Author: Anna Martin
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Length: Novel (209 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22 Oct 2019)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts
Blurb: The South Pacific Archipelago is home to a tiny island community of around three hundred scientists… and twenty thousand dinosaurs. As a paleogeneticist, Kit Sterling leads a team studying the dinosaurs to unlock the unanswered questions of evolution.
But there is something more dangerous than dinosaurs on the islands.
Head ranger Logan Beck discovers evidence of poachers, while rumors of a black market for dinosaur leather swirl around the community. Kit and Logan haven’t always gotten along professionally, though that has nothing to do with their attraction to each other. So when they’re thrown together to save an injured infant dinosaur, their professional disdain turns into a clandestine romance.
With not just the injured dinosaur at risk, but all of the precious dinosaurs on the islands too, Kit and Logan have to figure out how to balance their budding romance without letting their careers go extinct.
Review: Something Wild is a standalone romance by Anna Martin. While the author is known to me, nothing immediately comes to mind about any opinions that I’ve formed in the past. Let’s face it, I saw dinosaurs in the blurb and I was happy.
I’m going to get my negativity out of the way first. While I loved the set up of the book, the themes and the characters, I felt that there was something missing in terms of spark between the MCs. The spark was there, but I’m thinking that there wasn’t quite enough character development that meant that the book exceeded my expectations. TL:DR version – I just wasn’t feeling “it” a number of times throughout the book.
Now: the dinosaurs and the inevitable pop culture references.
Something Wild, to me, is like if Jurassic Park was a scientific commune combined with a national parks type of set-up, rather than a theme park. And the romance was as if Dr Grant (palaeontologist) and Robert Muldoon (Jurrasic Park game warden) discovered that they had romantic feelings for each other. In this world a small, isolated archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean was found to the be home of dinosaurs in the 1970s, when everyone had previously thought them extinct. Since them, the archipelago has become a protected site for these amazing animals, with the only people are the scientists who study and protect the creatures.
Basically, what you see in the blurb is what you get in the book. So there isn’t any real surprises, and to be honest with the poaching subplot, I had that figured out pretty quickly. Nonetheless it was good to see how the characters arrived at their conclusions in the end, and our heroes saved the day.
The MCs are palaeogeneticist, Kit Sterling and head ranger, Logan Beck. In the big scheme of things, Kit and Logan are nemeses by any stretch of the imagination. Instead they have a complicated relationship at the start simply because their work does not bring them together all that often. I mean, yeah, Kit and Logan would have encountered the usual academic arguments you see these days of whose name should be included on published papers, and at what line do you draw between acknowledging someone to giving them authorship. But again, in the big scheme of things, that’s actually normal in the academic world.
As a palaeoscientist specialising in dinosaur genetics, Kit doesn’t venture into the wilds of the dinosaur habitat, instead getting information and samples (from blood to carcasses) from the rangers. He is also on the ethics committee, and so he has a particular and stringent set of rules that he requires the rangers to follow when they are out among the dinosaurs.
Then there is Logan is essentially a field scientist, who had previously worked in safari parks in Africa, after completing his PhD (he is referred to as Dr Beck numerous times and is explained in the beginning) he found his calling in the wild with animals, although that also meant that many lab-based scientists overlooked his expertise. He loves working with the dinosaurs on the archipelago and is meticulous when it comes to ensuring the care of all animals on the islands.
It is perhaps fortunate that Logan’s experience in Africa means that he recognises the signs of poachers on the Island, which coincides with the possibility of dinosaur leather being sold on the black market is brought to Kit’s attention. This is the catalyst which brings Kit and Logan together, to actually work together in the field and in the lab, getting to know each other. Add in the sweetest little runt of a dinosaur, Dizzy, which pulls at Kit’s heart and has him going against the ethics code and I was happy. You can see that Kit and Logan have so much potential as they work together to find out about the poachers and foster the injured dinosaur.