Bestselling author Michael Crichton researches the dangers of genetic engineering and nanotechnology in his book Prey. In his work of fiction Crichton shows how easily this evolving technology could be exploited and used if put into the hands of unscrupulous researchers. Frighteningly, the author’s research into the subject seems to be in depth and the dangers that he poses makes one realize how susceptible the human race is to this dangerous technology that may spell the end of the human race as we know it.
In the book Crichton utilizes one high-tech whistle-blower by the name of Jack Forman, a computer programmer trained to create programs that mimic prey animals, to take us inside of a facility where researchers are working on developing a top-secret project. Jack is originally presented to us as a house husband who is out of work and becomes suspicious of his ambitious wife’s activities for a research lab known as Xymos Technology. With that as the background Jack is called in to help the firm correct a programming bug in one of the programs that he had created and Jack jumps on the chance to resume working while having the opportunity to observe what his wife is up to. Jack, however, quickly discovers that there is a lot more going on out there in the Nevada desert than just an illicit affair between his wife and his good friend and he finds his life and the lives of his children in jeopardy as a swarm of nanotechnical units have escaped from the facility with the ability to mimic human behavior.
This cloud of nanoparticles – micro-robots are self-sustaining and self-reproducing. They have been programmed with an innate intelligence and learn from experience. For all practical purposes, they are alive and have been programmed as predators and become deadlier with each passing hour. Every attempt to the nanoparticle swarm fails and the human race is their prey.
Drawing on up to the minute facts that are fresh from today’s headlines Michael Crichton tells a compelling story of a mechanical plague and the desperate efforts of a handful of scientists to stop itSo, while the monsters in this book may be smaller than those in Jurassic park Crichton’s skill as a great suspense novelist is bigger than life making Prey one of the scariest reads available. However, that is not to say that the novel has no flaws. Though these may be minor the science is a little over the head of the average reader and may be difficult to get into if the reader isn’t tenacious enough to hang in there in the beginning.
However, if the reader can get through some of the lengthy explanations that sometimes read like dry academic lessons they will find a book that is more than worthy of the read. I found the book quite insightful and thanks to the sobering forward regarding the real danger of technology that continue to evolve faster than man knows how to manage them I couldn’t put the book down. Given that anyone who is interested in a scientifically based book with a chilling story edge there is no way you should pass reading Michael’s Crichton’s Prey.