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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Prey
Jurassic Park Adventures Book 2
Written by Scott Ciencin
Cover montage by Peter Van Ryzin

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published October 2001)

 

Dr. Grant heads up a UN project to protect and study Isla Sorna and the dinosaurs living on it. While he supervises construction of an outpost, a group of reckless teenagers illegally parachutes onto the island to shoot a documentary.

 

Read the story summary at the Jurassic Park Wiki.

 

Didja Notice? 

 

Before the novel begins there is a United Nations General Assembly notice announcing that Dr. Alan Grant will be proposing the establishment of the Bureau of Ancient Animal Affairs and the creation of an Isla Sorna ranger station for the study of the island's dinosaurs, with testimony by Eric Kirby, survivor of an 8-week stranding on the island. Eric's adventures while stranded on the island are depicted in Survivor and Jurassic Park III.

 

Page 2 of the book reveals that it has been 6 weeks since Eric's rescue from Isla Sorna.

 

Grant's proposal to the UN recognizes the disproportionate predator to prey ratio and inevitable extinction (without human help) noted in Survivor (and in Michael Crichton's The Lost World novel).

 

On page 11, Isla Sorna security chief Deborah Holland is carrying what is referred to as a sonic cannon, a weapon which, when fired, is meant to disorient dinosaurs. This is similar in concept to the sound box carried by Dodgson in Michael Crichton's The Lost World novel.

 

On page 18, regarding his refusal to allow his son to return to Isla Sorna, Paul Kirby tells his wife, "no force on earth or in heaven could make me change my mind about this." Dr. Grant used similar phrasing in Jurassic Park III in describing his lack of desire to ever go to the island: no force on Earth or Heaven.wav

 

Page 20 reveals that Paul and Amanda Kirby have been getting along well as husband and wife since their return from the island.

 

Page 21 reveals that Eric has gone through a whirlwind period of having written the book Survivor about his experiences on the island and a publicity tour to support it in the 6 weeks since his return.

 

On page 23, island cook Jerry Roberts is wearing a Lost in Space t-shirt. This is a reference to the CBS TV series that ran from 1965-1968.

 

Also on page 23, Jerry mentions having rounded up the autographs of the entire cast of Lost in Space at a comic book convention in San Diego. He is undoubtedly referring to San Diego Comic-Con International, which is held in the city of San Diego, CA every summer.

 

Again on page 23, Jerry mentions that he can recite "Jabberwocky" from memory. "Jabberwocky" is a nonsense-verse poem by Lewis Carroll which first appeared in his 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. After hearing the roar of a dinosaur on the other side of the fence, Jerry recites a couple lines from the poem and uses the name of the beast in the poem, the Jabberwock, as a metaphor for the dinosaurs on the island that must always be regarded with caution and respect: "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite! The claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird and shun the frumious bandersnatch!"

 

On page 24, Eric mentions a vorpal sword, that being a weapon from "Jabberwocky".

 

On page 30, Grant refers to Eric as "young Aladdin". This is a reference to the Middle-Eastern folk tale of Aladdin and the genie of the magic lamp which appears in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.

 

On page 32, Dan Caulfield is wearing a sweatshirt that says Johns Hopkins Medical School Polo Team. John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland is one of the world's leading medical schools.

 

On page 33, Eric is watching A Christmas Carol on AMC in the ranger station's rec room. AMC is American Movie Classics, a cable television network. A Christmas Carol was originally a short story published by Charles Dickens in 1843 and which has been filmed many times over the decades; the book does not say which version Eric is watching. Transportation chief Dave Stevens sits down next to Eric and calls it "Scrooge or whatever," referring to the selfish, miserly main character of A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge.

 

Page 42 describes film freak Biggs as going into Charlton Heston mode and saying, "Get yer paws off me, ya dirty stinkin' ape!" This is a reference to the 1968 cult classic film Planet of the Apes, starring Heston. Heston's actual line in the film is a little different, "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

 

On page 43, Biggs mentions Blair Witch. This is a reference to the 1999 film, The Blair Witch Project.

 

Page 43 reveals that the leader of the teenage film crew, Simon, under cover as a college student writing a science paper, met with Lex and Tim to gather info about surviving in Jurassic Park.

 

On page 44, Biggs jokingly remarks that he "lost the map". This is another reference to The Blair Witch Project. In the film, the character of Heather Donahue loses the map of the forest in which she and her companions are searching for the truth of the Blair Witch legend (her cohort Mike Williams later admits to having thrown the map away in frustration when it fails to lead them out of the woods).

 

On page 47, Simon mentions the pterodactyls that flew off the island at the end of Jurassic Park III and says that they've been sighted in South America and Mexico, with rumors of them even in the Florida Keys. In fact, pterodactyls turn up in Orlando, FL in the following book Flyers.

 

On page 48, Simon mentions Fox Mulder and says "the truth isn't out there". These are both references to the 1993-2002 Fox TV series The X-Files. Fox Mulder was the main protagonist of the series and "The Truth is Out There" was one of the show's slogans.

 

On page 51, Simon believes the duck-billed dinosaur they just encountered was an Edmontosaurus. This was a real duck-billed dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous Period.

 

Page 52 reveals that Malcolm's book about his experience on Isla Sorna was titled Lost World.

 

On page 56, Eric makes his way to Mt. Hood on the island. Possibly this is named for the Mt. Hood in Oregon, the fourth highest mountain in the Cascade Range.

 

On page 58 a quetzal bird lands near Eric. Quetzals are brightly-colored tropical birds that are found mostly in Central and South America.

 

The first page of each chapter features an illustration of a dinosaur that appears in that chapter. But chapter 8 features the image of a Stegosaurus...a dinosaur that does not appear in the entire book!

 

On page 71, Deborah mentions tai chi. She is referring to tai chi chuan, a type of Chinese martial art.

 

Page 75 suggests that splotches and patterns of color on a Triceratops herd can identify them as members of the same clan, suggesting a largely inherited-genetic component to the patterns.

 

On page 84, Eric uses his stun rod to attempt to send an SOS, triggering the stunner to send three short, three long, three short bursts of electrical sparks, hoping it could possibly be picked up by the satellite observing the island; the three short, three long, three short bursts is the correct Morse code for SOS.

 

On page 95, Grant buries his face in his hands as things start to go wrong and says, "Ian was right." Is he referring just to Ian Malcolm's general "chaos" attitude towards the Jurassic Park concept or did Grant actually talk to Malcolm about the feasibility of his Isla Sorna/Ranger Station protected park idea?

 

Page 105 suggests that Grant has encountered the Carnotaurus leader before, months ago, when the animal had been subjected to fear and humiliation. There is no story detailing this encounter of which I am aware. The "months ago" reference seems to place it during the events of Jurassic Park III, but the movie, as released, features no Carnotaurus encounters. In the movie script, the Ceratosaurus the group encounters at the Spinosaur dung heap, is a Carnotaur instead, but even then the encounter could hardly be called fearful and humiliating for the Carnotaur. Possibly the carnotaur encounter mentioned here took place during the early days of construction of the ranger station. 

 

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