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Return to the Planet of the Apes 2 (1976)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Return to the Planet of the Apes 2 (1976) Return to the Planet of the Apes 2: Escape from Terror Lagoon: Author: William Arrow

This book is based on the cartoon series from the mid-70's and much improves upon the stories, much as Alan Dean Foster did with the STAR TREK LOG books (based on the animated Trek series). Astronauts Bill Hudson and Jeff Allen go to their allies Cornelius and Zira to help locate their crashed space ship. They want to self-destruct it before the war-mongering gorillas will find it and be able to use it for their own purposes. They do find the ship, but it's at the bottom of a lagoon where a huge, snake-like mutant lives. After they manage to get past the monster and accomplish their mission, Bill and Cornelius go up in a hot-air balloon and crash in the uncharted mountains of the Ice Apes. This isolated tribe takes the fact that Bill can talk in stride (the humanoids like Nova don't know language) and they help get the gorillas off their back. In fact, these apes worship what looks to be a giant, thirty-foot statue - but is in actually a giant Kong sized ape that acts as their guardian.

I always viewed this series as an alternate-reality from the movies (perhaps this is the future that happened after Caesar had established his kingdom), as it takes place a year after Taylor had landed and has all the ape characters from the first movie - Zira, Cornelius, and Zaius. Also, the Apes have a higher technology, with electricity and automobiles. The mutants or 'underdwellers' seem to be more mutated, as do the planet's animals (like the giant ape, the snake-monster in the lagoon). The humans are referred to as 'humanoids'.

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