Dragon Teeth: Part 15

Here begins William Johnson’s journey back to civilization. Or at least his definition of it. Accompanied by Emily and the Earp Brothers, Johnson sets off, ever on his guard for Black Dick Curry’s attack. On the way there, they do get attacked, but Wyatt Earp doubts that it’s the last that they are going to see of him. Sure enough, they get ambushed while they’re trying to cross the river.Wyatt manages to trick them into running away without needing to actually kill anyone.

I really wish Wyatt’s character had more time to show his stuff. He’s a really smart, interesting person. He’s foiled Dick’s plans twice with just his wits. I know that Micheal Crichton passed away in 2008, but I still want a Earp brothers centered story. Whether it’s via fan-made content or ouija board, I want more Wyatt Earp.

And once a-freaking-gain, Johnson is dissaspointed that nobody got killed. After everything that he’s been through, he still has that bloodlust from the beginning of the book. It just seems like the least interesting character is the focus of the book, and he doesn’t really seem to grow as a character.

Regardless of my opinions of Johnson’s character, he does make a good observation about the soldiers that are fighting in the war. He meets a soldier in Custer, drinking heavily. The emotions in his words were really intense. It really forces the reader to ponder the morality of war, and really, who make that decision. I’ve read some truly awful things that people have said or written in the late 1800’s. I can’t help but wonder, how many people thought like the soldier that Johnson met? Is this an example of a modern person projecting their modern ideas on someone, or is this something that people could actually see in 1876? I don’t know, I don’t have the answer to that. But I like to beleive that as a whole, people are better than we like to beleive that we are. I like to beleive that even when awful things permeate our society, there is going to be somebody that opposes it. How else would people ever improve?

Anyway, after Johnson passes through Custer, he arrives at Fort Laramie, only to run into an old “friend”. Professor Marsh. Now, it’s been a while since anyone from either expedition had seen Johnson, so Marsh doesn’t recognise him. In fact, Johnson is able to use this to get news about what people think happened to him. Unfortunately, news of his “death” has reached his family back in Philedelphia, which he figures out once he gets to Cheyenne.

Now, I won’t touch on the fact that Johnson really doesn’t seem to remember Lucienne at all, despite being back in her town. Now, his attention is on Emily. I’ve already made my point about just forgetting about certain characters. The joke’s on him though, but that’s a twist that I won’t spoil here.

Anyway, Johnson gets a rude surprise when he’s arrested…for the arrest of William Johnson. His father, after receiving a request for money from his “dead” son, figured that someone must be impersonating his son. In a Wyatt Earp level moment of cleverness, Johnson is able to convince his father that he is who he says he is. He gets released from jail and Is able to continue traveling back east.

Finally, William Johnson makes it back to Philedelphia. He returns the bones to Cope, has the final word with Marsh, settles his bet with Marlin, and reunites with his family. Now, despite my disagreement with his mother’s opinion of men with beards, the books wraps up with a concisde and satisfying conclusion to William Johnson’s adventure.

There is a brief postscript describing what happened to Cope, Marsh, Sternberg, and Wyatt Earp, as well as a note from Crichton describing the history of the realer professors Marsh and Cope, as well as the liberties he took in writing his novels. It’s an interesting addition for the history buff that decides to pick up this book.

Now, what are my thoughts on the book as a whole? It’s good, but rough around the edges. I think I set my expectations a little bit too high from the beginning, and I forgot that this wasn’t technically complete. Still, once it got going, I had difficulty putting it down. If you like hard science fiction, if you like history, if you like westerns, or you just like adventure and drama, I think that Dragon Teeth is a book for you.

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