The Lost World is the sequel to Jurassic Park, a novel which I read some time ago and very much enjoyed. My recent holiday seemed like the ideal opportunity to read the sequel.
Six years have passed since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park. In the years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end, the island has been indefinitely closed to the public, its park dismantled, the dinosaurs themselves destroyed.
Or so it was thought.
But something has survived. And when a team led by maverick scientist Ian Malcolm enters the mysterious ‘Site B’ to investigate, they are determined that this, at last, will be the end of the dinosaurs…
While this is a sequel, most of the characters from the first novel such as Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler are only mentioned in passing, with only maverick chaotician Ian Malcolm returning as a lead character. While I did miss some of the original characters, there are some great additions in this novel, and I loved the character of Sarah Harding in particular. Like Sattler, she’s a smart, no-nonsense individual, and Crichton, to his credit, treats her as equal to the men in the novel in a way that is very pleasing to read. He avoids the sexism that is often incorporated into survivalist situations, and has written a female character who is at least equal to any of her male counterparts.
Like Jurassic Park, there are some differences in this novel compared to the film, although there are some scenes that will be familiar to viewers. While different, I still found this to be an entertaining novel, and it contains plenty of action and, of course, dinosaurs! I don’t think that it’s as good as the first novel overall, but I did enjoy it, and I like that that it is very different in terms of the situation that the team find themselves in – The Lost World is a long way from being a rehash of Jurassic Park. The existence of the dinosaurs on Site B is plausible (assuming you accept the premise of Jurassic Park), as is the way in which their existence has been kept a secret.
With sequels, I usually like to say whether I think that it could be read as a standalone, or whether the reader would be missing out on something by skipping the beginning of the series. I’m not sure how to call this one though – you do need to know what happens in Jurassic Park, but to be honest, the film is probably sufficient background, despite the additional detail that is in the book, and if you don’t know what happens in Jurassic Park, I’d have to ask what rock you’ve been living under for the last 26 years or so.