Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Extinction by Douglas Preston

First Line: "Look-- over there," said the guide in a hushed voice, handing Olivia the binoculars.
Erebus Resort, deep in the Colorado Rockies, offers guests the chance to view woolly mammoths, Irish Elk, and giant ground sloths in their native habitat, brought back from extinction through the magic of genetic manipulation.
When a billionaire's son and his new wife are kidnapped and murdered in the Erebus backcountry, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Frankie Cash partners with county sheriff James Colcord to track down what are believed to be eco-terrorists.

When the killings mount and Erebus Valley is evacuated, Cash and Colcord find themselves confronting an ancient malevolent presence bent on not just destruction but extinction.


I've long been a fan of Douglas Preston's thrillers. He always teams a first-rate cast with insider knowledge and an edge-of-your-seat story. Since I'm also a Jurassic Park fan, Preston's story, which revolves around a resort containing Pleistocene megafauna, was right up my alley, too.

The two main characters take some time to get used to each other. This is CBI Agent Frankie Cash's first case in Major Crimes. John Wayne lookalike Sheriff Jim Colcord takes one look at the heavy-set woman and mentally raises an eyebrow. It doesn't take long for him to learn that she has a razor-sharp mind... and that she's much fitter than he is. Cash loves Jurassic Park, but it's a bit of a bummer when she learns that the megafauna of Erebus have all had any aggressive genes removed, which has had the effect of turning them into scaredy cats. But that turns out to be a very good thing because something else is very wrong in this resort.

Strong interesting characters. Check. A fast-paced, thrill ride of a story. Check. A setting that not only involves huge creatures from another age but a movie being filmed in the valley as well as a labyrinth of old mines. Check. All this was a treasure trove for my imagination, and I did "watch" a lot of it on my mental movie screen. But. For some reason, I couldn't completely buy into the secret heart of Preston's story. Even though his Afterward was fascinating. (Don't miss it.) And since I couldn't willingly suspend 100% of my disbelief, Extinction became a very good story instead of a fantastic one. However, it certainly does give readers plenty of food for thought.

Extinction by Douglas Preston
eISBN: 9781250909763
Forge Books © 2024
eBook, 384 pages
Standalone Thriller
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


  1. This does sound like a suspenseful thriller, Cathy! The setting is what really got my attention, though. I do like a novel where you really feel that you are in a particular place, and it sounds as though Preston does that here.

  2. Dinosaurs or other ancient creatures do make a book more fun imo. And I'm a fan of Douglas Preston's books, so I look forward to reading this one.

  3. Preston is always just a fun read, so your review fits in with my expectations. And I always read the afterwords, or authors' notes, or anything that tells a little more about the science or history and how the writer decided to use it.

    1. I know several people who never bother reading them. They're missing out on a lot of good info!


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