Primeval: Extinction Event [Book Review]

Ever wonder what happened to all the dinosaurs? Dan Abnett has a theory for you and he’s packed it into his action-heavy Primeval tie-in novel, “Extinction Event.”

Cutter, Connor and Abby are kidnapped and whisked off to an unforgiving area of Siberia where they’re asked to help solve the mystery of Baba Yaga, a monster who’s been eating up the soldiers who patrol the area. The Russian scientists think that they’ve stumbled upon a land that time forgot so initially they’re not willing to accept Cutter’s time anomaly explanation, but he soon makes believers out of them thanks to a visit from Helen Cutter and more of the gang.

Abnett does an excellent job capturing the personalities of the familiar characters. Their dialogue exchanges sound like they came right out of an episode and that’s vitally important when writing a TV tie-in novel. Where Abnett really wows is in his ability to write complex action sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat. Wild jeep chases through the forest, dinosaurs trampling their encampment, wicked weather and a KGB agent who doesn’t trust anyone, even his own people and that’s just a small sample of what you get in his book. As for Baba Yaga? Let’s just say that the Cutter and the gang have the ultimate Jurassic Park experience and they are not amused.

As if Russians and dinosaurs wasn’t enough, Abnett adds a second layer of tension to the story that comes from a real-life event. Ever hear of the Tunguska Impact? In 1908, a huge asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded with the force of 185 atomic bombs. It leveled trees for nearly 25 miles all around and the afterglow was so bright, people in Asia said they could stand outside and read the paper at midnight. Abnett weaves this historical event into the Primeval world of anomalies and time travel to turn out a very plausible story that culminates with a new extinction event that could mean the end for our heroes.

Primeval: Extinction Event takes everything you love about Primeval and ramps it up to feature film size. If you’re a fan of the show or of action novels in general, this is the tie-in book for you.

Now here’s a short interview with Primeval: Extinction Event author Dan Abnett

You have a great grasp of Primeval and the show’s characters. I understand you got to spend some time watching them film?

Dan: I got to spend a day on set, to look around and meet the cast. It was great, and everyone was very helpful and friendly. The producers definitely wanted my book to be ‘in continuity’, and were anxious I should use the limitless budget of a novel to do things they couldn’t hope to do on screen! 😉

Dinosaurs! Why do you think we’re still so fascinated with these beasts.

Dan: Not sure. I have been since I was about three. I blame Valley of Gwangi and One Million Years BC. Dinosaurs are big monsters. What more could a kid possibly want?

You do an amazing job with the enormous amount of action in this book. Do action scenes come easily to you? Do you have to place chess pieces on a board to figure it all out or does it just happen?

Dan: Thanks. I do plan it all out sometimes, but mostly it’s in my head. Choreographing action is a thing I particularly enjoy.

You also have a lot of technical information about the region, the extinction event and the dinosaurs. What kind of research did you do to prepare the book?

Dan: A fair bit, though to be fair it was a lot of stuff I was very interested in already and had tons of books about. Suddenly there was a reason why I’d bought them all!

If you could slip through one of those time anomalies, what time would you like to visit?

Dan: I’m really tempted to say that I’d like to go back to visit the really really early era of the Burgess Shale, when life on Earth was radically different. But if I only I had one shot at it, I’d be crazy not to want to see dinosaurs. Either Late Cretaceous for T Rex, or the high Jurassic for the truly giant sauropods.

Primeval: Extinction Event is published by Titan and is available in hardback and as a Kindle download through Amazon.com.

One note of warning. Amazon has several Primeval novels mixed up with their links and reviews. so be sure you’re purchasing the correct item when you buy either the book or the Kindle edition. Also, Titan sent the book to me for free in return for my review, but my opinions are my own.

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