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Primordia

In Search of the Lost World
Narrated by: Sean Mangan
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)
Regular price: £27.99
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Summary

A journey into the deepest, darkest jungles of the Venezuelan Amazon...and a primeval place and time that mankind was never meant to exist in.

Ben Cartwright, former soldier, home to mourn the loss of his father, stumbles upon cryptic letters from the past between author Arthur Conan Doyle and his great-great-grandfather who vanished while exploring the Amazon jungle in 1908. 

Amazingly, these letters lead Ben to believe that his ancestor’s expedition was the basis for Doyle’s fantastical tale of a lost world inhabited by long-extinct creatures. As Ben digs some more, he finds clues to the whereabouts of a lost notebook that might contain a map to a place that is home to creatures that would rewrite everything known about history, biology and evolution. But other parties now know about the notebook and will do anything to obtain it. For Ben and his friends, it becomes a race against time and against ruthless rivals. 

In the remotest corners of the Venezuela, along winding river trails known only to lost tribes, and through near impenetrable jungle, Ben and his novice team find a forbidden place more terrifying and dangerous than anything they could ever have imagined.

©2017 Greig Beck (P)2018 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Subprime Ordinary

What a great idea? Arthur Conan-Doyle's famous Lost World being based on real events and be there for one of his descendants to re-discover. I really liked the sound of that, old clues, jungle adventures, deadly dinosaurs, what could possibly go wrong with all that?

Unfortunately while the idea was good the execution felt pretty average to me. I feel sure that Beck's writing has been much better in the past. The characters felt very two-dimensional and the make up of the team of friends very convenient. The action part of the plot when it did finally arrive just felt like a queue of things that the author had researched being inflicted one after the other on the characters. . The dialogue was lacking with a flippant, youthful approach which remained untroubled by death and disaster.

In addition, Sean Mangan, while he has a lovely rumble of a speaking voice doesn't have much in the way of character voice or dramatic effect to his performance. All put together it leads to a vague sense of the artificial permeating everything giving little that could immerse the listener in the grand adventure that the book promised.

It's not the worst audiobook you can buy by any stretch but to me this feels like the author invented an excellent opportunity for himself but didn't quite manage to make the best of it, particularly with this audio production.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

suspense at its best

I grew up reading the lost world world and was captivated as a child. You took a great book and brought it to another level thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story well read

Gripping story, well read and kept me entertained to the very end. Now I've got to wait for part 2.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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on edge

this story kept me on the edge of my seat, I am glad I did not live in that age

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  • BEANX4
  • 24-07-18

Greig Beck Nails It!!!

Great characters, compelling storytelling, nail-biting adventure... I couldn’t wait until the end to start my review. When it comes to nature-based fury and terror, Greig Beck is the Master. Cannot wait for more!

Back to listening now.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard S. Swol
  • 14-07-18

Return to the Lost World

I waited anxiously for this audio book. I even purchased and listened to the original Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. I had read it a couple times in the past. So, I am a fan.

This book met my expectations on a lot of levels. It also comes just a little short on some others.

Pros:
premise that Doyle's book was inspired by a true story.
characters were fleshed out and relatable
creatures were excellently portrayed
An interesting take on why no one else has found the Lost World

Cons:
predicable for the most part. you can easily predict who will live and who won't.
The logic behind why this one plateau is effected the way it is is never really explained.


Overall, I still enjoyed the book and will probably buy the sequel.

If you like the original story, or just fantastic adventures, then you will enjoy this.
I did.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jmpritchett
  • 09-12-18

Book sucked

I don’t normally leave bad reviews but this book is hours of my life I can not get back. It had no ending it just left you hanging out there like what the!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rick Charles
  • 08-12-18

Not a Very Interesting Lost World

Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Primordia: In Search of the Lost World tells the story of a group of friends who uncover evidence that Doyle's book is fact rather than fiction, and attempt to find this lost world for themselves. Needless to say, they do find it, and it ends up being more than they bargained for.

While the story starts off well enough--with an escalating mystery over proving the lost world, and an increasing tension between the protagonists and antagonists--when they actually reach the lost world it all falls apart. The majority of the story focuses on them searching for the lost world, but when they get there nothing seems to happen. They wander around in the jungle and get picked off.

The antagonists themselves end up being rather underwhelming, with obscure motivations and foolish decisions that tend to jeopardize themselves more than they affect the protagonists. They are antagonistic for the sake of being antagonistic rather than behaving intuitively in each situation. They are just poorly written characters.

Also noteworthy is that for being a story about prehistory, Primordia suffers from a lot of issues in its portrayal of prehistory that detracts from the effectiveness of its narrative. This may not be of much consequence to the average reader, but for a prehistory enthusiast such as myself, it's disenchanting. Let's be honest, a story about prehistory is going to attract an audience interested in prehistory, so it would make sense to put effort into telling a story palatable to that audience.

