This is probably the fifth time I’ve read this one, the sequel to Jurassic Park. I remember eagerly awaiting this one coming out when I was in high school, getting it from the library, looking at the illustrations on the inside covers, and even the goofy promise of “A NEW DINOSAUR” on the front cover, which pops up for like one minute very late in the story. It’s a solid adventure novel that writes itself into the sub genre of lost world novels pretty squarely, even spending a little time teaching you about them. It’s overtly didactic and silly at times, but mostly delivers on promises. Now, rereading it, it’s interesting to look at some of the narrative choices that happen, and how some of those did and didn’t make it into the final film.
So the book begins all over the world. One thing that is really great about this novel is that the events of Jurassic Park are secret to everyone but the survivors, and so there’s a really good air of dramatic irony happening here as we meet the new characters that will inhabit this book and learn how little they know about everything. Ian Malcolm is our only returner, and so his caginess in general helps to keep things under wraps for a long time. The choice of villain for this novel is Dodson (of “Dodson! Dodson! See no one cares” fame) who is still in corporate espionage, and is planning to make it to Dinosaur Island Part 2 to steal (but not even really steal) fertilized eggs. The rest of the bunch are going to rescue a colleague who went on a hunch.
The story scope is small in the same way of the first book (and smaller ultimately than the movie). While the spectacle of the movie makes a lot of sense, I think the story here is more focused.