Long time no see! I promise I didn’t forget about you, things have been just been seriously loco lately. But I’m back with lots of reviews to share, the first of which is Prey by Michael Crichton. This one is a game changer y’all.
So let’s start with Michael Crichton. If you live in the real world and not an alternate reality you know his works and influence. The most obvious example would be the Jurassic Park film franchise (shout out to my main man Jeff Goldblum). But up until Pry I hadn’t actually read any of his books. My Mom, bless her, loves Crichton’s novels and when I needed something different she suggested this one.
I found the premises of Pry extremely intriguing; our narrator and protagonist, Jack, used to be a computer tech who was fired when he discovered some shady happenings withing his company. Now he’s a stay at home dad while his wife works at a nano robotics company. Her behavior becomes weirder as time goes on and Jack is understandably concerned that she’s having an affair. But he’s distracted when their daughter, a baby, wakes up in the middle of the night in terrible pain while bright red skin. The ER doctors can’t figure out what’s going on and when they give her an MRI to find out, she becomes well again. Jack’s wife doesn’t care and keeps disappearing at the same time that bizarre things are happening around the house. Then Jack gets offered a job at his wife company and things start to fall into place.
The long short of it: if you thought creating tons of tiny indestructible robots who can adapt to their surroundings and grow increasingly intelligent without adding a kill switch was a good idea, you were mistaken.
What are you supposed to do when they decide to hunt you?
At the end, we’re left with an impression about what dangers could occur when man tries to control things they shouldn’t. But it isn’t so obnoxious it ruins that rest of the book.
As for the actual writing, I was pleasantly surprised. I assumed a book that revolves around robotics would be an incredibly difficult read. But Crichton manages to explain the scientific concepts in such a way that you can easily keep up. I only have two complaints; the first of which has to do with the characters. Some of them seemed a little flat to me, I hate using that but it is appropriate here. And beyond Jack there wasn’t much development. The second complaint is that it was a little dry in some spots, but on the whole it kept me engaged and was an interesting read.
It’s compelling and enjoyable. If you are looking for something different but aren’t up for something like Dune than this could be a good choice.
Andromeda Strain is also on my list so we’ll revisit Crichton eventually. If in the meantime there’s another book I should also add to my ever growing list let me know!