Once again author Michael Crichton weaves a tale that blends fiction and historical facts to make a fascinating story. (Sadly, Crichton passed away in 2008-truly one of modern greats.) The novel centers around a Yale student of wealth and privilege, William Johnson, who decides to go West on a bet with another student. The venture West to the Dakota and Montana Territories of 1876 is fraught with danger and led by Othniel C. Marsh, a professor of paleontology.
The search is for dinosaur bones hidden within the vast amount of rock.
Fairly quickly Johnson is abandoned in Cheyenne, Wyoming by Marsh due to unfounded suspicions that he is a spy for another professor of paleontology, one Edward Drinker Cope.
In reality and within the story, these two professors had quite the rivalry and enmity between them.
Fortunately for Johnson, he finds himself recruited by Cope and aids him on his excavations.
Johnson’s story is a vehicle to tell of the incredible finds by Cope in the wild and dangerous Badlands of Montana. Not to spoil it for you, suffice it to say Johnson does return East, a changed man. 5 stars.
#Readers of #fantasy adventure will know that author George R.R. Martin continues A Song of Ice and Fire in this second novel of the series. Much of the narrative, as told from the point of view of key characters, focuses on the forces of the various proclaimed kings in the realm of Westeros and beyond. The King in the North, Robb Stark, appears to be having success in skirmishes against the Lannister forces, while Renly and Stannis Baratheon argue over which of them is rightful heir to their dead brother’s throne in King’s Landing. Meanwhile, Dany struggles in distant lands, seeking help for her quest as Queen. And her dragons are growing. Jon Snow, while no king, faces trials of his own as he and the men of the Night’s Watch venture far north of the Wall. Of course, much more is happening.
Martin’s writing craft is excellent as he cleverly weaves the tale through the POV of key characters–not an easy feat in any work, especially a long one. Fans of GOT on HBO will find differences between the novel’s storylines and those of the TV series. For me, I found the novel’s storylines bring about clarity for some aspects that were unclear on the HBO series, such as the sudden appearance of Meera and Jojen when Bran and Rickon escape Winterfell. Overall, tremendously enjoyable series! 4.5 stars.
(Only three typo errors in such a big manuscript, too)
A remarkable debut novel of epic #fantasy #adventure from Christopher Paolini, who was only a teenager when he wrote it. The story centers on Eragon, a teen, who, unbeknownst to him, is destined to become a Dragon Rider. Dragon Riders were the stuff of legend, but have not been seen for centuries in Eragon’s country, Alagaesia. Now, the empire is ruled by a wicked sorceror-Galbatorix.
Upon finding an egg that hatches a dragon, Eragon is thrust headlong into a world that he is not entirely prepared for, nor accepting of the responsibility that it brings.
Overall, despite some uneven pacing, the story moves along with action, mystery, and good character development. Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, grow through the help of supporting characters and dangerous situations encountered.
It is hard not to compare this work with Tolkien, Brooks (Shannara series) and C.S. Lewis (Narnia), the legends of the genre. Nevertheless, I think it stands up well and has many unique elements in its own right. Bravo Paolini! 4 stars. Now onto Book Two-Eldest:-)