologist exploring a ruined city in jungles of Central Africa. She accidentally, stumbles into a time portal, which transports her back in time to the Jurassic Era. It doesn’t take her long to realize where she is and she mentally names the country Jur. She is mystified though, by the lighter gravity which takes getting used to, but takes advantage of it to escape some of the dangerous beasts. Help comes from an unexpected source when a wolf saves her from a boar-like creature. The wolf befriends her and she names him Napoleon. 

Meanwhile back (or is it forward?) in her time, Jack Richards, the aviator who deposited her at the ruins, goes back to pick her up and is dismayed when he cannot find her. He later mentions her disappearance to a fellow American, Aaran Colden Jameson. Aaran becomes interested and Jack flies him to the ruins, where Aaron enters the time portal. Odette turns out to be a gutsy heroine who can take care of herself in this prehistoric world and teaches Aaron a thing or two when they eventually meet. 
Together they find adventure and romance among dinosaurs, other savage beasts and beast-men, as they search this primeval land of Jur trying to find out who built the time portals and why there are animals in this land, that shouldn’t have existed in the Jurassic age. Their adventures will keep you enthralled and eagerly anticipating the sequels Savage Land of Jur and Lost Land of Jur, also from NBI.

A Review by HOST EBK Rocky - AOL Books Community 
Do you like reading Michael Crighton's Jurassic books? Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child? Then, you'll love JUR. This a pulp fiction type story about a man and woman's involuntary journey one hundred eighty million years into the past, the exciting discoveries they make, and the danger and weirdness they literally run into. 

Fast-paced and well-written overall, you must read this in the manner it was intended - campy and over the top - to fully enjoy the story. These authors' imaginations know no bounds and I can't wait for SAVAGE LAND OF JUR to be released in November. 

A Review by Jaycee - Romance Reviews Today
Modern Day Paris, France; Central Africa, and Somewhere in the Jurassic Period

Feeling like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, archaeologist Odette-Aimee St. Claire suddenly finds herself going from a cave in Central Africa to a land somewhere far, far away from anything remotely resembling civilization. She came to Africa looking for lost cities and civilizations, only to find herself alone in a land time seems to have forgotten. The portal she falls through disappears as quickly as it opened up, and the only thing for her to do is try to survive in this strange Jurassic-like setting while hoping to find other humans.

Aaron Colden Jameson finds himself intrigued by the disappearance of the petite French woman. After a case of mistaken identity leads to a fracas in a local tavern, he decides to go looking for her. However, he soon learns that finding her is only a small part of the problem when he enters the same portal that caused Odette to disappear.

After some time passes, and more than a few close calls with the local wild life, Odette and Aaron do find each other, and along with an animal which resembles the present day dog, they begin to try to find a way back to their own time. Along the way, they run into prehistoric beings, which are the precursor to man as we know him, dinosaurs, and other now long extinct critters. As an archaeologist, Odette is fascinated by what she sees, but realizes they must somehow get back to the twentieth century.

Aaron, Odette, and an apeman called Ogul are captured by aliens who are there doing experiments and capturing the Pit--the apemen of the area--and the three barely escape with their lives, and then only with the help of one of the aliens. Ogul goes back to his tribe, and the two humans, Napoleon, the huge dog-like creature, and the alien make for some strange traveling companions as they set off on a raft to find the portal that will return them to their own world.

Why did Napoleon choose to befriend them? Who made the portal that brought them there? Is there more than one? And can they find it before they run into something--or someone--they can't defeat? Will they make it back to the present day alive?

As I got into this story, the more interesting it became. I could picture myself in Odette's position--a woman torn from everything she knows and thrown into a world she's only read about in history books. Just staying alive is a never-ending struggle. It's a miracle that Aaron finds her, and together they take on fierce apemen, poisonous snakes, raging boars, and aliens who have no good intentions towards them. While there is some romance between Odette and Aaron--I mean really, they're the only two humans on the face of the earth at the time--this isn't a romance driven story. It's pure action adventure of the science fiction kind. And I loved it. I will admit to being bitterly disappointed in the ending--until I found out it's a continuing series. I really must know what the end of their story is. And once you read JUR, A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH, you'll want to know too!

A Review by Barbara Custer
For those who enjoyed the JURASSIC movies, JUR promises a great read.  Its cast of characters include: 

Odette-Aimee St. Claire, an archeologist who searches through ancient ruins...and finds a portal leading to a dark world filled with fifty-foot trees and carnivorous predators.

Aaron Colden Jameson, who craves adventure, is moved by the plight of Odette's disappearance.  His search for her leads him to this foreign world.

