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Jurassic Park Volume 1: Redemption

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Paperback: 120 pages / Publisher: IDW / Published: 1 Feb 2011

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      05.12.2012 18:09
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      Only for big fans of Jurassic Park.

      Since my son loves both dinosaurs and graphic novels, I though this might be a fun series start. The story takes off after the Jurassic Park films have ended. John Hammond's grandchildren, Timmy and and Lex are all grown up with very different ideas on Hammond's legacy. Lex wants to keep the dinosaurs and humans very far apart, and the opening scenes show her arguing before teh UN to maintain a worldwide military operation aimed at keeping the creatures contained. None the less apparently her flight from New York to Texas takes her past the islands as her plane is attacked by a pterosaur in mid air before fighter jets rush into the rescue. I had always wondered about the pterosaurs with the Jurassic Park films. Scientists believe these creatures were capable of transatlantic flights if you will pardon the pun, so an island was never going to keep them contained.

      Timothy on the other hand still wants to see his grandfather's dream of bringing dinosaurs to the public, and is creating an all new dinosaur park in Texas - but he only planned to recreate herbivores. Of course this wouldn't make for a good story so his operation has been hijacked by a return from the dead of another character from the films - I won't say which one. This character has secretly taken over control of the park through bribery and planting his own people in top positions - and he has cloned the carnivores as well - most notably Carnotaurus. All hell breaks loose when these creatures - and several other dinosaurs are turned loose on a small Texas town.

      The fact that this is Texas seems to have led the authors to an irresistible to urge to put in plenty of colloquialisms. Some of these include "It certainly is true what they say about Texas... Everything is bigger!" and "We're headed for one hell of a Texas Barbecue!" We also get a few scenes to drive home the point that this is in Texas - a wrangler lassoing a dinosaur. another one riding one like a horse, and a scene that was actually very well done with an armadillo. Despite this, I felt the overall story line was fairly good. It isn't quite my type of reading, and it certainly is not something I would buy for myself. But if you are looking for a continuation of the Jurassic Park story line you might well be happy enough with this. I will note though that there is almost no character development. Of course I would not expect a great deal of character development in a graphic novel, but even by comic book standards, this is limited, leaving you wondering who someone may be. We already know Lex, Timmy and one other from the film, but you do not get any background info on any of the characters and at times this can be confusing. The story does jump forward a bit as well, making it difficult to follow and I very frequently found myself thumbing back to see if I had missed a page.

      The artwork on this is both very good and very very bad. The artist was clearly chosen for his ability to drawn dinosaurs, and I felt there are some brilliant pictures in this. Not every frame has the same attention to detail though, and some dinosaurs come out far better than others. His drawing of people is not quite as good but some of the drawing are horrible, especially the attempt at a chimpanzee. In fact , without reading the text in one frame you might not be certain it was a chimp - kind of like some of the pictures small children draw where you really have to guess as to what it might be.

      This was really bought for my son though, and sadly he quickly lost interest in this book. Although he did eventually finish it - he does not want any more in the serious. He says he really liked the pictures, and the story was OK but it just wasn't very good to read. By this I assume he is referring to the way this jumps from one scene to another and is difficult to follow. I do especially like graphic novels as a means of encouraging children to read, and usually feel they are especially good for children who are struggling with reading. In this case, I feel the difficult to follow format defeats the purpose , and I would not recommend this for young children. I would also point out that there is quite a bit of blood and gore in this - and of course some small children might find this frightening. My youngest does not - but he says dinosaurs can not live at the same time as people so it is silly.

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