Primeval: Extinction Event
by Dan Abnett
When my buddy at Titan Books offered this book to me for review, I had no idea it based on an existing TV show. Don’t laugh at me. It seems obvious in retrospect but I clearly hadn’t been paying attention when people were talking about Primeval and the description of the book I read had me thinking it was a set of new books from the writers of the BBC series. Not that it was actually tied to the series itself.
Not that it really matters. I just wanted to make sure you understood how I came into the book. So that you’d believe me when I say the book was so great, I immediately needed to see the series. As in, I actually went to Best Buy that night in hopes that they’d have it. Luckily (for my wallet), they didn’t but I’ve been catching up via Netflix.
The good thing about this is that it means you don’t have to have seen the series to enjoy the book. Though I will caution that the book takes place during what I think is the lull between Season 2 and Season 3 of the show (S3 having just started). I could be wrong about the exact timing but it seems to make sense since the book hinted at things that I’ve discovered about halfway through my viewing or what is the end of Season 1. And based on the characters in the book, I think there’s even more I have yet to see on the show.
That’s the one bad thing about reading the book before you’ve seen the show. You can’t help but be spoiled for some major events that happen on the show. I’m still enjoying the show, obviously, but I’ve missed out on a few jaw-droppers because of the information I gleaned from the book.
Anyway, back to the book! It’s good. Did I mention that? The interesting thing about TV tie-in novels is that it’s rare for the author to spend much time describing the characters. Makes sense since the presumption is that you already know what these characters look like and their history. But it actually made for a fun reading experience. I enjoyed being able to use my imagination to fill in the blanks. Of course, that did lead to some confusion later when I watched the show. Here’s a hint for you, the girl on the cover? Abby. Not Jenny.
Primeval, for those of you like me who are only vaguely aware of its existence, is a BBC series in which Professor Nick Cutter and his crew have discovered anomalies, or rips in time and space, through which creatures from the past are entering our world. Their job is to work quickly to contain the anomaly, capture/corral the escaped creatures, and return things to normal with as little change to the past as possible. For, as Cutter has discovered, even the smallest changes to the past can alter the future in ways none of them can predict.
In this tale, Cutter, Abby, and Connor are not only dealing with a cunning and scary predator but also an event from the past that threatens the future if it’s allowed to cross through the anomaly. And they’ve been kidnapped by the people who need their help which means they don’t have their usual backup as they try to solve the problem and save the world.
It’s a thrilling adventure that you are kinda glad you’re reading rather than watching. Scary elements in books don’t cause my blood pressure to spike in the same way that scary elements in shows do. Possibly because I can just put down the book for a second to prepare myself for what’s to come. Which I did, more than once. Abnett does a fantastic job capturing what the characters are feeling as they are stuck out in the open with predators watching them at all times. And, as you can no doubt tell from my need to immediately watch the show, I was drawn in by the characters. I wanted to know more about them as soon as I put the book down. In fact, I knew there were other books and that’s what I went looking for first. From there it lead me to the show information but I was all ready to go out and buy the books because I wanted more. Right away.
That’s why I have no problem recommending Primeval: Extinction Event to you. I think it’s got something for everyone. Action, adventure, a little history, pop culture references, some romance, and thrills. What more could you want?