cover image Island 731

Island 731

Jeremy Robinson. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-61787-5

Robinson (Secondworld) puts his distinctive mark on Michael Crichton territory with this terrifying present-day riff on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Oceanographer Avril Joliet, a member of the research vessel Magellan, which has been exploring a huge polluted area in the Pacific known as the Garbage Patch, makes an intriguing find—a loggerhead turtle whose body and shell are pinched in the middle. An autopsy reveals that the turtle’s stomach is distended to more than twice its normal size. Joliet and her colleagues later end up shipwrecked on an island, where they encounter even stranger creatures, unnatural hybrids that are hostile to human life. Joliet and Mark Hawkins, a gifted tracker and former park ranger, work frantically to keep themselves and the rest of the crew alive while searching for answers. Action and scientific explanation are appropriately proportioned, making this one of the best Jurassic Park successors and on a par with Warren Fahy’s Fragment. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)