Bones of the Earth (2002)

Backcover Synopsis: World-renowned paleontologist Richard Leyster’s universe changed forever the day a stranger named Griffin walked into his office with a remarkable job offer … and an ice cooler containing the head of a freshly killed Stegosaurus. For Leyster and a select group of scientific colleagues an impossible fantasy has come true: the ability to study dinosaurs up close, in their own era and millieu.

Combining time travel and dinosaurs seems like a sure winner to me (since I like both SF and dinosaurs), and indeed the book succeeds on this account. Great characters, a great story and the antagonists of the story grew neatly out of the premise. The book has also an interesting theory why the dinosaurs died out, one I haven’t seen elsewhere. Yet near the end of the story everything falls apart in my opinion. I will spoiler it for you, the whole timeline and with it everything that has happened in the books gets erased.

That’s why I hated the ending. At the end the characters are asked whether they would still have done everything like they did, if they still would have pursued scientific research even if they knew they would get erased, and the answer is yes. I understand the point behind it, I probably would have done the same, but still, as a conclusion to a novel it’s just not a good idea to make invalid what has happened during the whole time.