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 Jurassic Park gets bent through the theory of relativity in this ample first effort from Oregonian David: a time-wave fractures the laws of physics, transporting dinosaurs into the present and deranging the lives of a cast of dozens. In the wake of something called the ``Time Quilt,'' which has replaced chunks of the present with chunks of the prehistoric past, the US in thrown into chaos: Part of New York City is replaced by a meadow where a gentle dinosaur lives; Portland completely disappears; a gaggle of scientists go dinosaur hunting (with a few of the men being had for dinner); a vicious gang of biker/rapist/neo-cowboys also discovers the joys of dinosaur hunting; a presidential science advisor struggles to solve the Time-Quilt puzzle; and three romantic subplotsone involving evidence of a moonbase from the future, another featuring a woman kidnapped by dino-fish, the third setting up a mild flirtation between an expert rock-climber and a bungling state troopercompete for space with a family shipwrecked on a brontosaurus that's swimming to Florida. Yes, it's way too much to hang on even this innovative plot device. The author does a half-decent job of overlapping the many subplots, but the novel still ends far too abruptly, leaving a raft of questions unanswered and a pile of tensions unresolved. The best story strand by far pits a trio of teenagers and the mother of one of them against the bikers and some carnivorous dinos. Several scenes in which humans get munched on by enormous hungry lizards round out the not inconsiderable grisliness factor. And everything builds to the big convergence of nuclear-tipped cruise missiles that the President hopes will right the temporal imbalance and bring back his wife, although by this point the novel has spent most of its adventure-yarn currency. A clever premise, but overlong and overcomplicated.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85478-1
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1995


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