Almost everyone is familiar with James Gurney’s “Dinotopia” books, which are filled with pictures of dinosaurs working alongside humans in a community called Dinotopia. Alan Dean Foster has written a novel based on Gurney’s books, titled “Dinotopia Lost.”
In this book, the residents of Dinotopia are preparing for a massive storm. An early wind brings in a pirate ship. Led by the sinister Brognar Blackstrap, the pirates set out in search of treasure. They come across a family of struthiomimuses (large bird-like dinosaurs) and capture them. Unaware of the laws and culture of Dinotopia, they assume the dinosaurs are stupid and plan to sell them to the highest bidder back home. They also capture a young tyrannosaurus rex.
One struthiomimus, Keelk, escapes and flees to a nearby town, where she encounters human Dinotopia resident Will Denison who agrees to help save Keelk’s family. They are accompanied by Chaz, a young protoceratops who serves as a translator for the pair.
While racing to find the pirates, Keelk, Will and Chaz run into and form an uneasy alliance with the captured young tyrannosaur’s parents.
Chaz and the tyrannosaurs are the best characters in Foster’s book. Chaz’s initial jealousy and gradual acceptance of Will, not to mention his physical inabilities, are delightful. Chaz is great comic relief.
The tyrannosaurs have a fascinating edge as Foster portrays the tyrant lizard kings as, of all things, concerned parents.
“Dinotopia Lost” will certainly hold its own next to its equals, “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World.”
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