I remember many years ago when i was first given a copy of the original Dinotopia. I was perhaps 10 or 11 and as many kids are at that age crazy about dinosaurs. I can still remember that the hardcover book came with a bookmark which had the Dinotopian alphabet on it. Which i used to decifer the many messages and signs through the book in the amazing illustrations I’m sure my parents had seen my love of dinosaurs and probably just threw anything dinosaur related at me. I remember them also giving me at least 2 dinotopia short novels as well, although i’m not sure what became of them. I never knew there were more books in that series. So a few months ago when looking online for a present for my nephew i stumbled upon a Dinotopia book “journey to Chandra” much like the one i already had it was a large hardcover book. a quick search on Google told me it was in fact the 4th book in series.
The little kid in me was excited so i jumped onto Bookdepository.com and searched for it/ ( pretty much where i buy all my books from these days – i love free shipping) Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and i didn’t just buy them then and there i just added them to my wishlist. One of the features i love about that site (granted it isn’t a new feature many sites have it) is the wishlist function. Anytime i see or hear of a book i might like, boom i add it to my wishlist. and pretty much every week i buy one book from my wishlist. My wishlist normally has reached as high as around 80 or so books. but thanks to a healthy tax refund it has dropped down to around 50. Part of the 20 or so books i ordered with my tax money was the 3 dinotopia books
Now ill admit yes these are for kids essentially, as you can pretty much read it in about 30 mins but i think the appeal to me aside from the fact that i still am fascinated about dinosaurs is the story still resonates with the little boy in me.
The first book Dinotopia: A land apart from time. Deals with Arthur Denison and his son Will being shipwrecked on a strange island in the 1860’s, which they shortly discover is inhabited by dinosaurs and humans! The story flows from here as the Denison’s are introduced and integrated into Dinotopian society, and is pretty much an amazing journey of discovery. The story then ends with Arthur’s emergence from his brief visit to the world beneath
Book 2 Dinotopia: The World beneath is about a planned returned expedition to the world beneath. Originally a mythical place where the dinosaurs lived out the extinction level event of 65 million years ago, which Arthur briefly visited in the first book proving its not a myth after all. The book pretty much tries to explain how the dinosaurs come to be living in the modern (relatively) world
Book 3 Dinotopia: First Flight this in my opinion is the weakest and i’ll go as far as to say the Worst book of the series. I cant help but think of this as Police academy 7, a poor attempt at milking a franchise for some more money. Personally my issue with this book wasn’t so much as it was a flashback but more the introduction of a sort of steam punk technology. I just felt this wasn’t what the story of Dinotopia was about, it was suppose to be about people in harmony with nature.
Thankfully Book 4 Dinotopia: Journey to Chandra returned the series to what made it great a big sense of adventure. The story returns to Arthur Denison who receives and invite to come visit the far off and secretive city of Chandra. The story retains that sense of wonder from the first book as he makes his way across the island of Dinotopia to Chandra
Reading these books has taken me back to the days as a boy when i first read the Dinotopia. The illustrations which the author James gurney does himself are just fantastic and the accuracy of the dinosaur species is to be commended. While for the purposes of this Odyssey i will class these all as just one book. I highly recommend these books not just to anyone who has children but to adults wanting a chance to relive a little bit of their youth.