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Fossil Hunter

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  28 reviews
"Fossil Hunter" is an Indiana Jones-style thriller that explores the Intelligent Design controversy from the points of view of two field scientists working in the strife-torn countries of Iran and Pakistan. When paleontologist Dr. Katie James leads an expedition to search for an ancient whale fossil rumored to be in the Iraqi desert, she has no idea her archrival, Nick Mur ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published April 16th 2008 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 5th 2008)
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Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
(From back cover) In the desolate Iraqi desert, a lone shepherd stumbles across a whale fossil. Initial analysis indicates that it could be a new species—a discovery that could shed light on the evolution debate.

Paleontologist Dr. Katie James is asked to lead an expedition to recover the rest of the fossil before her archrival, Nick Murad, can find it first.

But while she’s there, Katie also uncovers the unexpected—a human fossil so controversial she’s forced to collaborate with Nick to analyze t
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I initially balked at the opportunity to review Fossil Hunter because on the back of the book there's an advertisement proclaiming the book is part of the "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed campaign." Oh no...the dreaded threat of agenda-driven fiction! Thankfully, my concern has proven utterly unfounded. Fossil Hunter is a thoroughly absorbing thrill ride that takes readers from the halls of academia to the deserts of Iraq. Katie James is a renowned paleontologist who suffers from demophobia - ...more
Jill Williamson
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Review by Jill Williamson

Katie James is a paleontologist sent to Iraq to recover a fossil before her rival, Nick Murad, can. But when Katie meets her competition, she can’t help but like him. Nick is handsome and nice, but he’s not a Christian, and therefore, not even a consideration to Katie. Katie’s boss doesn’t trust Nick and is certain Nick wants to take credit for the find. But when Katie finds a different fossil, one that’s so controversial it calls evolution into question, she needs Nick’
May 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing

About the book:

In the desolate Iraqi desert, a lone shepherd stumbles across a whale fossil. Initial analysis indicates that it could be a new species-a discovery that could shed light on the evolution debate. Paleontologist Dr. Katie James is asked to lead an expedition to recover the rest of the fossil before her archrival, Nick Murad, can find it first.

My review:

Fossil Hunter is one of those books that not only entertains (and believe me, it does!) but it also educates. This is not a mindless
Dan Rowling
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This was an excellent story. If there is anything with the story that might have made it difficult, that there were too many villains coming at her from all angles. The author really turned this into a strength because there were more twists and turns than a mountain road. One thing that I was disappointed in was that the author had Katie, the heroine pretty much reject the literal 7 day creation. I'm not sure why Answers in Genesis endorsed this in their magazines, as any speaker or other infor ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Could have been so much better. Too much running around the 120 desert without dying of heat stroke/exhaustion. Not a believeable storyline at all. The science vs creationism debate was interesting but not enough info about it.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Candace read 4/09, recommended in Ben Stein's Expelled movie. ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-challenge
I enjoyed this story. The archaeological aspect is fascinating. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
OK, I actually finished this a few months ago and never got around to finishing this review. The previous parts of my review can be found below. Like I said, a good Clive Cussler type novel (my mom loves those types of books, and she liked Fossil Hunter too), Indiana Jones style protagonist, but not all rough-and-tumble only, like, say, Laura Croft, she's also a very sweet girl who is constantly troubled by what many perceive as a conflict between her faith and her career. My main complaint is t ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure, suspense
Wow. What an incredible story! This book is so far from what I normally read, and I have no idea what made me pick it up in the first place. But again, wow! If you want a first hand look at the life of archaeologists and scientists that go to remote places, working with troublesome governments, and all that comes with that kind of life, then here you go. Mr. Olson definitely seems to know his stuff when it comes to science. And writing a story about the controversy of evolution and creation had ...more
Nora St Laurent
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reader Beware this is one breathtaking ride. Better buckle up get ready for some wild adventures. Author John B. Olson’s book is filled with suspense, action and drama. Watch out Indiana Jones fans; Dr. Katie James will capture your heart! She is working at University of Mexico and is a legend in her own time. Katie James is a woman who really knows her stuff, works harder than most in the male dominated field she is in; and is being blackmailed by the head of her dept. to go to Iraq to make the ...more
Sheryl Rogener
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Fossil Hunter
by John B. Olson
Tyndale House Publishers
Release date: May 2008

Sometimes you want to read a book that challenges you; sometimes you want a book that educates you; and sometimes you want a book that acts like the proverbial Calgon slogan and "takes you away".

