Book review of The Lost World by Michael Crichton

So you’ve read Jurassic Park – more likely than not because you saw the film and realised it’s based on a novel. You realised the first book isn’t quite the same as the film and there are actually some interesting character differences and big plot differences too. Now you want to see if the sequel is like that of the film sequel too. Well, keep on reading below to find out and find out if I liked it or not.

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Before you get started with this review, if you’ve not yet read my review of the first book, Jurassic Park, then I’d go ahead and do that now. If you’ve already read that review or read that book and have formed your own opinion, then stick around.

The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park, is set six years after the events of the first book where a bunch of scientists go to an Island at the request of a billionaire who has built it in hopes they’ll approve it for use as an amusement park. As we all know, things start to go terribly wrong with a few deaths and an escape at the end.

However, six years later, Dr Malcolm is called back to a neighbouring island where the dinosaurs were breading after a wealthy friend of his goes missing there.

The Lost World plot – 4/5

After the epic events of the first book, I imagine it was difficult for Michael Crichton to write a sequel. The rumours are that after the success of the first film, Steven Spielberg asked him to write The Lost World which would be the basis for the sequel film too. Also rumoured was that Spielberg had input into the book itself with a vision of it working in the film.

Well, there are some changes from the film such as the fact that Dr Malcolm doesn’t go to the Island because John Hammond has secretly sent his love interest Sarah Harding there to do some research, instead, as explained above, it’s because someone who was asking him if he’d go to the Island with him has gone and they’ve lost contact with him. In all honesty, the film version seems more viable. It had the sense of “right, I can’t leave her there. Get me there so I can grab her and get her off that Island as quickly as possible.” Whereas this feels a little bit more like it appeals to the scientist in him to go to the Island where the Dinosaurs from the first book were being hatched.

The rest of the book follows a similar pattern to the first – something dangerous happens, they find themself split up as a team and it goes on. What’s also interesting here though, as with the film, is an organisation hoping to take these animals to mainland America have set up a base and are looking to take some of these Dinos back with them. Overall, I think the theme of wealthy companies or individuals seeking to make money from this discovery is a continuously believable one that makes these two books believable.

I feel like the action in this book isn’t as good as it could be. There’s an element of it being more interesting than it actually is because it’s about Dinosaurs which we all love. But it’s not a dull book at all. I’d also like to make another mention of the great scientific knowledge of Crichton again – there’s some great Dino knowledge in here that will be fascinating to read for any Dino nerds like myself.

The Lost World characters – 4/5

In a similar vein to the first book – the characters throughout The Lost World weren’t mind-blowing and they weren’t dull. They all served their purpose and served them well. As with most monster/horror movies, they fall into some of the tropes – there’s a villain, there’s the hero, there are the innocent naive ones and these all mould into a well-formulated and diverse set of opinions and views on the situations happening throughout the book.

Another slight change from the film is the inclusion of “Arby”, who stows away with Ian Malcolm’s daughter Kelly as they travel to the Island – obviously unknown to Malcolm. Arby is an incredibly intelligent young boy who plays a similar role to Lex Murphy in the original – he’s a computer genius and a bit of a genius all around. He’s a good addition which I think would have made a good addition to the films too.

Overall, don’t read this book if you’re looking for a deep character story. This story is about the dinosaurs, it’s about the science and it’s about the horror elements that occur as these people are chased by these prehistoric giants.

The Lost World summary – 4/5

If you enjoyed Jurassic Park, you’ll enjoy The Lost World – it features a lot of the same enjoyments as the first book – Dinosaur nerdiness, horror elements and enjoying action moments. However, if you’re here for anything deeper than a Hollywood-feeling storyline and a set of fairly predictable characters and Dinos aren’t your thing, you may not enjoy The Lost World as much as I did.

Buy The Lost World on Amazon here.