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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than expected
Knowing that this series of books was supposedly aimed at the teenage audience, I expected something fairly simplistic. However, I was nicely surprised that this seems to be a very well written book with good character detail (Cutter's feelings about Claudia/Jenny) and a well rendered sense of place (very good descriptions of Cuzco).
The political and mystery...
Published on 12 May 2008 by J. Reeve

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly disappointing
I've read a lot of tie-in novels, mostly for Doctor Who, and so I can tell a good story when I find one. Sadly to say, when I read Primeval, the Lost Island, it really didn't come under this description.

One of the most important things when reading a tie-in novel is that you can feel the characters coming out of the words. That they speak to the same rhythm...
Published on 30 July 2010 by Holly


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than expected, 12 May 2008
By 
J. Reeve (Bristol, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Knowing that this series of books was supposedly aimed at the teenage audience, I expected something fairly simplistic. However, I was nicely surprised that this seems to be a very well written book with good character detail (Cutter's feelings about Claudia/Jenny) and a well rendered sense of place (very good descriptions of Cuzco).
The political and mystery elements though push the time anomaly plot almost into the background, so readers expecting the 'chasing dinosaurs' style of the TV show might be a bit surprised.
Looking forward to the next book in the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like the series, you like this, 28 May 2009
By 
M. Dale (East Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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Let's start with the obvious; the TV series isn't going to win any highbrow drama awards and this book is faithful to the TV series. With that said, the series is entertaining and funny and, again, the book is faithful to that. Think Dan Brown with added dinosaurs - classic sci-fi entertainment which doesn't require much thinking.

The plot is very typical of the show although it's obviously quite a bit longer than usual and, without giving too much away, it has the usual dose of spectacular settings, nasty villains, plenty of action and, of course, dinosaurs. Abnett has done a good job of capturing the characters' personalities and traits and for the most part they ring true. Having seen them on TV makes it all the easier to visualise them, and when Connor tries yet another terrible joke you'll find yourself using his voice in your head. It all fits together very well.

As TV tie-ins go, this is a good one and should keep you entertained. The author knows his audience and what they want, and has done an excellent job of delivering it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly disappointing, 30 July 2010
I've read a lot of tie-in novels, mostly for Doctor Who, and so I can tell a good story when I find one. Sadly to say, when I read Primeval, the Lost Island, it really didn't come under this description.

One of the most important things when reading a tie-in novel is that you can feel the characters coming out of the words. That they speak to the same rhythm set up in the series, as each character does have their own patterns. In this, I often lost track of who was talking, they were so far away from the characters of the ARC team. Considering the fact that there are 5 members of the team, Connor, Abby, Stephen and Jenny were rather forgotten in the background, only popping their heads up every so often to have a few seconds of dialogue, then get forgotten and tossed into the blank areas of the lacking description.

I felt that Abby, in particular, was there only to play the damsel-in-distress that she has never, EVER been written to be. For instance, the scene on the cliff. In what circumstance would Abby Maitland; someone who has been kickboxing, boxing, doing yoga and generally training her body for however-many-years, be the one to fall off a cliff, while the Professor (no offence to him, but he doesn't exactly look to be at the height of fitness) and Connor (who admits to only being able to do DoE for a morning before breaking his ankle) are perfectly fine and dandy? And Abby is said to have been "well brought up", while the series often refers to how she had a rough life, having to look after her brother alone and that she had never had it easy.

As previously mentioned, the story is far too focussed on Nick (and yet still doesn't have him in character) and so, Paul Kearney seems determined to throw Jenny and Abby at him like pieces of meat! After a single glass of scotch, the Professor is resisting the urge to kiss Miss Lewis, and then there's the pointless moment of Abby and Cutter sharing a sleeping bag with barely any clothes to be spoken of. Not only is this uncomfortable, and far from what would ever happen in the series, it doesn't even work. The idea behind it is to warm them up to fight of hypothermia, yet it would make far more sense to have them with people who had not fallen in the sea, as then there would be actual body warmth to help them. If they're both freezing cold, there isn't going to be any body warmth to get from each other, and they'll only get sicker. The only reason Abby wasn't cuddled up to Connor - which would make far more sense, not only pairing-wise, but also logically too - was to avoid the problem of which of the lads Cutter would be shacking up with.