Fossil Hunter takes you to new places, (unless you're a paleontologist or middle east expert), and brings you into the world of paleontologist Dr. Katie James. Katie's job and reputation are on the line. Her
Rachelle Sperling
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fossil Hunter is an excellent book! The plot was strong, the characters real, the action kept me turning the pages late into the night.

Phillip E. Johnson stated: “Fossil Hunter is a delightful romantic thriller about a female Indiana Jones off on a scientific treasure hunt.” I can’t think of a better way to describe the book!

Just the story itself would have made it a great book, but the underlying premise tucked into the story brings the book to a even higher level for me personally.

The premis
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
This one took a little while to capture my interest and I found myself skim-reading it until about halfway through. But once I got interested, it was good.

In my experience with Christian novels, the main characters tend towards being a bit syrupy and perfect, but apart from Katie's mad Lara Croft skills, I found that her and Nick were both refreshingly human. They were also pretty well written and for some reason I found myself being surprised when it finally clicked (I can be a bit slow) that
Mar 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm not a regular fiction reader, but I found this read fun and captivating as I followed the famous Fossil Hunter, Katie James, through the Iraqi Desert on an fossil dig site that had many 'Indiana Jones' moments. I enjoy the ongoing global debate over evolution and creation and this fictional story gave an interesting insight to a type of real life outcome of those in the actual examination of science. My young-earth-creationist bias enjoyed the interaction between the many camps of creation. ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I bought Fossil Hunter as soon as I saw it, having read books that John Olson authored with Randall Ingermanson and really liking those.

This was a fascinating and fast-paced story about an archeologist whom none of the established scientists want to listen to because (1) her mind is open to possibilities outside the theory of evolution and (2) she has discovered something that those same people don't want to recognize.

Set in Iraq, with bodyguards, ministers, and others whom you're never sure wha
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book – Highly recommended. Like others noted you can not help but compare this book to a female version of Indiana Jones. It has adventure, politics, and a hint of romance. Olson does a wonderful job of writing this book from a female (Dr. Katie James) perspective with her strengths and vulnerabilities. This book educated me about paleontology, fossil hunting competition, Middle East politics and the never-ending debate about evolution. I especially liked the “fights/discussi ...more
Meadow Frisbie
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Katie James is a christian evelutionist. (if that's possible) and is constantly ridiculed due to her belif.
She is sent on one last mercy trip to discover a missing link in whales, but what she finds is something that will shake her belif in evelution forever.

This was amazing!! It was written well and had a great plot. At the end, I couldn't decide who was good or bad! It was such secrecy, very good. I loved how in exposes what scientists do to other's who find evidence to Intelegent Design. Fi
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a very enjoyable read. While I was expecting more paleontological content related to whales (from reading the book's description), I was let down on that front. The whale evolution references are generic and used very sparingly as a sub-context for the real subject, which is the question of scientific integrity in paleontology, as challenged by politics, religion, and money. It made me aware of issues that I hadn't thought of before, so I would say it was an enjoyable and worthwhile rea ...more
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes adventure with a touch of romance
Shelves: blogreads
This book has everything, action, suspense, romance. I loved the main character, Katie, and thought her demophobia added depth to her Indiana Jones-type character.
At first the science aspect of it scared my puny little brain, but John does a fantastic job of making it accesible for people like me.
This book is set mostly in Iraq, so make sure you have a fan on hand while you're reading because John's descriptions will have you sweating as well as gripping your seat.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it
indiana jones character is a christian woman
ok plot. ok characters. mostly a rant against scientists who refuse to admit the possibility of the existence of God
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, fast paced book with just enough romance in it. Not too preachy or scientific either. Fun read and I'll definately be looking for more from this author. ...more
Aug 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Interesting twist with action, evolution and politics. It has the elements I enjoy talking about even though the plot is a bit far fetched.
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it
My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Review to follow
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it. Surprisingly clean. :)
Apr 12, 2012 rated it liked it
good read but a bit to technical for those of us who aren't geologists/palentologists. also a bit confusing to follow. ...more
I had initial trepidation about reading this at first upon discovering it had themes of Christianity and Intelligent Design, but it was really well-written and fast-paced fun!
Nick Woodall
Great little book! Good read and exciting to boot! Based in Iraq, readers will readily identify with current events.
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Mar 18, 2012
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John B. Olson is a novelist who lives with his wife Amy and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area. John earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and did postdoctoral research at the University of California at San Francisco. His books have won several awards, including a Christy Award, a Christy finalist, a Silver Angel award, and placement on the New York Pu ...more

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