Friday, February 21, 2014

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
Publisher:  Harper
Pages: 529
Rating: 4/5

     In the locked office of a Honolulu building, three men are found dead, with no sign of a struggle except for ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies.
     In the lush rain forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting.  Here, seven brilliant graduate students recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up company are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn.  Prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power - armed only with their knowledge of the natural world - they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself to survive.
     Melding scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction in vintage Michael Crichton fashion - completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston - Micro is an instant classic of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.

Micro centers on the survival story of seven graduate students; Karen, Rick, Danny, Peter, Amar, Jenny, and Erika. This team is recruited by Nanigen, a new company located on Honolulu, to study the various plants and animals found in their highly diverse forest.  The students, excited to do their work in such a nice environment, quickly fly out to the island.  Upon landing, they learn that Eric, Peter's brother and a Nanigen executive, has gone missing.  Peter, suspicious that CEO Vincent Drake had something to do with his brother's disappearance, brings his colleagues deep into company corruption, government projects, and bugs, lots of bugs.

It is really difficult to explain this book without giving a major part of the plot away.  It happens close to the beginning of the novel, however, I do not want to give it away as it completely surprised me.  That's one of the things I love about Michael Crichton's books.  The plot and progression of Micro was completely unexpected.  With so many twists and turns, I was never bored or hit a low point even though the novel was 529 pages long.  What impressed me even more about Micro was the amount of factual information on bugs and the natural world within the novel.  I now know about the interior of a solitary wasp's nest and the ferociousness of ants among other things.  I love knowing that I am learning in my leisure time.  Plus, how cool is it to read a fictional book with a bibliography?!

This book was just what I wanted.  I was looking for a break from the non-fiction books and memoirs I've been reading lately and found it in this thrilling mystery.  I was also extremely pleased that this novel, due to its facts, would not feel like a deviation from my goal to grow this year.  If you're looking for an exciting, page-turner but not willing to sacrifice intellectual growth, I would definitely suggest picking up Micro.

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