Review: Extinction Peak by Lucas Mangum

Paperback, 163 pages

Published September 22nd 2020 by Madness Heart Press

Buy it here: Madness Heart Press, Amazon, Bookshop


When the raptors come out of sinkholes across the United States, Deandra Antigone Merriweather’s elder brother Johnny sees the chaos as opportunity.

Overrun by prehistoric beasts of increasing size and savagery, the world has completely gone to hell, but he doesn’t suspect it will stay that way, and he wants to be a rich man by the time things get back to normal.

Though less optimistic about the future, Deandra thinks it might be a good idea to have some money stashed away just in case, if only so she can one day getaway from the abusive Johnny for good.

Together, they embark on a perilous journey across the wasteland to rob the mountain home of a corrupt California senator.

But the home isn’t empty. The senator has stayed behind to live like a king in this post-apocalypse world. With specially trained raptors, his sadistic wife, and sexually stunted son, all manner of misery awaits Deandra within the house’s walls.

All the while, the outside world crumbles under the trampling feet of monsters long thought extinct. 


What would you do if the earth was hollow, and when sinkholes started to appear around the globe, dinosaurs started to come out? I am pretty sure that I would be in the first wave of deaths, but if you were to survive, what would existence be like? This is where brother and sister, Johnny and Deandra find themselves at the beginning of the novella, “Extinction Peak.” They spend most of their life in the basement of their dad’s home (who also was a doomsday prepper), plotting a way to break into a corrupt California senator’s mansion to steal his riches. Of course they were also going to have to dodge raptors, pterodactyls, T-Rex, and even the large herbivores that are knocking down buildings and infrastructure. But this is just the beginning.

There is so much that happens in this short novella, but for something so short, there is a great deal of depth. The brother and sister on a mission is just one part of the plot that never loses it’s way, but follows more the philosophy written on page 57 (of the Kindle edition):

“This was no world for heroes. Perhaps it never had been. It was only a place for anarchists.”

Nobody in this book is really a nice guy; there are just characters that you are rooting for more than others. At the end of the day, the ones that succeed are the ones that can be the most ruthless. And there are times when the character conflict is so great that you almost forget that as soon as the victor in the fighting steps outside, they have to deal with being killed by dinosaurs. This makes for a great, cinematic story that should be read by anyone who loves dinosaur destruction and/or garbage people doing garbage things.


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