cover image Extinction


Douglas Preston. Forge, $29.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1770-4

Bestseller Preston (coauthor of the Agent Pendergast series) spins a creepy and creative variation on Jurassic Park. In the near future, advances in gene editing have led to breakthroughs in de-extinction, bringing prehistoric mammals back to life by rebuilding their genomes and muting genes for aggression. The scientists behind the project have focused on reviving herbivorous megafauna, including mammoths and Irish elk, with the animals allowed to roam inside the spacious confines of Colorado’s Erebus Resort, a luxury attraction near the Rocky Mountains. When honeymooners Mark and Olivia Gunnerson fall victim to a savage attack at Erebus—their tent is slashed open, pools of blood are left at the scene, and authorities find no signs of their remains—the incident brings Frankie Cash from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to the resort. She initially believes the attack to be the work of eco-terrorists who object to Erebus’s mission, but as she investigates, more bodies pile up, and the evidence points toward a threat more terrifying than she could have imagined. Preston tweaks the “resurrected species go haywire” trope with a series of ingenious plot twists, and his well-rounded characters make this more than a knowing genre exercise. The results are as smart and spine-chilling as the best of Michael Crichton. (Apr.) Correction: An earlier version of this review used the wrong pronouns for one of the characters.