(Jurassic Park, Book One)
By Michael Crichton
Story Rating: 4.5 Stars
Performance Rating: 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
This book was AWESOME!! I freaking loved this! Okay, let me lay this out for you. I’m a fantasy junkie. Dragons, witches, warlocks, fairies, werewolves—it’s all my jam. I’m less of a sci-fi fan and even less into mysteries and thrillers. Plus, books about science? HA! No. I went to art school for a reason people. To say I was hesitant about this book is an understatement. But I loved the movie and dinosaurs are the fu**ing best, so I went for it.
All I can say is, Crichton is a damn magician because not only was I able to follow all the complicated science-y stuff (that IS the technical term), but it was never boring and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Odd, horrific things are happening in Costa Rica. A man gets mauled by some kind of animal, babies are turning up dead, and a girl gets attacked by some kind lizard. At first, these weird happenings get brushed off. Costa Rica is filled with lush, exotic landscape—animal attacks aren’t exactly that out of the ordinary. But when a drawing of this strange lizard grabs the attention of some doctors and scientists, they’re all baffled. What kind of animal is this? Something brand new and undiscovered??
It starts to make sense, however, when we meet Dr. Alan Grant and his young assistant Dr. Ellie Sattler who are paleontologists working in Montana. They get a call from their boss and wealthy funder John Hammond, who invites them to his private island for a few days. He’s in need of their expert advice and he’s willing to pay them nicely for it. Thinking him nothing but an old, rich kook, they agree. What they find upon their arrival is nothing short of a miracle. Real dinosaurs!
Dr. Henry Wu has taken the blood out of fossilized mosquitoes and used it to clone dinosaurs. He’s found a way to repair any damaged DNA and bring dozens of different species back from the dead. Literally. Now there’s a whole park filled with dinosaurs and Hammond is ready to show the world his new tourist attraction. All the scientists that have come to visit are anxious about the dangers of these Wild animals, but Wu and Hammond are quick to assure them that safety precautions have been made. All the cloned dinosaurs are female and can’t breed. Everything is fenced in with strong, electric fencing. Every dinosaur is dependent on a specific enzyme that’s given to them by the caretakers and wouldn’t survive if they ever managed to escape. Everything seems to be accounted for, but Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler can’t escape their nervous anxiety about the whole thing.
When a bad storm suddenly falls over the island and they lose power, everything quickly crumbles. Apparently Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler weren’t nervous for nothing after all…
GAH!! I love the way Crichton wrote this and I’m kind awed by him right now. So much nerding-out is happening right now.
I LOVE how he captured short bursts of moments that seem completely random, but eventually form a bigger picture over time. In the beginning it all feels a little chaotic. A man gets taken to a hospital and appears mauled, a girl gets attacked, a baby gets eaten… As you keep reading, however, you start to realize that there’s something bigger going on. Even after the reader knows about Jurassic Park and Hammond’s scheme, Crichton writes the same way. Most of the characters end up getting separated and spread out over the whole park, so he shows short bursts of each one—someone hiding from a T-Rex, the control room guys scrambling to get the power on, someone getting thrown into a tree. It all creates this undercurrent of anxiety and nervousness that was perfect for this book.
There’s also a CRAP TON of science in this story and I was completely shocked that I could follow most of it. When it comes to science, I know the bare minimum and it was never my favorite subject in high-school. Before diving into this, I was completely expecting to be confused an nod along, but that wasn’t the case! Everything was explained really well and broken down in understandable ways. I’ve heard Crichton was known for his extensive research and it definitely shows. I feel like I learned a lot without even trying!
Plus, there are dinosaurs guys. DINOSAURS. You can’t go wrong!
I. HATE. LEX. I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HER. Oh my god, I’ve never wanted to strangle a child so much in my life. Does she ever SHUT UP?!?!? ARGH. Even when I was young, I would have had the presence of mind to NOT COMPLAIN WHEN EVERYONE’S LIFE IS IN DANGER. The whole time they’re trying to make it back to civilization she’s all “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired, can you carry me?” BITCH. WE ALMOST JUST DIED. YOU WALKIN. Not gonna lie, a big part of me wanted her to eat something poisonous and keel over, just so I wouldn’t have to hear her talk anymore. I don’t remember her being that friggin’ annoying in the movie, but it’s been a while, so who knows. Tim was also a tad annoying and a bit of know-it-all, but at least he was helpful and kept his mouth closed most of the time.
That was really my only gripe with this book. There was already a lot going on, so I didn’t completely understand why Lex’s sour attitude was really necessary to the story. The little trio of Dr. Grant, Tim, and Lex were already trying to survive in the wilderness, make it back to the hotel, and avoid vicious dinos—did her uncanny ability to attract danger need to be added to the mix?!
I also had a hard time keeping track of all the characters. The ones I had strong feelings about were easy to keeps tabs on (*COUGH* Lex *COUGH*), but there were a lot of background scientists and workers that I kept confusing with others. More than once I thought someone had died, only to have them pop up again and discover I had them mistaken for someone else. This is my own problem though, which is what I get for listening to the audiobook instead of reading it.
This book was GREAT!! I’ve never been so frustrated and enjoyed it! And I learned a lot of stuff!! This book was completely thrilling and I loved every second.
TALK TO ME
Have you ever read this book or seen the movie??
Any big dinosaur fans out there?
Let’s all take a trip to Universal to visit Jurassic Park!!
Holler at me in the comments!!