BLUF: Try reading the first chapter. If you can get through the lecture without finding it tedious, you may enjoy this book. If you can’t, well, it doesn’t get any better from there.
I think this book...
...has few similarities with the movie.
This is actually a good thing. There is a scene or two that is similar from the movie, but that's it.
... is fine to read as a standalone.
You don’t need to read the first book in order to understand this book.
...is descriptive, but not about things we care about.
Lost World is filled primarily with the long-winded lectures/rambles by one of the main characters Malcolm.
... is lacking a good story line.
You start with the character introductions. Then it moves to a character getting lost/stuck/needing help on an island.
One story line turns into a rescue mission. The rescue mission falls apart when said character ends up not wanting to be rescued from the island. They seem to hang out a bit, in awe naturally, of what is going on around them, but don’t seem to care much about leaving the island.
You have another story line develop around a group of people who tracked the above character to the island, and seem interested in collecting dinosaur eggs for some reason. These characters are presumed to be the bad guys, but they don’t interact enough with their counterparts to really add to the story.
...is lacking normal character emotions?
There is some awe and some fear in the book, but not as much as I would expect. This may be my apathy for the book talking though.