Even from beyond, Michael Crichton is still releasing books; I should really say his family is but same difference. When this book was first announced, all I focused on was the cover and automatically thought about dinosaurs. I mean, just look at the cover; how bad a** is that!? This book had a few “dragons”, just not in the way I expected. I ran out and bought this book as quick as I could, not even reading the jacket description. I don’t usually start reading books “blind” so there were some surprises and plot points that I didn’t know about. I really liked this book regardless and thought it was a fun ride.
In 1876 gold was the fortune everyone was after. They wanted it all even if it meant they had to cross indian territories, risking death and war, to retrieve it. Even though not everyone saw one treasure as valuable, beasts of the past laid within reach of anyone who knew where to find them. Two groups of paleontologists hunt for dinosaur bones, fighting off indians, raiders and each other in the competition of who can find the biggest and best.
Now, I thought this was going to be another Jurassic Park novel. It is and it isn’t. Sure, it has got dinosaur bones but if you think about it, the technology they used to extract and recreate DNA doesn’t appear for almost another hundred years. Who said hunting and digging up bones wouldn’t be fun? Once I realized which way the plot was really going, I was able to dive into the book and enjoy it. This is definitely an adventure novel with plenty of action to keep readers interested.
I think I can say that this book can fall under both a science fiction genre and a Wild West genre. It had both (duh) and it was balanced perfectly. The readers got enough of the paleontology side to be happy and enough of the western side to keep heart rates up. I had yet to read a book set in that time period so this was interesting for me and I think I will expand out to that genre because of it.
All of the characters you meet are completely different. You know how in some books the characters seem too similar, like the author wrote too many of them in and doesn’t develop them enough? There are a lot of characters that come and go in this story but you won’t get any mixed up. You really only have one or two main charters that stick with you through the story. You also see appearances by people who you already know, like for me, the Earp brothers. You see Wyatt and Morgan and when I say see, you picture Kurt Russell and Bill Paxton from Tombstone.
I will have to say a few negative things about it though. One, it isn’t as polished as Crichton’s books are. There were some choppy sections and places where there could have been some more editing or even more depth to the story. I am sure it is hard to work on something like that especially when the author is no longer with us.
Another thing I didn’t like was the ending. It was anti-climatic and very fast. Just a few chapters before, you are racing through the West with a gang of people who want to kill you, crates of valuable bones, guns, yelling. The next chapter you are safely back home, getting the bones where they need to be and telling your friends stories. The End. I thought there would be one last fight or confrontation for those dinosaur teeth. Its okay, it doesn’t ruin the whole book.
Interesting story line
Band of good characters
Plenty of action and adventure
Not enough Dinosaurs (or dinosaur bones)
Overall: I would definitely say go and pick this book up. Just a heads up, it isn’t a Jurassic Park novel but there is plenty of “treasure” hunting to keep you interested.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Up Next: Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts.