01/05/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Titan Books. 283 small hardback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK), $12.95 (US), $14.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-84576-693-1.
check out website: www.titanbooks.com
Dinosaurs are among us and, in the UK, 'Primeval' is back on our screens. It's a little bit darker with an attempt at a more comprehensive story arc for the series. There is no big arc here though just an old-fashioned adventure story that is bounced between continents and time zones and back again for breakfast.
This story takes the series' characters and plonks them in an over-the-budget situation loved by all genre fans. Maybe it will be audios next, dig those dinosaurs growling in your ears. For 'Primeval' virgins, think 'Stargate' meet 'Jurassic Park' and you have the gist of it. There are a diverse set of characters.
The clever one is Nick Cutter and then there is the science geek, Connor, who loves the zoo keeper, Abbie. The two civil servants are Jenny, in charge of PR but seems to be turning into Sarah Connor. Jenny Lewis used to be Claudia in a previous reality and she is loved but unacknowledged by Cutter. The lovely and annoyingly witty Lester gets all the best quips in the series but there is not so much to do here.
So far, in the series they have always managed to arrive back in England, preferably the home counties whenever they travel between anomalies. We know that Evil Helen-or Nick Cutter's not-better-ex-half is using them as a more sophisticated method of travel. We know that Evil Helen has an evil agenda. We just don't know what it is yet, other than it involves cloning the ugliest man on television about a thousand times (see Season 2).
This time the crew encounter some Soviet bloc mystery and it's not only the dinosaurs that are on the rampage. Whisked away to the mysterious site deep in Soviet territory cutting off Cutter, Connor and Abby from the Arc. They must try to survive and solve the Russian problem. Meanwhile, the home team might just be playing away this time round.
Its corny, it's a TV tie-in but it's a good laugh and the characters tics have been picked up well. It's aimed at the younger teenage market and should do well. Its an easy read but not overly simplistic. There's certainly no harm in this dinosaur tale.
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