Then there's the swearing, the blood, the gore, the over-abundance of description of guns, boats and other such useless, pointless, and out of character-isms. Yes, there are soldiers and sailors involved, who are not exactly as watchful of their language as the main characters should be. BUT, Primeval is aimed mainly at the same branch as Doctor Who. Yes, Adults enjoy it too, and older teens, but it is predominantly meant for slightly younger audiences. Throughout the series', there are only a smattering of swearwords thrown in. They're there, but they're there for a good reason, and so it would be understandable if this was the same - a few choice words smattered across the novel, accentuating scenes that need it. But here, they are tossed about as freely as they would be on a lads' night out.

Violence, too, is something only ever resorted to, but here each of the members of the ARC team appears blood thirsty and quite happy to kill. There is are more pages of descriptions of the many ins and outs of ships, guns and politics than there is the island, the characters or feelings, or indeed, even the creatures from the past, and which are, ultimately, nothing but padding. To the layman, someone who doesn't spend days poring over books of these things - someone, say, like the children this is meant to be aimed at, the eye is found to skip over these sections, often skipping pages and whole chapters looking for the next piece of substance.

In all, this is not a book I've found particularly enjoyable. I have read fanfiction that had accomplished more than this novel has, both in story and in characterisations. The plot is weak and unexplained, and by the end of it, I was so annoyed that I felt the need to write an entire essay of a review about it. There may be the odd lad who will read this and tell me that I am an idiot; that the action is worth the sloppy and substandard characterisations that I have been complaining about. However, if this was a free-standing novel, written completely away from the Primeval fandom, I may be able to accept that. But when a story is written with specific characters, - who have already been set up and set in stone - and a strict style of story telling, it should be an important endeavour by the writer to keep within this limitations. For the first time in my life, I have been so dissatisfied with a book that I want to take it back to the shop I bought it from, or give it to a charity shop. A truly sad and disappointing occasion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Primeval brilliance., 2 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. Kenneth Halstead (england) - See all my reviews
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my dad ordered this book for me. i'd just finished my english GCSE when the primeval book came and i was really pleased. i was a little upset to find that cutter wasn't in it but i do like Danny as a character. this book was a bit too graphic in detail for my twelve year old sister and i read it to her cutting out the gruesome parts. it's a book that can have you laughing at one point and ridgid to your seat with fear the next. i love all the characters and it's brilliantly written with superb detail and i read it all over again. it's a book that you can't put down until the end. Cutter is missed in it but the gripping plot makes up for it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No "Fraud" Involved, Best Entry in the Series, 14 July 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (Long Island City, New York USA) - See all my reviews
The disappointed reviewer on this page was almost certainly not misled deliberately: likely author Simon Guerrier's original outline did feature the characters of Nick Cutter and Jenny Lewis, and he was asked to retool it when the re-casting went down (and that was very likely why, as he mentions in an afterword, he was invited onto the set to watch filming; he'd have had no exposure to the new characters otherwise, if the release of the book were to coincide with the middle of Season Three). To Guerrier's everlasting credit, though, the reconception has made it seem as if this were a story meant to feature Danny and Sarah all along, and he captures their personae, as well as those of the veteran regulars, perfectly.

More impressive still, though he's dealing with the weakest continuity of the TV show (it not only jumped the shark in Season Three, it kissed it, seduced it, humped it and sent it flowers), he has written the strongest of the four novels. In part he seems to have had advantages the previous three scribes didn't have, in re: greater familiarity and (possibly) fewer restrictions, what with the show foundering and losing both focus and perspective (ironically, as an "outside" freelancer, working in prose, he got to pull various disparate elements together) --

-- but he's also managed to create a tale in which multiple, seemingly independent, storylines converge on a reveal (not to be spoiled here) that has more urgency and somewhat higher emotional stakes than just rampaging prehistoric creatures running around where they don't belong.

With the show having been canceled, this fourth book is probably the last novel in the series, but it makes for a delightful (if unintentional) finale; and indeed, kind of shows Danny and Sarah off to better advantage than the show ever did, by putting them (as well as the others) in situations that best exploit their personality traits and kinds of expertise. Probably not optimally effective as a standalone novel, but for fans of PRIMEVAL it earns high marks as one last, very decent ride in the dinoverse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dino Destruction, 22 Mar 2011
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Strange anomalies are ripping holes in the fabric of time, allowing creatures from the distant past and far future to roam the modern world. Evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter and his team must track down and capture these creatures and try to put them back where they belong.

