Review: Primeval Novel 1: Shadow of the Jaguar

When an anomaly opens in South America, Cutter and his team get caught between local interest groups and something horrific from the past…

The first original Primeval novel is set somewhere around the middle of the second season. Claudia has gone, to be replaced by Jenny, and the team are based out of the ARC. However, unfortunately there’s no sign of the oleaginous Oliver Leek or the Helen Cutter-led conspiracy that enlivened the second half of the season. Leek’s absence is felt keenly in the scenes featuring Lester, who definitely benefited from a foil to play off.

The novel widens the series’ remit, for the first time indicating that the anomalies are not confined to theBritish Isles. In a move reminiscent of the original Doctor Who New Adventures (“too wide and too broad for the small screen”) Shadow of the Jaguar doesn’t have to worry about budgetary constraints, presenting numerous scenes that simply wouldn’t be feasible even on Primeval‘s ever increasing budget. It also foreshadows the third season’s theme of creatures coming through the anomalies being the root of mythological creatures

There are a few too many cute in-jokes which can take the reader out of the story, but overall Saville captures the voices of the characters, particularly Cutter and Connor. Occasional bits of info-dump presented as dialogue are a bit leaden, but for the most part, the pace is well maintained, and it’s good to see the characters taken so far outside their comfort zone.

An enjoyable read.  7/10

Paul Simpson

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