Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species - including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino - some already gone, others at the point of vanishing.
After the exhilaration of Dominion, in Unnatural History we are treated to a tired and unimaginative plod through a bunch of re-hashed ideas which all worked better in previous novels and stories. Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman do their usual trick of trying to be too clever and adding stuff to the "mythos" rather than concentrating on what matters--original plot and character.