I just read the first Jurassic Park novel last year and loved it. I watched the original film adaptation in theatre four times and was mildly obsessed with it for years after, and I was reminded of my love for it last year when the 3D edition was released. With all of this, and the new movie in the news (which I still haven’t seen), I’m an easy sell for a dinosaur adventure.
I was sad to see Alan Grant excluded from this. I thought someone had told me that this is what differs from the second film, that Grant is actually in the book, but unfortunately it isn’t so. It makes sense that he isn’t, because he wasn’t stupid enough to return to that island, but it was a little disappointing.
Instead, the main protagonist is now Ian Malcolm, which seems an odd choice to me. In the first book he was an arrogant, exposition-spewing bore that killed the pace of every scene he was in. He also died, which in other novels is usually a more permanent condition, but in this sequel he’s made a miraculous recovery and now lectures on chaos theory with a sexy limp. He also used his recovery time to seemingly learn all there is to know about dinosaurs, despite having hated dinosaurs before and vowing to have nothing to do with them ever again. I suppose he secretly became obsessed with them after the trauma on the island. Thankfully, the events of the last book have changed Ian Malcolm to be a much more likable person overall. Unfortunately, the other main protagonist, Richard Levine, is even more insufferable than original Ian Malcolm ever was. He’s a pompous, childish, know-it-all lunatic who I wished death upon for the entire novel.
The main problem I had with this was the characters acting in ways that just didn’t ring true, be that true to their character or just true to any member of the human race. Why are you chasing that Tyrannosaurus Rex on a bicycle, I found myself asking. Why aren’t you mentioning to anyone that someone just tried to murder you and that they’re currently on this island? Why are you punching that Velociraptor in its face?
I picked this up at a used book sale, and found that it was a signed first edition when I got home. I’m going to assume a Michael Crichton probably isn’t a huge collector item, particularly this one, but it was still a neat surprise.
This novel is completely unnecessary and a little ridiculous, a less believable re-hash of the original, but I found myself really enjoying it, against all reason. I gave it four stars on Goodreads, which seems almost silly after what I just wrote, but I still found it to be a lot of fun. I guess this is what would be considered a guilty pleasure, although I feel no guilt in liking it. I would, however, only recommend it to others after a healthy disclaimer. It’s stupid, but I like it.