Page count is approximate because I don’t have the book with me at the moment.
Anyway, I made a start and finished the first chapter. A very different tone from the likes of Brusatte, Kean and, in their own way, also Liz Kalaugher and Matin Durrani (the authors of Furry Logic). And a welcome change, to be honest — “oh look! Fireworks! Sparklers! MeMeMe!” (the latter, only in Brusatte’s and Kean’s case, of course) may all be well and good for a while, at least if not used as an outlet for the author’s own oversized ego, but it’s a relief to see that there are some authors out there who care about their topic enough to talk about it in a straightfforward manner without feeling the need to overemphasize things all the time. (Even when they’re talking about a development as sensational in pure science terms as the Cambrian explosion.) Which includes, incidentally, the one or two paragraphs’ worth of bare-bones information (each) on some of the scientists whose research and field work helped advance our understanding of those developments. I’d say we’re off to a solid start.
Note: The authors of this book shy away from using scientific terms and Latin species names decidedly less than those of some of the other books we’ve read recently. The terms and species names are (mostly) explained, and it’s not something I take issue with personally — much to the contrary, in fact. But together with the decidedly less conversational and more matter of fact tone, in and of itself this makes for a somewhat more “true science writing” feel than most of our recent reads. To some readers, this may come across as a bit dry.