The Lazarus Taxa, by Lindsey Kinsella
Hey guys, welcome back to Bookish Beyond.
Have you discovered any new favourite reads lately?
Today, I’m excited to be reviewing The Lazarus Taxa, a gripping science fiction thriller by Lindsey Kinsella.
So, if you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are all settled in, let’s begin.
The Lazarus Taxa is set mainly between 2020 and 2021, before shifting back in time 68, 000, 000 years to the Cretaceous Period.
Sidney Starley, an ambitious explorer is invited to join Richard Mansa’s team to travel back in time, to explore the world tens of millions of years ago. Sid’s job will be to lead off-site expeditions and see to mechanical maintenance. However, once the six-month expedition to the past has begun, it appears obvious that Genesis (the company funding the expedition) is hiding something. Furthermore, it appears that someone is trying to sabotage their experiment. But who?
Will they safely return to their own time, or be trapped in the past, forever?
Of the characters involved, the following four gave off the strongest impressions to me; Mr Richard Mansa, Sidney Starley, Doctor Kiara, and palaeontologist Dian.
Firstly, let’s look at Mr Richard Mansa, owner of the company Genesis. As a very successful and famous man with his own commercial empire, he was – as one might expect – a man who expects to get whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Mr Mansa was an older man who still possessed a strong aura of authority. It was plain to see that he was ambitious, seeking to profit from ‘time tourism’, as it were. Over the course of the story, we see just how shady and deceptive he truly is, with chapters from his past emphasizing these negative traits. As a result, I never warmed to his character.
Secondly, we come to Sidney Starley (Aka: Sid), who has worked hard to become a sound engineer and explorer. He proved to be highly ambitious, seeking to do things no-one-else has ever done before. He is soon recruited to join a scientific expedition with Richard Mansa’s team (to Colarado, in the Cretaceous Period- tens of millions of years in the past), to be their new ‘field engineer.’ Despite his skill at exploring remote locations, Sid proved to be a bit reckless at times. He always felt the need to prove himself to others, to all the people who said he’d never amount to anything. Deep down, Sid has always felt like a disappointment to others, suffering from dyslexia. It was easy to relate to Sid on these points and I truly felt for his character’s constant need to try and prove his worth, something which constantly eats away at your sense of self, never letting up.
Next, we come to Doctor Kiara Maxwell, a very smart and logical woman, who has a troubling history of agoraphobia. She is a core part of the Genesis team, having a knack for analysing situations, to come up with novel solutions to company problems. She proved to be a truly selfless woman in the end, as shown by her final act in the story, which saved the lives of countless others.
Finally, we come to Dian, a noted palaeontologist working for Genesis. It was immediately evident that she had her own way of doing things and was full of a childlike curiosity and sense of wonder. There was a sense of purity about her and her intentions: she never wished to do harm to any creature, human or otherwise. All she was interested in was studying a fascinating past time period and learning all she could about it. She made for a highly adventurous character, taking risks wherever she could, in order to see more of the Cretaceous Period and its lizard-like inhabitants. She also proved to be highly intelligent and analytically-minded, picking apart scientific data with ease, in order to understand the past world around them.
There were many positives regarding The Lazarus Taxa, which I have listed in the following points:
- I liked how the author included brief sections which discussed history and Palaeontology, imparting intriguing knowledge without digressing from the story at large.
- The author has a clear-cut, engaging style of writing which immediately pulled me in.
- I loved how we were shown how the first time-machine was created, and how Richard Mansa became involved with time travel through snippets of backstory throughout the novel.
- The author sets the scene well, creating a rich sensory experience for the reader.
- Tension was built up gradually and came to a peak in such a way that had me glued to the final chapters.
- The story had a very satisfying, gripping ending, with all loose ends being tied up.
The following four quotes were equally memorable and help to sum up the core themes of The Lazarus Taxa.
1) ‘Time. Each of us experiences the phenomenon every day. We measure time, we record time, we manage time; or at least we try to. The clock is forever ticking and our lives are inexorably chained to it.’
2) ‘Disaster is one of the few constants in the world. Another, however, is life’s ability to adapt. The game of evolution is rarely won by the largest or the strongest, but by those that adapt best to the changing world around them.’
3) ‘We all make choices. They do not always pay off.’
4) ‘Greed makes a man blind and foolish and makes him an easy prey for death.’
Overall, The Lazarus Taxa was a gripping science fiction thriller, with an intriguing premise involving time travel and dinosaurs. Themes of greed and deception featured heavily as did a deep-set need to prove one’s worth.
My Rating: 4 stars.
Recommended to: lovers of science fiction thrillers involving time travel and palaeontology.
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