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Dinotopia: The World Beneath


4.25  ·  Rating details ·  3,589 ratings  ·  94 reviews
After they are shipwrecked on a mysterious island called Dinotopia, Professor Arthur Denison and his son, Will, discover an awe-inspiring new world where dinosaurs and humans have lived together peacefully for centuries. They have only begun to adjust to this remarkable civilization before heading off on separate quests. Will takes to the sky as the pilot of a giant pteros ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by HarperTrophy (first published 1995)
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4.25  · 
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 ·  3,589 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 90s-reading
Once in awhile, I like to review classic books of the 90s, the stuff that first got me into reading. High up on that list is 1992's Dinotopia, but very near the top is its 1996 sequel, The World Beneath. I don't use amazing, magical, pure genius, or any of those adjectives much at all, but this is the rare book that I don't hesitate to lavish with praise.

First of all, this is the only time I'll ever recommend getting the hardcover - don't waste time with the paperback, there's a huge difference.
Kendall Moore
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: silver-medalists
Not as groundbreaking as the first book, but still just as beautiful.

Despite the lack of epistolary narrative, the story very much works as a Vernian style adventure of discovery and profundity that questions humanity's relationship to technology and to each other. Both are done in a subtle way so as to make the message feel natural by way of personal experience with the book.

As ever, the world-building is just splendorous in how much detail is created from one map or scene. In addition, finding
Alec Longstreth
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the first Dinotopia book so much, I decided to read the rest of the series. This one has more of the same stunning illustrations, but, uh... the writing really takes a left turn! The gentle pace of the first book and its themes of nature and sustainable living are traded in for lots of robot dinosaurs(!?!!) I was still able to roll with this, but I had a harder time forgiving the interplay of words and pictures here, which lacked the nuance of the first book. Often there is "duo-specific ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've never quit gotten over the extinction of the dinosaurs.


The art in this book ranges from "fun!" to "gorgeous..." to "Holy crap, I'd risk being a Tyrannosaurus's afternoon snack just to live there."

That said, the art is what makes the book. The story is a lot of fun but feels a little rushed and packed full of a little too much (lost civilizations, robots, underground worlds, plus, you know, dinosaurs). The characters are a little two-dimensional and the dialogue is a bit quaint. Still this
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The astounding fantasy artwork speaks for itself, as the text can be rather flat and listless for such fantastic imagery. However, those who love dinosaurs, sci-fi, and steampunk will really enjoy it.
Danielle Palmer
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This one got a little too strange for my taste...
I am always amazed at anyone who can illustrate their visions, which is one reason I purchased this book. Children are not the only ones who will enjoy this as the artwork is lavish and incredibly logical. Sure, why couldn't dinosaurs and humans work and live together in one harmonious community? I certainly bought it. The writing doesn't match the art, but that's okay, as the pictures tell the story. The page showing 'Stinktooth', a Giganotosaurus, with its stinky mouth wide open is alone worth ...more
Andrew Long
Gurney's sophomore effort falls short of his first owing principally to a break from the first-person narrative of a found journal that worked so well in the first book. The third-person omniscient narrator draws us deeper into the mythology but greatly hurts suspension of disbelief. Illustrations are as strong as always.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The World Beneath, sequel to the first beloved Dinotopia, has many of the things that made the first book so spectacular--namely amazing art, and and interesting world. This time around it even has a plot, unlike the first one which was essentially plot-less, although I would argue that it was to the book's benefit and that the plot here is to this book's detriment. More on that later.

It's a simple adventure story that steals heavily from the Atlantis myth. There's a labyrinth of caves undernea
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The art in this book is incredible, almost mindblowing. Unfortunately the writing and story lets it down-maybe that's beside the point but I wanted to like it more than I did. Actually, the story here is quite good, but it was so fast based that any potential moment of tension was glossed over, and told in a very matter of fact way. I think it's shift from first person diary in the first book to third person POV here hurt it a little.
It's still an amazing book to put on a shelf, and like I said
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I quite liked this book. It was much better than the first one, though I did like like that one as well. The first one was mainly about introducing Dinotopia and the story suffered a bit as a result. I think this one was able to tell a great story with illustrations just as colorful and detailed as the first book had while effectively introducing new elements to this universe. It didn't change my worldview or anything, so I can't give it 5 stars. It wasn't amazing, but I would still recommend it ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First read of 2018

"Breath deep, seek peace"

'The World Beneath' is an amazing sequel to the first Dinotopia book 'A Land Apart from Time' with even better illustrations of the beautiful world and its inhabitants. There is one thing that really bothered me though. It's not written in Arthur Denison's journal perspective anymore. Now it's just like a regular book without the personal view that made the first one so special. I wish James Gurney would have stuck to the way he started to write but thi
Joel K
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
My 5 and 3-year-old children are definitely young for the vocabulary and subtext in this book. But the illustrations make ALL the difference. There are so many of them, they are so elaborate, and they interact with the text in an unusual way. My 3-year-old would give this book five stars eagerly, but both children loved it and looked forward to the few pages we would read at a time.
Timothy Pitkin
While the main characters are not really all that interesting except for Crabb but the detail of the setting is really amazing as we get maps of several cities and even a lot of detail about the mythology and the legends of Dinotopia. Also I just love the artwork of this book and it is still a really cool idea for a setting.
Ethan Hulbert
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The World Beneath was almost even better than the first Dinotopia in my opinion. It delved more into the interesting parts of the world and had a much better story. Well worth checking this one out too.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The art and world building is brilliant.
Tiffany Lynn Kramer
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Once again Gurney's illustrations prove breathtaking but the writing felt a little clunky this time around.
Nicole Mosley
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved these as a child. Rich illustrations, beautifully imagined world, swashbuckling adventure.
Erin Boyington
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thomas Kincaid by way of Alan Quartermaine, with dinosaurs!
S. J.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the first volume, dinosaur fans, steampunk fans
Recommended to S. by: The series
*5+ Stars*

