Otherlands by Thomas Halliday

3.5 out of 5 stars

We have had life on this planet for a substantial period that it has been whirling around the sun. But the life that you will find is significantly different to the plants birds and animals that we can find around us now.

In this fascinating book, award-winning palaeobiologist Thomas Halliday will take us back to the dawn of time and talk us through the flora and fauna across all of the seven continents from Scotland, to Chile, Italy, Australia and Alaska to China.

In each of these locations he takes us on an immersive journey into the animals that you were likely to see should you be able to step out of a conveniently located time machine. Each chapter is packed with this level of detail and sadly this density is almost too much at times and I ended up skimming it a little.

Whilst I liked it, it was like reading the screenplay of an Attenborough documentary where someone had described every leaf and creature in each shot. I did feel that the epilogue kind of didn’t fit in with the rest of the book, but I get why he included it. It is a warning to say that where we are heading with the climate has happened in the past and it wasn’t a particularly easy time for life on earth. Not bad overall.

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  1. Liz Dexter

    A great cover, though!

    • Paul

      Isn’t it?

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