Review: Deadlands: Survival by Skye Melki-Wegner

The Deadlands: Survival by Skye Melki-Wegner

The Deadlands: Survival (The Deadlands #3)
Skye Melki-Wegner
Henry Holt & Co.
Published April 2, 2024

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Deadlands: Survival

Wings of Fire meets Jurassic Park in the thrilling finale of this action-adventure series about five outcasts ― and former enemies ― who are the only hope to save their warring dinosaur kingdoms from impending doom.

As bloody battle rages between the two surviving dinosaur kingdoms, Eleri and the other young exiles―including a peppy stegosaur, a stoic sauropod, a testy triceratops, and a mysterious spy―have temporarily thwarted the Carrion Kingdom, a conniving cabal of carnivores, and destroyed their secret stronghold.

Fearing that their cunning enemies will soon regroup and seek vengeance, the exiles must risk their lives by returning home to unite and lead the war-torn herds that turned their backs on them into one final, all-out battle for the very future of the land of Cretacea. Will they convince their kingdoms to follow them into battle against the true enemy, or will Cretacea be overrun by an army of predators?

The Deadlands: Survival on Goodreads

My Review

I can’t believe this series has come to an end! This has been one of the most enjoyable MG series I’ve read in quite a while. I love the characters and how much personality they have. Eleri, an oryctodromeus, is thoughtful and loves stories and the power of storytelling. Tortha, a triceratops, is a salt-of-the-earth warrior girl. She’s pragmatic and fierce. Sorielle, an ankylosaur, is endlessly curious, especially when it comes to math and science. She’s an inventor. Tiny, timid Zyre, an anurognathid, uses her abilities to fly and to hide easily to listen and gather information. She may be easily frightened, but attack one of her allies, and she will fight back.

The steady pacing kept me reading just one more chapter long past when I planned to quit. The chapters seemed pretty short, which makes it so easy to read one more. So much happens in this book that it felt like a new danger or uncertainty was always springing up. I loved seeing how much the characters have grown through the whole series.

Readers who enjoyed the Warrior series or Wings of Fire will definitely want to pick up this series. Do start at the beginning of the series, as the books build on each other. If you like books featuring animal characters at all, absolutely check these books out.

The Deadlands: Survival on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Major characters are herbivore dinosaurs. One character is very scientifically and mathematically minded, which made her an outcast in her herd.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
One instance of mild profanity.

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Consuming glowing shards give dinosaurs extra strength or stamina for a short period of time. Eleri has been exposed to a large amount of starmist, produced by a large shard, and he has some lasting impact from the exposure.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Mentions of warfare. In one scene, raptors tear another carnivore dinosaur apart.

Drug Content
Eleri collects thorns that can tranquilize dinosaurs.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but help support this blog. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays with Greg Pattridge at Always in the Middle

Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays

I’m sharing this post as a part of a weekly round-up of middle-grade posts called Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays. Check out other blogs posting about middle-grade books today on Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays at Always in the Middle with Greg Pattridge.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

14 Responses to Review: Deadlands: Survival by Skye Melki-Wegner

  1. Dinosaur characters? Not exactly my cup of tea, but it sounds like something middle-graders would love. Good to know about. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Kasey says:

      Really different, right? The series definitely won me over, though. I hope there are a lot of middle grade readers who find and enjoy the books. 🙂

  2. How have I managed to miss this entire series? The story line and characters have me anxious to give this a go. Thanks for your enticing review and for featuring it on this week’s MMGM.

    • Kasey says:

      I think it went under the radar. I hope you get a chance to check it out. I was skeptical when I picked up the first one, but I loved the whole series. Thanks. 🙂

  3. Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    Wow, this sounds like an incredibly cool series, Kasey!! I love the idea of a book where the characters are dinosaurs that live in their own civilizations—what an imaginative take on a world of living beings we’ll never get to see. And it’s amazing how fleshed out the characters are, based on your wonderful descriptions, and how much action is packed into the story. This series sounds like a model for MG fantasy series, and I’m so glad you found yourself so immersed in it! Thanks so much for the thoughtful review, and take care!

  4. Carol Baldwin says:

    very comprehensive review. I’m not drawn to dinosaur stories, but the way you described the characters made them very likable!

  5. Sounds like a fun MG series, and maybe a good cross-over for kids who love dinosaurs and are reluctant to read fiction.

  6. Brenda says:

    A new to me series but sounds like fun. Happy MMGM to you.

  7. I hadn’t heard of this series, but kids will love a series about warring dinosaur kingdoms. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

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