The eccentric millionaire John Hammond has finally figured out a way to recover dinosaur DNA from mosquitos capsuled in amber. With the world leading scientists at his side, and endless resources to spend, he has also managed to clone this DNA, and breed actual Jurassic creatures. To do a kind of test run of the theme park where he intends to show off his creations, John invites a small group of lawyers, insurance people, paleontologists and mathematicians to inspect the park. He also invites his own grandchildren. Everything is wonderous and epic, until a thunderstorm strikes, a biased computer expert hacks the system, and the dinosaurs suddenly runs loose …
Six years later some of the old crew, and also a few new professors and kids, sets out for an expedition to Isla Sorna, an island closely located to Isla Nublar, where the now destroyed and empty Jurassic Park once resided. Reports has started to come in from small villages along the Costa Rican coast, where strange-looking lizards are biting people and killing infants. But is it possible that dinosaurs still, or rather again, walks the earth?
The novels about Jurassic Park were first published in the early 1990’s. By now, a good 30 years and five movies later, we all know the story. However, I remembered really appreciating reading Jurassic Park the first time around, and decided to do a reread of it (and the sequel) before watching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. All things considered, I’m glad that I did.
Jurassic Park turns out to mostly be what I expected; it’s an epic adventure story, with somewhat stereotypical characters, a lot of philosophical reasoning around life, extinction and humans manipulation of the planet, and never sleeping carnivores. A lot of background information around the scientifical processes are given, and sometimes the characters lines feels more like Michael Crichton sneaking in (what he think is) interesting theories more than anything that actually makes sense for the story. Jurassic Park balances on the thin line between fiction and non-fiction, where the non-fiction parts are mostly made up. It makes the book unique, but it also makes you yawn and scroll through endless reasonings about average growth in herbivore populations. When it gets interesting though, it feels nice that all of these thought gets this much space, and are not rushed through. In some way it’s both the novels strength and weakness to get lost in philosophic, mathematic and scientific reasoning. And before you grow too tired of it, there’s always a hungry T-rex to wake you up.
The Lost World on the other hand, is more of a bleak shadow of it’s precursor than anything else. While the scientific theories are still there, and now to the edge of being overwhelming, the adventureness is almost all gone. By now, we know what happens when you meet a raptor in the woods. Throwing in another pair of kids and changing the location to another island doesn’t do the trick. I would recommend you to read the first book, but leave the second to be. Cause what Crichton does best, is after all epic scenes about epic giants. The philosophy and math are better left for someone else to dig into.
Dr. Bea approves of Jurassic Park, but not so much of its sequel.
If you want more dinosaurs and a bit more dystopian adventures, I strongly recommend The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson, that is said to be “Jurassic Park meets The Hunger Games”, and that I after just a few chapters already love. (Review to come later on, so keep your eyes open and on this blog.)