 Just another sci-fi thriller, you say?  Not quite.  This world is actually Earth millions of years ago -- the Jurassic period.
 "I will call this land Jur, after the Jurassic age, and I claim it as my own," Odette says.  But Odette and Aaron encounter more dangers then bloodthirsty dinosaurs.  The specter of death haunts them in the form of poisonous snakes, tarantulas, and cannibalistic tribes; also Thoron, a tyrant king who gets high off of torturing prisoners.  Their quest takes them through the ruins of a modern city during a time when dinosaurs ruled the world.

 Odette and Aaron are determined to get back to their own time.  But the end of each chapter tells the reader that first, they must stay alive.  In their fight for survival, they befriend Napoleon, a wolf dog; Ogul, a tribal leader; and Avo, a prison guard at Thoron's palace.

 Will Odette and Aaron make it back to their home?  This remains to be seen.  Hopefully, Tom and James will write a sequel, answering this question.   Meantime, JUR promises to keep its readers up late...and will have them think twice before camping in the woods.

A Review by Harriet Klausner
Trying to prove her theory that an ancient civilization employed technology matching modern times (1930s), archeologist Odette-Aimee St. Claire explores ruins in Nigeria. She enters a gloomy room with a black obsidian wall when a cobra attacks her. Odette falls through the wall. Accused of stealing money that he did not take, Aaron Jamison decides to flee into the jungle in search of the missing Odette. He enters the same chamber and is attacked by the cobra before falling through the obsidian wall. 

Lost, Odette and Aaron separately head towards a river when he finally catches up to her. They continue their journey together hoping to find the civilization that created the time portal and apparently transferred animals and humanoids from various periods into this era. As they seek to learn how the anachronisms of time are in this strange land so they can go home, they fall in love. However, every step is dangerous as the duet seeks the truth of the portal but learn the peril of the new world they now live in. 

This is an exciting science fiction romance tale that is at its best when the lead couple bravely explores this strange new world. Odette is a wonderful heroine, but it is Aaron who steals the show as he whimsically dreams of a dog with a beer at Gehrig's Yankee Stadium. Though the final twist is well conceived it weakens a powerful tale of urban dwellers residing in a prehistoric world that is worth reading by the Jurassic Crowd. 

A Review by Aaron B. Larson 
In the early portions of the twentieth century men were men, and men read pulp fiction magazines. Those were the years of great adventure fiction: Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.Rider Haggard, Robert E. Howard, and others filled the newsstands with tales of daring-do in far off corners of the world. Now, in JUR: A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH, pulp fiction expert Tom Johnson, along with prolific novelist James Reasoner, take us back to those days of lost civilizations, ancient evil, hidden portals, sub-human tribes, and monsters in the night. 

JUR: A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH follows the young French archeologist Odette St.Claire as she searches ancient ruins in darkest 1930's Africa - only to stumble through a portal through time and space! Followed by a would-be rescuer named Jameson, Odette finds herself in a strange, warped version of Earth's Jurassic period. Here they must contend with dinosaurs, ape men, romance, and dangers of every sort as they search for the Ancient Ones - the beings who had built the time portals for their own arcane purposes. Only through understanding the portals can Odette and Jameson hope to find their way back to the world they left behind! 

This book is great fun and really does transport the reader back to a more innocent and adventurous age before the entire world had been mapped and photographed. I understand that Johnson's JUR: A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH is the first in a series of three or four books that all take place in this same created world of "JUR". We can only hope that the sequels can keep up the pace of this first book! 
I heartily recommend JUR: A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH. Whether you read it on the beach or in front of a roaring winter fire - it will transport you... And isn't that what good adventure fiction is supposed to do? 

A Review by Pat Johnson - Mid-West Book Review
When Odette-Aimee St. Claire travels to central Africa searching for archeological signs of ancient civilizations, she finds more than she bargained for. Even a liberal education at the University of Poitiers is insufficient when she stumbles through a portal that whisks her back in time. There in the ancient heart of Africa, the oxygen she breathes is pure, the water clear and sweet. And the flowering plants are massive,
loaded down with flavorful fruits. Towering trees, the likes of which she's never seen, grow unhindered towards the sky, surrounded by plains
of grass as far as eye can see. The only living creatures she encounters at first are those of the Jurassic Period, long extinct for eons of time.
She is alone, perhaps the only human alive. She calls this ancient time and place Jur.

Aaron-Colden Jameson had set off to find adventure when the Great Depression began. Traveling the world was not what it was cracked up to
be, leaving Aaron jaded, unamused. When bush pilot and friend Jack Richards runs across him in a backwater bar and tells the tale of a
missing French girl, Aaron hopes for an adventure. As they follow Odette's trail into a cavern, Aaron stumbles onto the same portal and
finds himself transported back through time. At last, he experiences the ultimate adventure, lost in time with no way back.

Aaron and Odette join forces in their efforts to survive. Violent weather changes, active volcanoes, and stalking prehistoric beasts are just the
beginning of their struggles. Fur covered intelligent cannibals are bent on capturing and eating the hapless pair. And then they meet the tribal
Pits - sworn enemies of the cannibals - and their leader Ogul. Ogul is also an intelligent but furry beast who has no concept of modern man.
Despite his fear, the three form an alliance to ensure survival.

