Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review of the Caspak Trilogy

The Caspak Trilogy is a series of books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan adventures. Edgar Rice Burroughs has written books with prehistoric animals before, like in his Pellucidar series, but this is a trilogy that goes for a lost world angle. The first book in the series is The Land That Time Forgot. During World War I, a German U-Boat sinks an American ship, and a man named Bowen J. Tyler finds himself with a woman named Lys La Rue and his dog, Nobs. They are rescued by a ship, but sunk again by the same U-boat. The surviving crew manage to capture the U-boat and work towards getting back home. However, they get lost and end up at a continent called Caprona (which was named after a fictitious explorer who discovered it). They enter into the continent to find themselves in a prehistoric world filled with dinosaurs and ancient mammals. The natives of this place call the land Caspak, and the people of the U-boat try to set up a colony. However, the German prisoners mutiny and leave the Americans and British on Caspak while they leave. To make matters worse, Lys is abducted and Bowen has to find her while braving the dangers of a primeval world.The sequel, The People That Time Forgot, takes place some time after Bowen's manuscript is found. A rescue party heads to Caprona/Caspak to try and rescue Bowen, Lys, and the survivors. Leading this expedition is Tom Billings, who is an old friend of Bowen's. Tom flies a plane over Caspak, but is brought down by a pterosaur. He rescues a native girl, Ajor, from a prehistoric cat. After being attacked by some ape-men, Tom decides to take Ajor back to her people, the Galu. While traveling, Tom learns that in Caspak, people obtain status through a type of evolutionary progression, with the Galu being the highest form of evolutionary people. Tom learns of a plan to try and conquer the Galu by people who had not reached that stage yet, but are not willing to wait, and must try to stop them before they destroy Ajor's people.The final book in the Caspak Trilogy, Out Of Time's Abyss, concludes the story of Caspak and the people who discovered its secrets. In this story, an expedition that left Fort Dinosaur is returning to its home. This company, led by Bradley, are constantly being visited by a winged human. Bradley is abducted by this human, which is known as a Wieroo, and taken to the Wieroo civilization. He also meets a native girl (who is also a Galu like Ajor) named Co-Tan, who is being held by the Wieroo because she is a cos-ata-lo, or someone who was born a Galu. According to legend, the people who can make cos-ata-lo are meant to become Caspak's rulers. The Weiroo are all male, so they abduct Galu women to try and get female Wieroo, but with no luck. Bradley rescues Co-Tan and escapes from the Wieroo. While falling in love with Co-Tan, Bradley must undergo a deadly journey with lots of twists and surprises to return her to her people.
I am a huge fan of dinosaurs and like to read stories that feature them. However, I think that these stories push things a little too far with the idea of an evolution that takes a lifetime instead of millions of years. The Wieroo are also just plain weird to me. I did enjoy the stories as a whole and wish that Edgar Rice Burroughs did take the time to create more stories in Caspak. I would recommend these stories to anyone who's a fan of prehistory.

No comments:

Post a Comment