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Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult. Dystopian


Teens & Adult

Author’s Worldview


Year Published



friendship, new beginnings, second marriage, responsibility, dinosaurs, survival, loss


Reviewed by

Dr. Lisa Theus

Darryl and Harry survived their quick trip to the city—but can they survive the first day back with their new stepmom? In this second entry to the UnSPARKed series, the reader continues following two stories: the lives of farmer children Darryl and Harry, and the (as of yet unconnected) story of young hunter Joshua. Darryl and Harry are used to life on their dinosaur farm, outside the protection of the well-gated city, but their stepmother is still jumping at every new thing. How will she fit in on the farm as she meets their neighbors and their saurian livestock? Joshua meanwhile tries to fulfill his job as a hunter—capturing, culling, and otherwise handling adventures in the dinosaur-infested wilderness. But will his impatience to continue work without an assistant get him killed?

Even though there are several edge-of-your-seat moments, the overall pace of this book is set up for the adventure to come. In A Truly Raptor-ous Welcome, Turner fleshes out the culture of this dangerous future. What is life like out on the farms? How do people interact? What becomes routine when you might have raptors on your doorstep? I have thoughts of the American Wild West, with the city folk, the farmers, and the cowboys – hunters – working out how to get along and the interdependence that develops. The main characters of the series (Darryl, Harry, and Joshua) are also fleshed out in this entry, no doubt setting us up for the plot that will develop from here.

My only complaint is that I wish this book were longer, but it is a quick read by design. You will end this book wanting more. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend reading this book on its own. It ends on a major cliffhanger, so plan to read the rest of the series if you want a truly satisfying read. Personally, I hope that once the entire main series is finished, they’ll all be put in one convenient volume for those of us who’d rather read the entire story at once. 

But otherwise, this book is a fantastic read for all ages (except the youngest readers, as it can be scary!). This book also introduces a minor character who is a priest and who brings religion into focus, but in a way that is natural and world-building, not obnoxious. I don’t think secular readers would mind, even if they wouldn’t necessarily geek out about what Catholicism might look like in a dino future.

All in all, A Truly Raptor-ous Welcome is an enjoyable second installment in the UnSPARKed series – and best read in order. Once you get to this volume, you’ll be hooked for the rest of the series.

God Made the Moonlight by Erin Broestl, Illustrated by Jean Schoonover-Egolf

A beautifully illustrated bedtime story that helps your child see the beauty of nature as God’s personal love letter to humanity

Where to begin with J. R. R. Tolkien?

Beyond the adventure, the way to read The Lord of the Rings is not as an allegory but as a meditation on the human Story we are each caught up in, and in which we each have our part to play, our temptations to resist, and our task to accomplish.

The Doha Experiment by Gary Wasserman

For a Catholic reader, the Doha Experiment offers a unique opportunity to understand both the Jewish mind and the Qatari culture.

Celtic Crossing by Len Mattano

Relic lost, and faith found.

The Academy Saga: Book 1 By C.J. Daly  

A thrilling, yet clean, high school romance.

The Book of Jotham by Arthur Powers

Experience Christ through the eyes of Jotham, his disabled disciple.

Where to Begin with Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor dissected the Devil for a generation that was busy explaining evil away. She perceived God at work in grotesque places. Was she right?

Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper by Jean Schoonover-Egolf

Molly doesn’t want to take off her purple habit the Children of Mary sisters wear but mom’s says she has to put on the school uniform.

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

Would you die for a flower? Would you kill for one? Providence, romance, and danger rule in this tense, heart-warming prison romance.

Outlaws of Ravenhurst, by Sr. M. Imelda Wallace, S.L.

The 10-year-old heir of a noble Scottish family must choose between his inheritance and his Catholic faith.

Where to Begin with G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton will swoop down, carry you away, pour tonic down your throat and tickle you until you start to laugh

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking by Susan Peek

A young Viking Prince evades a warlord while finding his own harrowing path to sainthood.

The Dunes by A.R.K. Watson

“The Dunes” raises questions that are relevant in any marriage: not just for the creepy, otherworldly couple who venture onto a lonely island to set up camp near prehistoric sand dunes for the last time.

Abolishing Abortion by Fr. Frank Pavone

An invaluable handbook for pro-life religious non-profits that want to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—without risking their tax-exempt status.

From Afar by Roger Thomas

Three astronomers follow the stars in a search for order and meaning. An action adventure based on the three wise men of the Gospels.

Freedom & Responsibility in “Citizen of the Galaxy” by Robert Heinlein

One of the masters of science fiction delivers a story exploring the limits of freedom and the ongoing battle against fallen human nature.

The Table by Dennis Lambert

A table built by the grandfather of Jesus Christ survives the darkest moment in history to bring peace to a widowed musician

The Rose and the Snake by Mark Restaino, Illustrated by J.P. Alcemendas

This thought-provoking children’s tale is tailor made to improve reading comprehension and teach a child where real self-worth comes from.

Good Morning God by Ginger Swift, Illustrated by Pamela Barbieri

This baby book teaches gratitude for God though it’s interactive pages.

A Bloody Habit by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

An English lawyer runs afoul of necrotic vampires, and even worse things– Dominican Priests!