When their travels reveal signs of modern but deserted civilizations, their explorations lead to capture by an evil alien race bent on destroying earth and every living creature on it. Despite the danger, and the fear that they might never return to modern times, Aaron and Odette fall in love.

A Review by Pamela Jannarone - Women On Writing
Odette-Aimee St. Claire has come well prepared for this adventure and if she had to, she could use either her .38 revolver or her 30.06 rifle.  After all, every jungle has a saber-tooth tiger.  It's just a matter of where the saber-tooth decides to prey.  But wait, you must first have a pilot
fly you to this desolate location.  It is the only way in and out of the jungle.  Will you survive? 

We haven't heard the story yet" I said, a" trifle rudely.

"That's true," he smiled, "Well, let's see, We have to go back a bit, to an earlier day when adventure and romance weren't as rare as they are today... that's  a good way to start don't you think....." 

With Odette Aimee St. Claire's theory of prehistoric man, her education at the University of Poitiers and her colleagues 'scoffing' of her theory, her goal leads her astray from her hometown in south France onward through a journey to prove her theory correct.

Back in the states as the Great Depression had deepened, Aaron decides rather reluctantly that perhaps America wasn't the place for him. 

"The way he saw it, he merely had the good sense to know that he wasn't cut out to live the kind of life that people in the States were going to be living until the Depression was over - if it ever was...."

In Jur: A Story of Pre-Dawn Earth by Thomas E. Johnson and James M. Reasoner, Aaron Colden Jamison leaves America and decides to 'drift around Europe' with the little money he saved. 

Some people might have found this place colorful and exotic, but Aaron was mentally kicking his backside for the impulse, the craving in his blood for adventure, that had brought him to the capitol of Bornu province, in the northeastern section of Nigeria. 

If adventure is what you are looking to read, Jur: A Story of Pre-Dawn Earth by Tom Johnson and James Reasoner will surely wet your appetite and quench your thirst for more of the same as Aaron and Odette meet in the jungle under circumstances where there is no time to explain...." 

A must read!  Jur: A Story of Pre-Dawn Earth by Tom Johnson and James Reasoner one could only imagine the times of Ranus, one hundred eight million years ago.

"Ever since my people expelled the first citizens of Ranus, there have been rumors that some of them were still alive somewhere.  Our leaders thought that the dangers of the wild would destroy them, but still, the legend persist."

In Jur: A Story of Pre-Dawn Earth, by Tom Johnson and James Reasoner, "They set out toward the river again, perhaps the strangest party to ever set foot on the face of the earth.  Two humans from the Twentieth Century, a dozen or so semi-intelligent beast men, an evolutionary-evolved relative of theirs, and a great wolf from the dawn of time.  They were all out of their natural times, none of them there out of choice, but they would make the best of it, Aaron knew.  They would survive." 

An enjoyable read from front to back cover. The Prologue and Epilogue alone are most intriguing! Jur:  A Story of Pre-Dawn Earth by Tom Johnson and James Reasoner!

About the reviewer: Pamela Jannarone is a staff member, book reviewer and monthly columnist of The Writer's Column for Women On Writing, W.O.W. a monthly ezine. 


SAVAGE LAND OF JUR by Tom Johnson
A Review by Jaycee - Romance Reviews Today
The Land of Jur, the Distant Past

In this second installment of the Jur series, we find our intrepid adventurers, Odette and Aaron, still lost in the land of Jur, desperately trying to find a portal to send them home. Thus far, their journey has taken them through some very dangerous territory and situations. 

Our story opens with them traveling down a river on a hand-made raft with their wolf-like companion Napoleon, and Avo, who had helped them to escape after being taken captive by his people. They are searching for another city built by the Ancients in hopes of finding a portal there, or perhaps someone who can tell them where one is.

They don't travel very far when Avo dies of old age, and Napoleon leaves them for the call of the wild. When a huge tornado passes close by,
destroying almost everything they've collected so far on their journey, Aaron and Odette must rely on what they can scrounge from the surrounding area for their survival. 

They head toward the mountains, sure the city they're looking for is just beyond. When they come upon a lake, Aaron and Odette are again captured by ape-men and taken to their camp. There they meet the Chieftain, Rune, and are amazed to discover how educated he seems compared to the rest of his clan. Their excitement builds as the Chief tells them of a city near-by where he lived for a while with the Ancients and learned many things.

Learning that their new friends have some serious enemies who come every winter to try to steal their land, Aaron makes a pact with the ape-men to help them fight their enemies. In return, they will take him and Odette to the now abandoned city Rune had spent time in.

