They Were Gone for Days and No One Seemed to Notice

Lost City by Scott Ciencin

Dinotopia: Lost City

by Scott Ciencin

Rating: 3 out of 5.


From Goodreads: Andrew, the son of a Dinotopian innkeeper, makes a strange discovery one night when a hooded dinosaur leads him and two friends to a remote, sealed-off city. When they begin to explore the forbidden area, the trio are thrust into a dangerous adventure–one they can survive only if they can put aside their chronic rivalries and come to understand the lost race of Troodons, who have existed there in seclusion for centuries.

From the back of the book: In search of adventure, thirteen-year-old Andrew convinces his friends Lian and Ned, to explore the forbidden Lost City. But the last thing they expect to discover is a group of meat-eating Troodons!

For centuries, this lost tribe of dinosaurs has lived secretly in the crumbing city. Now Andrew and his friends are trapped! They must talk the tribe into joining the rest of Dinotopia. Otherwise the Troodons may try to protect their secrets by making Andrew, ned, and Lian citizens of the Lost City – for good!

Initial Thoughts

When I was a kid, reading was a bit of a chore. I believe this was because I had not yet discovered the right “alternate word” to fall in love with. That changed when I found Dinotopia by Artist and Author James Gurney. Reading through the Dinotopia books and seeing the sketches and paintings of people and dinosaurs and dinosaur-shaped robots ignited my imagination. And I have to be honest, it still does.

As the years passed, I discovered that other authors had been inspired by Gurney’s art and storytelling and so had decided to expand on his story by adding their voices to his. One such author is Scott Cienein, author of the book we are discussing today: Lost City.

I believe this is an excellent book for upper-elementary and middle-grade readers. The sentences are short and easy to read, though they might feel a bit terse to more advanced readers.

It’s doubtful that there is anything in this book that even the most conservative readers will find offensive. Though I think it’s funny that the kids disappear on their little adventure for days (weeks?), and when they return home, no one seems to have noticed. Did I miss something? Please comment below if you read the book and find that I do not remember this detail correctly.

The story’s main theme is about helping those who are set in their ways to learn to listen to others and be open to hearing new or different perspectives. In this case, it’s the Troodons who have lived a certain way for many years, and Andrew and his friends must convince them of the value of rejoining Dinotopian society, which proves difficult for the Troodons. However, Andrew is an excellent storyteller who uses this skill to help his new dinosaur friends overcome their fear of change.

“By practicing our art every day, we gain strength. By learning from our mistakes, we gain wisdom. By crossing swords with an opponent, we gain power.”

Scott Ciencin, Lost City

The Complete Dinotopia Series

Click on the button above if you would like to explore all 22 books in the Dinotopia series. There are four books written by James Gurney that readers of all ages will easily enjoy. Alan Dean Foster wrote two novels aimed at adults and young adults. The rest of the series is written by a variety of authors.

If you like dinosaurs, adventures, pirates, hidden cities, and treasures beyond imagination, then you don’t want to miss these stories from the island of Dinotopia!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or contact me via social media or email.

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