Primeval: Extinction Event by Dan Abnett is based on the popular UK television show of the same name. Nick, Abby and Connor are busy trying to deal with the anomalies that are appearing randomly across the UK. Connor notices that the anomaly phenomena are behaving differently each time they occur. While investigating the latest occurrence the team are kidnapped and taken thousands of miles away to help a foreign power deal with their own anomaly issues.

Moving the action out of the UK to the wilds of the Russian Federation is a good move. The TV show has always suffered a bit with the limitations of its budget. There are no such considerations here.

Meanwhile, with the majority of the Anomaly Research Centre team missing, it is up to the boss Lester, and his assistant Jenny, to figure out just what is going on. Enter the diabolical Helen Cutter, Nick's estranged wife and anomaly expert. She has her own agenda but offers to help locate the team.

Most of the characters will be familiar to anyone who has watched the television show. It is certainly easy to visualise Douglas Henshall, Andrew Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt and Ben Miller playing their respective parts. The author effectively captures these portrayals on the page.

My only disappointment was that the story is based on the characters as they were a few years ago, rather than they were in the most recent season of the show. In saying that however, as a fan of the franchise, it was nice to revisit some of the characters that have now moved on.

Primeval has always reminded me of the classic monster B-movies of the nineteen fifties and sixties. The show never takes itself too seriously it just sets out to entertain. Dan Abnett's novel does the same thing. Action packed, fast paced and loads of fun from beginning to end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book - such a shame the tv series has been cancelled, 4 Aug 2009
By 
David (SPECTRE Island) - See all my reviews
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Like many of Primeval's fans I was gutted to hear that ITV have cancelled the series. Series 3 was excellent and I was eagerly awaiting series 4 but alas ITV had other ideas. No wonder they are going down the tube cancelled all their decent series like this and Wire In The Blood.

Anyway I had better review the book. Primeval Extinction Event is an enjoyable book. I won't go into too much plot detail because other reviewers have already done this. Dan Abnet has captured the characters really welll especially Professor Nick Cutter - I could easily imagine Douglas Henshall delivering the lines on screen. The book is a light read and is ideal to read on holiday while sitting on a sunny beech.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two enthusiastic thumbs up, 20 Jun 2009
By 
L. Phillips (Yorkshire England) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this book to read an holiday while I was sunning myself on the beach and enjoyed it so much that I'd read it within four days! The characterisations are spot on and it's full of twists and turns. I'd recommend this to any Primeval fan, especially if you like Connor/Abby.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, 21 May 2009
By 
maximus (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
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I have never seen primeval on TV, so; my knowledge of the program and its characters is very limited. Having seen TV trailers for the show it's something I've meant to give more attention to (enter this book).

I'm obviously unaware whether or not having seen the show would have made my understanding of the book better or not, but; I enjoyed it very much just the same. I have found, in the past, with other publications of TV shows, that often; the story reads and feels like a well written piece of fan fiction, and I was half expecting that here. Pleasantly surprised.

The writer clearly knows their craft; well written and carefully structured sentencing without too many (if any) overflows of thought.

After reading this book I'm now definitely going to follow the series and catch what I have missed on re-runs, lets hope the show is just as good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We need guns, lots of guns..., 16 April 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like some others here I have never seen the TV show Primeval - Series 1-3 [DVD] [2007], so this tie-in novel from Dan Abnett (also responsible for writing some excellent Torchwood novels "Torchwood": Border Princes and "Torchwood": Everyone Says Hello), is my first experience of the time-travelling dinosaur. I found the idea and style to be quite reminiscent of the Torchwood concept in that it deals with an anomaly in time and space, only this time it's dinosaurs rather than aliens that come through it, and have to be contained by the enigmatic Professor Cutter and his motley team.

The first few chapters are taken up with Nick Cutter and his team battling a pair of Entelodons - huge boar like creatures - who are marauding through Oxford Street, and these battle set-pieces set the tone for the novel. It's basically a concept ideally suited to television, but to be fair, Abnett's skill at describing character, and his ability to make the reader feel as though they are part of the events described, lift this book out of mediocrity, and make it a fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable read.
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Primeval: Fire and Water
Primeval: Fire and Water by Simon Guerrier (Paperback - 25 Feb 2011)
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