*The Gush*
As I stated in my review of the first book in this series, this was one of the major series of my childhood. I read the first book a dozen times over...and then the sequel was published. I bought it basically as soon as it came out and have treasured it ever since. I was so excited that another whole book with beautiful paintings and a great story would add to my knowledge of such a strange and intriguing place, and it does not disappoint.
The World Beneath tells of the furth
Drew Graham
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: me
Having shipwrecked on the shores of the uncharted island of Dinotopia, scientist Arthur Denison and his son Will have acclimated to living among its human and dinosaur residents, and grown to love and appreciate the society of their new home. This sequel to Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time follows the further semi-adventures of the Denisons as Will takes to the skies as a skybax rider and Arthur goes underground to discover more of the history of Dinotopia, along with dubious scalawag Lee Crabb ...more
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review, 2010
The best way to describe Dinotopia: The World Beneath is it's like a Disneyland theme park ride in your head. The production of this audiobook is just amazing. The characters walk by a stream and you hear the stream babbling by. Dragons fly by and you hear the roar. I was really impressed with this fun, short romp through Dinotopia.
When Arthur Denison leads an expedition deep into the mysterious caverns of The World Beneath, they discover strange mechanical walking machines shaped like dinosaurs
Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2009 rated it liked it
'The World Beneath' is the sequel to James Gurney's 'Dinotopia'.
In it, the story of Arthur and Will Denison is continued, and the audience is treated to another wonderful (and I mean full of wonder) journey through Dinotopia. In books that are heavily dependent on pictures such as those in this series, a sequel truly does tend to be good simply for providing more material (that is to say, the new paintings are still gorgeous to look at).

Although this sequel begins to slip slightly into base a
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: english
For years I didn't know that any sequels to the original Dinotopia exist. Now I finally managed to read the second volume (and look at the illustrations in it!). The illustrations still have the same magic as in the original, but the quality of the text is clearly inferior:
For one thing, it was quite a bad idea of Gurney's to switch from a diary style to normal third-person narrative. This unfavourably emphasizes the simple structure of "This happened. And then that. And another thing." Hence, t
His books are always wonderful to read. In the second part of the Dinotopia series, we learn about a world underneath Dinotopia that was once full of life. Arthur and Will both set out on adventures, one for training, and the other to learn more about the caves underneath the cities.

It is these discoveries that lead to new problems taking place on the island. Arthur discovers that there are old machines that were built to resemble dinosaurs and he wonders just what they were really used for and
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book with my kids (aged 4, 2, and 1), so the review reflects my opinion and my kids' reaction to the book. This book is absolutely stunning. The pictures alone could be studied for hours, and the text is a great frame for the pictures. My only real judgement of the book is that at times the text seems to hang on the illustrations, whereas the first Dinotopia book seemed more balanced. The sequel has similar elements to the first such as fake biological notes, feigned historical resea ...more
I started out reading this feeling disappointed because Gurney moved away from the diary aspect of the story and turned it simply into a third person narrative. It took away some of the magic and I think it affected how close the reader could get to the characters.

That said, the illustrations were gorgeous, as usual. I would love to get some of his work on my wall. I think the story was a bit weaker in some places, like with the strutters and the magic sun stones (I also noticed that Will's stor
Earlier this year, after moving into my new place, I dug up some of the boxes in my parent’s basement to consolidate and prune my collections. Of course, digging up some childhood favorites, I had to pause to flip through them again, reminding me of days past when there was plenty of time to read, whether on hot summer days or cold winter nights. Many of these books were Christmas or birthday gifts, of course, the inscriptions from family members still scrawled on the inside covers, 1988, 1990, ...more
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The continuation of the first main book, Dinotopia. It continues Arthur and Will Denison's journey through their new life on Dinotopia as they meet new people and solidify their new way of life in the realm of Dinosaurs that walk alongside humans. It's immensely enriched with detailed landscape art on the various scenes they encounter. The book also includes multiple prehistoric species of not only dinosaurs, but aquatic life and has extensive anatomy detailing certain creatures. It's simply lov ...more
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Born June 14, 1958 in Glendale, California. Raised in Palo Alto, the youngest of five children of Joanna and Robert Gurney (a mechanical engineer). Earned a B.A. in Anthropology in 1979 with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of California at Berkeley. Studied painting at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena,California, where he met his wife Jeanette. In 1984 they moved to the Hudso ...more

Other books in the series

Dinotopia (1 - 10 of 16 books)
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  • River Quest (Dinotopia, #2)
  • Hatchling (Dinotopia, #3)
  • Lost City (Dinotopia, #4)
  • Sabertooth Mountain (Dinotopia, #5)
  • Thunder Falls (Dinotopia, #6)
  • Firestorm (Dinotopia, #7)
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  • Rescue Party (Dinotopia, #9)
  • Sky Dance (Dinotopia, #10)