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Michael Crichton
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  113,645 ratings  ·  2,242 reviews
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
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published 2002 by Harper Collins Publishers
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DNF at page 175/369.

Dear book,

Don't like you photo: I dont like you itsme_zpse8e97248.gif

It's me, not you. I was really into you in the beginning, but you lost me when you got too technical. That's when I lost my interest in you. There was no coming back from that. While I found your premise fascinating and terrifying at the beginning, after you lost me, the premise wasn't interesting to me anymore. This is purely me, and is not your fault. You see, I have an addiction to the Kate Daniels series. I was spending time with you while waiting for the buddy
Artificial intelligence morphing into artificial life, threatening life as we know it. Nano-bots and their hive mentality, swarming and learning. Sounds like a winner, but it didn't even reach mediocre for me. The uber-thin characterizations capped it. I remember liking this author's Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, but this one didn't do much for me.
David P.
I remember I first learned that Jurassic Park was actually a book - that was sometime last year. Well, I read it this year, and Jurassic Park turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. And then I saw Prey by Michael Crichton (the genius behind Jurassic Park) and figured "There's no way this is as good as Jurassic Park." After reading it, though, I found out that Prey is another home run by Michael Crichton, a spectacular book comparable to Jurassic Park, and probably a top three book ...more
I used to love Crichton. I got on a kick in high school where I read Jurassic Park, Terminal Man, Andromeda Strain, and Congo, and I liked them all. The stories and characters were overused stereotypes, but I always felt like I learned something because Crichton did such thorough research.

The last 2 I tried to read were Timeline and Prey. I couldn't even finish either one. The science was SOOO bad. I don't know if I've just gotten more sophisticated, or if he's jumped the shark, but I can't imag
If someone recommended to me a book about shape-shifting creatures who feed on human flesh to spawn and have a central mothership nest in the middle of a desert, I think I would have never, ever picked up that book and recommended Twilight to that person in return, out of sheer spite. Yes, and I think I would have picked Twilight over this kind of book in a heartbeat.

Well, what do ya know, those would have been the most horrible mistakes that I could have ever committed in my life. Well, never j
Like all Chrichton books, I really enjoyed this blend of modern technology, science, and fiction. It's an entertaining way to learn something new while enjoying a decent story. Yeah, it can be a slower read at times while you work thru the descriptive science, but I never felt that it distracted from the experience. Not as good as Jurassic Park, but a tad better than Sphere and much better than Congo, Timeline, & Eaters of the Dead.
Feb 10, 2008 Allen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are brain dead.
Probably the worst book I have ever read (and believe me, that's saying something!). Michael Crichton (who used to write so well!) offends every branch of the sciences in this book. Suspending disbelief is one thing, but to buy this book would require a frontal lobotomy. Unless you want to have your intelligence offended, don't bother.
Oct 25, 2007 Paul rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This is the only book I have intentionally left on a plane after reading it. It is so mind-numbingly stupid as to defy belief. Its pretty sad when completely nonsensical science gets combined with a dumb story. Get either of them about right and I'm happy, get both of them terribly wrong and I want my money back.
Apr 28, 2007 Nathan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of robots-will-take-over-the-world theories
I had to read this book for my second-semester artificial intelligence class because it deals with nano-bots that use swarm-intelligence--something we were studying at the time. Basically the idea is that large groups of individually "stupid" agents can potentially display seemingly intelligent behavior. Think about insects: ants are a good example. Each ant is incredibly stupid, and by itself would wander aimlessly and accomplish nothing. But a very simple set of pre-defined behaviors causes th ...more
Ok so did jack succeed or what?!??

This was a very cloak and dagger type read. It was full of mysteries, and non-stop action! The lead character was a noble hero!! I don't think anyone could not root for him. But I am worried for the supporting characters... WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM!!!
The story was a little far fetched. But idk maybe it's something that could happen, all this technology getting better and better, more and more complicated EVERYDAY!!!

