Now, let's cut the whole mini synopsis thing and go to what really interests me: how this novel compares to Jurassic Park. Because let's face it, everything that has to do with genetic engineering gone lethally out of control will be compared to Jurassic Park.
- Setting: an isolated island. Check.
- Limited number of people on the island. Check. Most of them die; double check. All the designated bad guys die; triple check.
- There's a hurricane-level (or rather, blizzard-level) storm at some point. Check.
- There's genetic engineering going on. Check.
- HOWEVER, while JP's geneticists made dinosaurs from preserved DNA, the ancestors were actually made from scratch and from genetic projections... the book explains it better
- Also: the genetic engineering going on is financed by a company, and there's some trouble on the company's financial horizon. While industrial espionage and running from the international hand of the law aren't quite in the same league, CHECK.
- Everything would have gone well if someone hadn't fucked up repeatedly. Check.
- Mind you, in JP Nedry's the sole responsible person for the disaster (in my opinion), whereas in Ancestor... Person A messed up with the design, person B messed up by enabling the monsters to live, person C is sociopathic, person D is an all-around asshole - the list goes on.
- KILLER MONSTERS!!!!!! BIG CHECK.
- Sex! Actually, JP didn't have any sexing up going on (except for the dinos, but that was behind the... foliage). Nevermind.
- Sort of ominous and open-ended story: check.
Final verdict: Ancestor is better than Jurassic Park. The science is better, there's a bunch of current references that amused me (including a jab at H1N1 and a recurring gag involving porn-y vampire romance novels), it's very fast-paced and gory, and quoth the Advance Praise on the back of the book:
"Michael Crichton has a worthy successor in Scott Sigler.... Ancestor takes thriller and science fiction conventions and slams them together to make something new and fascinating [...]" - Simon R. GreenAgreed!