Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fiction Review: Dragon Teeth

My husband and I were both intrigued to hear that when best-selling author Michael Crichton died a decade ago, he left behind a finished but unpublished manuscript. We were both big Crichton fans and read most of the books he published in the 80's and 90's, so on a recent road trip, we enjoyed the audiobook of Dragon Teeth, a historical novel about early paleontology and the Wild West.

In 1876, William Johnson, a young student at Yale, gets involved with a dinosaur bone-hunting expedition to the West with renowned paleontologist Professor Marsh. Though Marsh assured William's parents that he'd be safe, the group head further and further West, well into areas where Native American tribes are warring with U.S. soldiers. Along the way, William realizes that his teacher is more than just eccentric - he's paranoid and obsessed with another paleontologist, Edwin Cope. He's so convinced Cope is out to get him that he abandons William alone in the rugged town of Cheyenne, WY, thinking he is a spy for his nemesis. Alone and scared, William does end up joining Cope's group when he encounters them. They journey far into the wilds of the American West with an Indian guide, encountering native tribes, soldiers, and Marsh's group, too. William, as part of Cope's group, helps to make a major discovery, but getting the bones back East could prove impossible.

Although this novel is unlike Crichton's later sci fi thrillers, it reminded us a bit of The Great Train Robbery. It is historical fiction, and Marsh and Cope were real-life paleontologists - and real-life adversaries. Crichton also mixes other real historical figures into the story, including Wyatt Earp. The novel combines science, suspense, history, and action. We both enjoyed listening to the compelling story. Crichton brings the Old West to life (the latter part of the novel takes place in Deadwood, South Dakota, a region very familiar to us), and there is plenty of suspense to keep the story moving along. Dragon Teeth was a very entertaining and engaging story that keep us rapt during our long hours on the road.

320 pages, Harper Paperbacks

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

Listen to a sample of the Dragon Teeth audio book here (or download it from Audible).

You can purchase Dragon Teeth from an independent bookstore:
Support Independent Bookstores - Visit

Or order Dragon Teeth from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know he left a finished unpublished book. That's cool