Review: Archipelago, Richard Grigg

Rating: 4 out of 5

This was a solid overview of the geological factors which have created the Hawaiian Islands with the complimentary diversions into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Emperor Seamount Chain. I will start by stating my conclusion — that overall, this book is well worth the time it takes to read it. The reader can also rest easy as the style is very accessible, and the science-y aspects are introduced with a lot of care.

As a downside, in some cases the author does not acknowledge very easily that we do not know everything yet (and probably never will about some things, such as the history before the 70 million year mark at which we are in the Pacific Ocean right now). Similarly, the constant use of non-SI units is a pain.

Biology and human history are both covered in less detail than the geological questions, but the author does try to describe both what we know and what we can guess about the species present on the islands. Lastly, a few more tables could have been useful in these chapters to delineate the differences between the islands in a more elaborate way.

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