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Michael Crichton

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : HarperCollins

Published : 2002

Copyright : Michael Crichton 2002

ISBN-10 : HB 0-00-715379-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-715379-4

Publisher's Write-Up

In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles - micro-robots - has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.

It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour.
Every attempt to destroy it has failed.
And we are the prey.

As fresh as today's headlines, Michael Crichton's most compelling novel yet tells the story of a mechanical plague and the desperate efforts of a handful of scientists to stop it. Drawing on up-to-the-minute scientific fact, Prey takes us into the emerging realms of nanotechnology and artificial distributed intelligence in a story of breathtaking suspense. Prey is a novel you can't put down.

Because time is running out.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (050103) Rating (8/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
Jack has lost his job at Mediatronics running a program division writing distributed processing software. Having also been made head of security following a recent breach Jack starts to uncover irregularities. Telling the management he suddenly finds more people are involved than he thought, most at the very top, and is fired. Unable to get work he has become a househusband while his wife Julia, a vice-president of Xymos, a company specializing in high technology research, takes on the role of ‘breadwinner’.

The relationship between Jack, Julia and the children is very well done. At first we see Julia resenting Jack although it is she that spends too much time at work. The role reversal element to the story is obvious and slightly overdone but does make you think and see things from another perspective.

The story then starts to take off. Julia becomes more and more unpredictable in her actions and you begin to realise there is something else causing the problems. Following a car accident where Julia is injured, Jack receives a call from his ex-employers needing his help. A program he helped to develop has been sold to Xymos for their development work and it has started to produce unexpected results. Will he return to sort things out?

Jack jumps at the chance, not only to get back into work but also to find out what his wife has been doing. He leaves for Xymos’s research establishment in the Nevada desert and what he finds there is beyond his worst fears.

You will have to read the rest as I won’t give any more away, just to say it is well worth it if you want a damn good read.

Some people don’t like Crichton’s techno-thrillers, especially those who work in the fields discussed. However, I think the stories he creates, based as much as possible on the extensive research he must do, are a credit to the author. If he had simply written a story, without reference, no one would comment – it would just be a story. Since he tries to base as much of his work on current thinking he is criticised… in my opinion unfairly. Prey, research and techno-babble aside, is simply a very good thriller.

In summary, a well-researched and gripping novel, with plenty of references for those who are interested in further reading on the subject of nanotechnology and its implications.
Nigel (5th January 2003)

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