Kinda frightening when you think of it that way..
Rhiannon Lawrence
Hated this book! I am convinced that this was done by a ghost writer as it was not up to Crichton's normal detailed story telling. I was bored, I didn't believe the story, and the characters were flat for me. Gag.
Ehh, it was alright. The concept was interesting but the characters were quite bland for my taste. The little kid who kept saying "It's not fair" was quite annoying. The ending I liked and the author explained just about everything that was going on and how it all went down.

Overall the subject of the book was interesting and raises some questions about nanotechnology but the book itself was about average.
Sep 07, 2007 Dan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not
Shelves: sci-fi
A really good hard science fiction novel illustrating the potential danger of nanotechnology would be a welcome addition. Prey is not that novel.

Here’s the plot: Somewhere in the Nevada desert, a hi-tech corporation has been experimenting with nanotechnology swarms. Of course, the little critters get loose and begin evolving into fierce predators. Jack Foreman, an expert in designing computer programs that mimic the behavior of swarming animals, is called in to deal with the swarm. Jack’s wife
I thought this book was pretty good, even though I'm not huge into science fiction. I've seen that lots of people review this book and say that the science is so farfetched that it's unbelievable and stupid, but honestly, it's fiction. It's not supposed to be perfectly believable. Suspension of disbelief is required when reading this. I personally just enjoy books that can entertain me, and this one did. It brought up some interesting "what if" concepts, even though they would never really happe ...more
Jonathan Swartz
I found Prey on the bookshelf of a lodge we were staying at over the weekend and thought it seemed like a good mindless vacation read.

I used to like Michael Chrichton (Juraissic Park, Disclosure) but hadn't read any in a while. Sadly, the poor writing quality kept jerking me out of what was otherwise a decent story. I don't know whether this is because his writing has gone downhill or my standards have just changed.

The premise is exciting enough (nano-robots gone rogue) but Chrichton keeps break
Part sci-fi, part potential pre-apocalypse. If that is even possible.I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the stay at home dad vs. stay at home mom. Actually, I enjoyed the first part of the book, much better than the last part. I think it touched something I could relate to. I enjoyed the harried housedad immensely. I thought, I have seen that guy. I may not understand the techno babble so much, but I get the idea of nano technology. It could go really good, or really bad. Maybe there are just some t ...more
Mark Hebwood
This was easily Michael Crichton's weakest plot recently. The novel still manages to be engaging as Michael, even at his near-worst, always seems to be able to bring characters to life through dialogue rather than descriptions. The plot is fast-paced, the story-telling is engaging, but... as the plot unfolds, it is starting to verge on the ridiculous.

Swarms of nanoparticles imitate their hosts and create doppelgaengers that interact with real people. Yea right. Not that realism is a valid bench
Titas (Emperor)

Because you see, when you write "Later I was able to see all this from the Camera footage" at the peak of life-n-death moments, there remains no imagination about the ending and it really ruins the book.
Nothing actually happens throughout the first half of a 500 page book other than a rabbit getting killed. Even after that it goes on to repeat a routine of "we have to go outside!...oh no!the bugs are coming!run inside! died" again and again. Finally it picks up just before it ends and lea
The premises were all good: an interesting sci-fi concept and Crichton’s direct writing style (which I liked in Jurassic Park, Sphere, etc.) so Prey seemed a great fit for me. Unfortunately the book deteriorated into a B-horror movie script including the over the top finale ((view spoiler)).
Better stick with the much better Crichton’s earlier novels.
Idea behind the book is very catching and gives small introduction to machine learning and other IT techniques. But why is the main character intelligent in one moment and dumb as as a doorstop in next?
What a great book. Only the second Crichton novel I've read, but I'm really enjoying his style. It's a quick-read, and once the action starts, it barely lets up. Prey shows Crichton definitely knows how to write characters, dialogue, and a damn interesting plot.

