Book Review: Heart of Pangaea by Lindsey Kinsella

While not as intense as some people’s interest, I do have a fondness for dinosaurs (and related creatures). Rarely, though, do I get a chance to read a book involving dinosaurs. (For some reason, they’re not the most popular thing to put in a fantasy novel, though they are very cool.) So when I got a chance to read The Heart of Pangaea by Lindsey Kinsella, I jumped on it. Because dinosaurs.

1. Thoughts on the plot

This book follows Robyn and her dimetrodon “imaginary” friend, Ed. They are dealing with Robyn’s mum being sick, and in the wake of some terrible news, they attempt to find a cure. Where? The world of Pangaea, which Robyn has populated with dinosaurs (and other, related creatures0 from all ages. Once in Pangaea, Robyn is told of a cure called the Heart of Pangaea, but there are treacherous forces out there trying to steal the Heart and use it for their own gain. Robyn must get it back, even if that means befriending pirates and mammals and launching an attack on a moving fortress.

I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. Normally, middle grade books are, to me, a bit heavy on life lessons and a bit lacking on plot and character. This book was not like that at all. I really appreciated the twists and turns and all the difficulties that Robyn had to deal with. I liked the “false” ending and then the real ending. I think that was really well done. And I definitely think that this plot was one of the more inventive I’ve seen in a middle grade (or even YA) book for a while.

2. Thoughts on the characters

This book is narrated in first person limited perspective by Ed, the dimetrodon. There were occasional snippets of third person limited when it was necessary to see a different POV, but most of the book was narrated by Ed. And, frankly, I really liked that. Robyn was obviously the hero of the book, so to have the book narrated by her “imaginary” friend was a great touch. It gave us perspective into Robyn’s thoughts without actually seeing the story from her point of view. 

As for the other characters, I really like the different personalities and people that we meet in this book. I think the variety is exceptionally well done, and I liked them all. Even the villains.

3. Favourite part

I think I really like the raid on the giant sauropod. That was so inventive and well done. 

4. Critique

I will say, that, although I really liked it, the “false” ending and the subsequent “true” ending came on a bit quick. Robyn’s change of heart was definitely perfect for the plot, but it felt the teensiest bit like a plot device rather than a character choice. I think it worked out great in the end, and I really like how the story turned out, but I think a little more introspection would have been great.

Overall, I would say that The Heart of Pangaea was an extremely enjoyable book. I liked it a lot and I heartily hope that there are more in the series. An excellent book.