Indiana Jones and the Dinosaur Eggs (1996) – Max McCoy

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Indiana Jones, the globe-trotting archaeologist, sets out on his tenth novel adventure, and the second one by Max McCoy, and much like its predecessor, the author continues to show that he knows how to tell a fairly solid Indy story, marry it with history, mythology, and legend and tie it in to what has come before, and what we know comes after with the films.

There is also a nice through line from the previous book (Philosopher’s Stone) and this one, as Indy continues his pursuit of a crystal skull, something he will mess with in the fourth film, though this skull may have a different origin.

Setting off an adventure that takes him deep into a mystery in the Gobi Desert, Indiana Jones, and his friend Granger, are aiding a young nun, Joan, find her missing father, who has sent along a stunning ecofact, what appears to be a triceratops horn, from a living dinosaur.

Pursued by murderous, bloodthirsty cannibals, meeting enlightened monks, and a truly loyal dog, McCoy’s Dinosaur Eggs story rockets along as quickly as you would expect an Indiana Jones movie to move, with action sequences reliably cropping up exactly where, and when they are supposed to.

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And while not all of the dialogue McCoy pens works coming out of Indy’s mouth, the majority of it does, and the missteps aren’t enough to eject the reader from the narrative. In fact McCoy wants to make sure he ties in the material with stuff we know is going to appear in the films. Just as Sallah appeared in the last novel, Belloq makes a brief appearance, as well as gangster Lao Che, and new friend Wu Han. And of course, Brody makes us regular recurring supportive appearance as well.

At this point, I’m sure none of the books will deal with what happened with Indy and the Ravenwoods, but perhaps that story is better left untold.

This story ties in with the dinosaur fossil finds in the Gobi desert, and presents the supposition that perhaps, somewhere, undiscovered, there may be dinosaurs, yet living. As such, the novel plays like an Indiana Jones’ take on the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story of The Lost World.

And while I’m not necessarily a fan of the plot thread created around the crystal skull and its curse, I do like the continuity that the novels have embraced.

Dinosaur, like Philosopher’s, is a quick, easy and fun read, and has a fun little addition at the end of the book, something started with the previous author, where it relates the historical events as well as the enduring myths and legends that inspired the story.

There’s still a couple more books to go, so the man in the hat will return, and if adventure has a name, it must be…. Indiana Jones.

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