So it doesn't happen often, but I picked this book up for a definite reason.
My sister had reminded me of the Dinotopia tv series and then I found this wandering around the project Gutenberg website shortly afterwards, and it sounded just perfect.
And it was. It was a very nice adventure tale, with a plucky protagonist (and love interest, to a certain extent!), elements of mystery and I must admit that I found the tension between the Englishmen and the Germans very entertaining and a bit hilarious, although I don't have any logical explanation as to why. Until the hominids made their appearance. Then the story just seemed to lose its thread and whimper off, probably also because the main character ended up alone and none of the characters were developed well enough to carry a plot alone without getting boring. On top of that there was the shit-ass racist language and the "the more the hominid group is civilized the wither they are" thing which was painful to read even as a white person. I guess one couldn't expect much better from old-timey sci-fi (or just old-timey novels in general), but this one literally had nothing to make up for it and it was so fucking pervasive.
If you really want to read it, drop off when the guy sets out to find Lys.