When an Ancient One discovers their presence and kidnaps Odette, Aaron must fight his despair at ever seeing her again. Where has the Ancient One taken Odette? Why her and not Aaron, or both of them? Will Aaron find his lost love before the Ancient One does her harm? And will our hero and heroine ever find their way back to their own time? 

I waited for what seems like forever for this second installment of the Jur series, and I can honestly say it was well worth the wait. From beginning to end, I was every bit as enthralled with this one as I was with the first one, JUR, A STORY OF PRE-DAWN EARTH. 

The imagery Tom Johnson creates in the reader's mind comes to life under his talented pen. Several times I was reminded of going to the Saturday matinees as a young girl and watching the different serials they showed in weekly installments. I would thump on my chair, whining and crying because they always cut the segments off with a cliffhanger, which most certainly guaranteed my return the next week to see if the hero or heroine would be saved from impending disaster. This is exactly how I feel while reading this author's stories. He knows precisely when to cut
you off, guaranteeing you'll be back for more. 

If you're a fan of stories like Treasure Island, The Phantom, Tarzan, and other great classics, you'll truly enjoy the Jur series. Personally, I
can't wait for the next installment.

A Review by Barbara Custer
SAVAGE LAND OF JUR by Tom Johnson, published by NovelBooks, Inc., Post Office Box 661, Douglas, MA 01516,
IBSN 1-59105-076- 6. 
For price information and order, e-mail: publisher@novelbooksinc.com.

Tom Johnson, who introduced you to Odette-Aimee St. Claire and Aaron Colden Jameson (aka Ron) in JUR: A STORY OF PREDAWN EARTH, now invites you on their terrifying search through Jur for the Ancient Ones and a time portal leading to home.

SAVAGE LAND opens with Ron and Odette traveling by raft, praying that the river will keep them safe from carnivorous beasts.  But the river threatens its own dangers with rapids and storms.  Numerous conflicts kept this reader turning its pages.  Staying alive becomes a challenge as Odette and Ron confront a bear, gargantuan poisonous spiders, flying reptiles, carnivorous plants, jungle cats, and a race of bat people.  They meet a tribe of ape-men who ironically leads them to a city ran by an Ancient One.  Odette and Ron approach this city, hoping to find their gate to home and instead encounter another deadly enemy.

SAVAGE LAND has proved almost hypnotic in its unyielding suspense, which will keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning.  You will not forget the land of Jur nor any of the people you meet there.


QUEEN OF JUR by Tom Johnson
A Review by  Shalini Kakkar (Society & The Arts)
Tom Johnson has invented a new kind of Lucifer, a writing which will take you away from the reality into a world of adventure. The novel is heart-racing, full of style, analysis and surprises. Tom Johnson's writing is reflective and well-worded ---particularly vivid, giving the tone, a touch of class. QUEEN OF JUR, as the author puts it, is the perfect escapism for young adults as well as men and women who enjoy a romantic adventure with heroic characters, action and adventure, set in a world of change and excitement. Publishing quality is good by Sanbun Publishers, New Delhi, and printed on good quality paper. Hope this piece of adventure will bring more romance into our otherwise dull lives.
Miscellaneous Reviews  from India.
A Bold and fictionalized exploration of adventure and romance. QUEEN OF JUR is a fascinating narrative of adventure, pulp and romance that weaves some of the most delectable science fiction tales. The writing is striking and so is the flow and the novel seems extremely structured and in form. Tom Johnson has tried to bring back the old romance which keeps us going and if that is what you lack, hope QUEEN OF JUR will fill that gap. It is full of excitement, adventure and away from reality. But then who wants reality. For romance is itself a feeling of beyond reality and the ultimate nirvana. I hope to read more of the books in the series.  Available at all leading bookstores. Priced at Rs.150.00, it is affordable and with a good quality of production. I recommend to all you young adventurist romantic adults.
QUEEN OF JUR is the ultimate writing on Science Fiction. It delves into the rich and fascinating tradition of adventure and romance, blending both so well so as to enhance your reading pleasure, Somehow it tends to realize your inner desires and make your dreams come true, Tom Johnson has used his writing skills to create magic and unlock the psychic powers. A must read for all adventure romantic book lovers, Code: P0720: Paperback: 200 pages
An ardent writer, as it seems like after reading QUEEN OF JUR, Sanbun, 2005, Rs 150.00, Tom Johnson scorns the materialistic world and looks at life beyond human mind. Tom Johnson in his novel, has created his own universe, full of adventure and excitement, adding a spice of romance into it which not only governs him but all our lives, or so most believe. QUEEN OF JUR is wonderfully written and each page seems to deliver more and more. Beautifully published. Tom Johnson seems to have mastered the art of writing, its structure and form, to present us with this fascinating adventure packed romantic novel of the other side. It is indeed a remarkable Space Odyssey.

LOST LAND OF JUR by Tom Johnson