Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Micro by Michael Crichton & Richard Preston

Jurassic Park meets Honey I Shrunk the Kids. That's the best way I can describe this final offering from the mind of Michael Crichton. Micro was an unfinished manuscript Crichton had been working on when he passed away from cancer in 2008. It was finished by Richard Preston, brother of Douglas Preston, who wrote The Cobra Event, and The Hot Zone. I've enjoyed books by both authors and I think Preston was an excellent choice to finish Crichton's story.

Seven graduate students have come to Hawaii to look into working for Nanigen, an obscure, high-tech company that's at the cutting edge of medical research and nano-technology. Nanigen claims the ability to construct tiny robots, some of which are mere millimeters in diameter. They use these robots to perform research, gathering samples in the microbiological world in order to develop new medications.

What these students learn when they arrive is that Nanigen's technology isn't in creating these minuscule robots. Their technology is far more advanced and dangerous - it shrinks things, and not just the robots it builds, it can shrink anything: robots, equipment, scientists, and graduate students. Unfortunately for the students, they're shrunk against their will having uncovered the sinister side of Nanigen's psychopathic president.

The idea behind the story is outlandish, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment in reading it. The world is a far more dangerous place when you're half an inch tall and have to survive in the Hawaiian forest. Crichton (and Preston) do a great job of creating a sense of what that world would be like and creating the same level of fear for me that I felt for T. rexes and velociraptors only this time they did it with birds, wasps, spiders, and ants.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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