“Human beings are so destructive. I sometimes think we’re a kind of plague, that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that’s our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.”
― Michael Crichton, The Lost World
Where Jurassic Park was mostly about not cloning something that had already gone extinct, I think the premise to The Lost World is mostly geared toward how people are on the same track as the dinosaurs were. This novel seemed more philosophical than the first. It was a little bit harder for me to get into this one. The beginning was kind of slow and jumped around to several different characters, but once I got to Doc Thorne and the kids story line I really enjoyed it. It just didn’t have that beginning hook that the first one had with all the intertwining stories. In the first novel I liked how Hammond was a good/bad guy. It was hard to dislike hime too much because he had such a passion for what he was doing. He was just as child-like as he is portrayed in the movie.
This novel starts off with Levine and Malcolm buddying up to do research in secret and Malcolm is staying quiet about what happened at the park years before this. Levine goes with his gut and prepares a mission in Isla Sorna that goes south as soon as his boots hit the island. He then has to be rescued by Doc Thorne, the man building his equipment and his middle school aged interns. They get in touch with Malcolm and Harding and head to the island. (The kids end up there as stowaways in the trailer.) However, there’s another company on their trail and 3 men also show up to the island while almost killing Sarah Harding on the way there. It’s a rescue mission versus criminals trying to steal dinosaur eggs for research. But you know how that’s going to go! Humans on an island with ginormous prehistoric animals with sharp teeth never ends well. See Jurassic Park or Godzilla. (Those big hungry hungry dinos love to eat people and chase them for sport!) Eventually it becomes a race for time and resources to get off the island before they miss their rendezvous time with the helicopter.
On Dr. Levine: I think he added some funny parts to this only because he was so out of it. He felt no remorse for any one, he just worried about himself. Even when it came to the kids. Think of the children! But no, in the novel his character is driven by being a brainiac who has to prove the rest of the world wrong. His main purpose for being in this novel is to just get them all out to Isla Sorna.
Which, I thought was strange… I can’t tell if maybe Crichton was pressured into writing this second novel after the first one did so well in theaters. At the end of the first book it leaves off with Martinez talking to Dr. Grant about how there have been strange sightings in Costa Rica of parallel lines going through fields, making the read think there are velociraptors on the loose but then nothing ever comes of that! Dr. Grant isn’t even in this novel! So what happened??? I would have preferred to hear about that. And then Malcolm is miraculously not dead after they tell you he is at the end of the first book. It’s not consistent.
Sarah Harding was a good character. I like how she didn’t put up with Malcolm. His character needed that. I really just liked how tough she was. I don’t think she should have been with Malcolm though. He’s too self-centered like Richard Levine.
All in all, I think I give this novel a 2.5 out of 5 stars. I’m glad I read it because it did have good action and I really enjoyed most of the characters. It just had so much potential but it fell s few feet short. I wish Crichton would have gone a different direction with it.