The whole sci-fi aspect of nanobots is an intriguing one, and it certainly lends itself to the ideas of evolution and nature. The only "fault" with the book is, jeeze, there's a ton of science in it. Which isn't necessarily bad. He'll thr
Chris Dietzel
This was the closest thing I've found of Crichton's later work that could compare to his early science fiction. It's still not as compelling or entertaining as Sphere or The Andromeda Strain, but it's much better than Timeline or Airframe. Crichton definitely felt compelled to turn his later books into near research papers, loading them with all of the information he came upon in learning about the subject. That, more than anything, is the difference between why this didn't work for me as much a ...more
Another great story from Michael Crichton. This time a stay home dad, who has lost his job, due to trickery, finds being Mr. Mom is not all it is cracked up to be. His wife has changed, he has bad dreams, she is into some new kind of technology, and is becoming erratic and secretive. She is working on something new, while he is changing nappies.

Jack is dealing with raising the three children without his wife's input. He is offered a job on his wife's project and takes it, while she is in hospita
Nigel Mitchell
Let me start out by saying I'm a huge fan of Michael Crichton. His books Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain are classics. That said, his other work is hit and miss. He tended to work in a formula which didn't always gel: group of people trapped in a building with something scary. Jurassic Park was a hit. Prey is definitely a miss for me.

Despite claims on the cover and the description, this book is not really about nanotechnology. It's about killer dust. The premise is that a computer programmer
Carolyn F.
The narration is great on this audiobook but I have a few complaints.

1. I know we need to know some of the basics about nano-technology but this seemed way too much. I've read Crichton before so I'm familiar with his way of teaching you a little, but maybe it was the subject matter I didn't care for. Mind wandering often.

2. Jack is not taking any of this serious enough. The swarms are killing people. They tell him to run, he asks why. They say the swarms are coming, he says just a minute. They
Poor Jack has lost his computer job. He use to monitor the computers of other employees in his firm. Then he found out about some fraud and stealing of money committed by several high ranking employees and the higher ups used the information against Jack and had him fired and blacklisted. So Jack stays home and takes care of the kids, shopping for place mats at Crate and Barrel and buying groceries. Julia his wife works on nanotechnology but is acting strange, irritable and paranoid. She shows h ...more
Gary James
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The one good thing I can say about the book Prey is this: it's easy to review because I can just cut and paste my review to some of the author's other books and feel like I'm understanding the author's artistic method. I'm looking at you in particular, Timeline and Jurassic Park, although Jurassic Park receives more stars by simply being the first of his that I read, many years before the movie was made.

It opens with the discovery of time travel/nanotechnology/perfectly preserved dinosaur DNA. C
Rated this book so highly purely because it was the first of its genre that I had read in a long time, and impressed me very much. It appeals on several levels of geekiness and is hard to stop reading once begun. I normally don't read thrillers because I feel my emotions are being unnecessarily toyed with, but this raised an important worst-case scenario.

I feel there were several plot holes (the swarms should not have been able to recreate the piezoelectric wafer in the wild, necessary for powe
Atrocious. The book has some solid, informative, and entertaining explanations of predator-prey dynamics, the use of evolutionary algorithms, and machine learning. The other 99% of the novel, that is to say the actual story and characters contained within, is simply insane, inane, and a drain on one's brain. The book is a boring slog through a sloppily-written swamp of ridiculous and witless plot-points in the company of cardboard cutouts. The ending, when it arrives, is so laughably stupid that ...more
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Unresolved questions? 2 26 Apr 09, 2015 06:38AM  
What is your opinion about the Micro Robots's cloud? 14 134 Jan 23, 2015 05:18PM  
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Michael Crichton (1942–2008) was one of the most successful novelists of his generation, admired for his meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative. He graduated summa cum laude and earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. His first novel, Odds On (1966), was written under the pseudonym John Lange and was followed by seven more Lange novels. He also wrote as Michael Douglas ...more
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“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so.” 92 likes
“They didn't understand what they were doing.
I'm afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race.”
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