The weakest entry in the ’Ology series (so far) is undersupplied with content, invention or even the customary embedded and detachable trinkets.
Supposedly the record of a 1907 expedition that explores a South American island on which primitive humans coexist with dinosaurs, the yellowed “notebook” at first glance looks like others in the series. It features wordy, awed comments in a faux hand-lettered type squeezed into crowded spreads and gatefolds around dashed-off watercolors, small pencil sketches, and inset letters, booklets or info cards that are either pasted in or, more often, printed to look as if they were. Crowded around the edges and sometimes overlapping, the insets provide additional dino portraits, cursory infodumps of standard-issue dino data (as it was in 1907, with editorial updates in small print at the bottom) and brief profiles of prominent early paleontologists. The paltry assortment of “realia” consists of a notably unconvincing pouch of silver-glitter “ground dinosaur horn,” a patch of plastic “Allosaurus skin” and four plastic “jewels.” The overall premise and much of the plot should sound familiar to older readers, and indeed, at the end is a purported letter from Arthur Conan Doyle with an unapologetic admission that he stole them from this “document” for his novel The Lost World.
The theft actually went the other way, and considering the uninspired result, to no worthy purpose. (Novelty. 10-13)