Most notably, there is a common misconception that dinosaurs all lived in a hot, misty jungle where everything was bigger and badder. That is Primordia's lost world in a nutshell. It is a hot, misty jungle with giant bugs and deadly creatures around every corner. Additionally, many of the species inhabiting the lost world are incorrectly portrayed as living together when in reality they lived in very different times and places. It is odd when the characters encounter Titanoboa from Paleogene South America, Allosaurus from Jurassic North America, and Psittacosaurus from Cretaceous Asia all living together is this generic prehistoric jungle. When a fictional world is the premise of a story, it's important that the world be well-developed, as a well-developed world is more immersive for the audience. If a fictional world was lazily and unimaginatively constructed, it will be evident. Such is Primordia's lost world, which suffers from a stereotypical view of prehistory and lacks any character of its own. It is not a very interesting lost world.

Many of the prehistoric species mentioned in the narrative are highly exaggerated as well. Most of the creatures that the characters encounter all feel the same; scary dinosaurs with teeth and claws. They have no individual characterization. There might as well have been just one dinosaur species in the whole lost world because none of them function any differently from one another in the narrative. Some of the species behave in ways that make no sense, such as mosasaurs that can beach themselves like orcas to capture prey on land, and giant constrictor snakes (Titanoboa cerrejonensis) that are impossibly fast and agile for an animal like that. While Titanoboa is a real animal known in the fossil record, due to its size some paleontologists argue that it likely could not move on land at all, let alone speed across an open field in a matter of seconds like one did in the book. Even modern anacondas, Titanoboa's closest living relative, are primarily aquatic and cannot move very fast on land.

One note to the author's credit is the clever explanation for the lost world's existence. The story takes place on a tabletop mountain in South America, the same setting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used in his classic tale. Back when Doyle wrote The Lost World, many of the tabletop mountains in South America remained unexplored, and at the time they may have seemed like a realistic setting for a lost world. Today, even the remotest tabletop mountains have been mapped by satellite, and while some of them do harbor unique species, there is obviously nothing to the caliber of a living Tyrannosaurus or Stegosaurus on any of them. The author's workaround for getting a whole population of large dinosaurs to inhabit a secluded tabletop mountain is pretty interesting, but I won't divulge any details as that would be spoiling the story's major hinge.

As far as the audiobook narration goes, it was decent but didn't fit the story's tone very well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • adele1970
  • 07-11-18

Reminiscent of made for TV Sci-Fi action movie

This book passed the time and offered a blend of action and Sci-Fi, however, the characters and plot were a little shallow and I had trouble getting really hooked.

The premise of the book is what if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World was based on fact and not fiction? A descendant of a long-dead explorer, who purportedly was the source for the original story, discovers clues to the real truth, and along with several of his friends sets off to find out. Adventure ensues.

The characters are fairly predictable and are lightly drawn. So as they run into trouble, I was only mildly interested in their plight. I was somewhat surprised as they moved on each time, as if they did not retain trauma from what had happened.

In addition the narrator drags out things with a slow, ponderous delivery. It helped to play the audiobook at 1.25x speed to get more normal speech flow.

It’s an ok not a good listen. It passes the time and that’s it. If you are a fan of 70 and 80’s made for TV sci-fi action this will be in your sweet spot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Josh Brooks
  • 10-08-18

Great story, terrible narrator

Terrible narrator, he makes it almost impossible to listen to... but I really enjoy Beck’s books, so had to struggle through

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • rowanoak
  • 11-01-19

a very enjoyable story

surprisingly good the beginning was a little slow and I'm not crazy about narrator sorry to say but all in all it was a very good story and get me interested

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  • BryanScott
  • 19-12-18

Another excellent story

Another excellent story that is fun, scary and has very good character development. For my part, dialogue and grammar, if not done well, are deal breakers. (Although, the former more so than the latter, as the editor may be more culpable.) No worries here!

To Greig:
I always enjoy the easy flow of dialogue and laid back banter of your characters. It makes them more real and it draws one into the story like being a part of it. Being lost in a good book is arguably better than being lost in a good movie. An author like you invites the reader in as somewhat of a co-author, leaving it to them to construct, in their imagination, the world in which your stories exist. Therein lies your magic. THAT is the deal Maker.

Thank you for another enjoyable journey. I look forward to continuing in the next part of this one!

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  • Olive
  • 16-12-18

Love-Hate

Beck, you did it again. You made me simultaneously love and hate a book and want to hear the next one. Here we go with a fantastically unlikely group of people delving into Doyles imaginative nightmare/dinosaur/uber-dangerous world that for some reason only appears once every ten years when a comet or something shoots past. In order to make this crazy story work, we have to believe that the intrepid explorers are not only young, attractive, ready to go, and besties, but they also have mad skills. One is wealthier than Richard Branson and can make this outlandishly expensive trip affordable; another is a rock climber, another a soldier, etc. And, there is the requisite bad guy who just happens to be tuned in to their plans. Stupidity and weird Mangan pronunciations abound. Still, this is fun (am always interested in titanoboas, ala Conan the Barbarian) and I am willing to crank it to 1.25 to get to the good parts. Where's part 2?

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  • Michele
  • 07-09-18

My favorite author

I have read all but 2 of his books and they keep getting better I also love his narrator even though he uses a few funny words. His main characters are always military or ex-military a unimaginably strong man, someone who you know you can completely count on that is so rare these days.