Tuesday, May 25, 2010

(Audiobook) Review - Dinotopia: The World Beneath by James Gurney

The best way to describe Dinotopia: The World Beneath is it's like a Disneyland theme park ride in your head. The production of this audiobook is just amazing. The characters walk by a stream and you hear the stream babbling by. Dragons fly by and you hear the roar. I was really impressed with this fun, short romp through Dinotopia.
When Arthur Denison leads an expedition deep into the mysterious caverns of The World Beneath, they discover strange mechanical walking machines shaped like dinosaurs and powered by sunstones.

This is the continuation of the original award-winning Dinotopia by James Gurney. Available as a hardcover book, or as an audio adventure!

When Arthur Denison explores the mysterious caverns of the World Beneath, he discovers an ancient civilization that in many ways is more advanced than our own. But his expedition is threatened by a greedy sailor, Lee Crabb, and by dinosaurs even larger and fiercer than the Tyrannosaurs, the meat-eating Gigantosaurus!
Reminiscent at times of Robert Lewis Stephenson's Treasure Island (especially Lee Crabb), Dinotopia: The World Beneath is the first sequel to James Gurney's Dinotopia. I didn't actually read Dinotopia beforehand, but The World Beneath was enough incentive for me to start looking for a copy of the original especially after taking a look at the amazing artwork which has won Hugo awards for best original artwork.

Dinotopia itself is an island where sentient dinosaurs and shipwrecked humans exist together peacefully (more info on Wikipedia). We mainly follow Arthur Denison who is a scientist who wants to know not only how everything works, but how he can improve society with his research.

As the blurb mentions, the cast of characters (and there really is a cast of actors that play each of the different characters), led by the possibly deviant Lee Crab, explores ancient caverns running into multiple Tyrannosaurus Rex among other dangers that await.

There are some fun twists but mostly the story is straight-forward and completely worth it for the production value. There were parts where echoes could be heard in the background and I could have sworn it was coming from outside rather than in the actual audio.

There's lots of action and adventure packed into a story that had it's only real drawback in being much too short. But, if you're going to have a drawback, this is a good one to have. Plus, there are more sequels available.

When Should You Listen to Dinotopia: The World Beneath?

As I mentioned earlier, this audiobook would work well as a Disneyland ride, but this also reflects the audience the story is meant for. I think children would absolutely love this, but I consider myself an adult (it's up for debate I know) and I had a great time.

4 out of 5 Stars

The mp3's for Dinotopia: The World Beneath were provided to me by the kindness of ZBS Foundation.



  1. May have to check this one out for my classroom

  2. I love this quote from you, " it's like a Disneyland theme park ride in your head". How perfectly it brings up a picture in my head. Thank you for this review; I also think that kids and dinosaur fans would love it as well!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  3. @Ty - It's a good one, but I really wish it were longer.

    @Jewel - Thanks, *blushing*. You summed it up perfectly. Loved this book, seriously.


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