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Impact (Wyman Ford #3)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,816 Ratings  ·  728 Reviews
Wyman Ford is tapped for a secret expedition to Cambodia... to locate the source of strangely beautiful gemstones that do not appear to be of this world.

A brilliant meteor lights up the Maine coast... and two young women borrow a boat and set out for a distant island to find the impact crater.

A scientist at the National Propulsion Facility discovers an inexplicable source
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Forge Books (first published 2009)
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Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonAltar of Eden by James RollinsImpact by Douglas PrestonBloodlines by Lindsay Anne Kendal
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4th out of 33 books — 47 voters
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Best Books of 2010
219th out of 1,322 books — 2,417 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
I appreciate the efforts that Douglas Preston put in this book. I know it is hard to write. With the many books already in the market and the new books coming out every month, is there anything else that has not be been written about? I know that the plot’s limit can be as wide as the scope of the imagination of the writer, but there should still be, some sense in the story. Do you agree? Otherwise, if we patronize those books with outlandish, silly and impossible to happen plots those writers w ...more
Jan 01, 2015 Arah-Lynda rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-said

Two young women witness a brilliant meteor that lights up the sky and then falls to earth just off the Maine coast………….

Be warned, for such a small book, this one hosts a big, big story, so you best tinkle, if need be, gather your tea and biscuits, get comfy, strap in. You’re going to be here a while.

This is my first Douglas Preston novel and I gotta tell you, he picked me up and threw me head first into the thick of this story and then, quite simply, pumped up the volume.

A fast paced, ac
Jan 08, 2012 Colleen rated it it was ok
In the cold light of day, I realize now that this book makes absolutely no sense. I was suspecting a bunch of random people as the Chief Villains, since there is obviously someone siccing the assassin on the heroes; however, I couldn't really figure out who, because I couldn't fathom why someone would be trying to stop the complete annihilation of Earth. I was not very surprised though when the reveal happened even though that too stretched my disbelief to the max.

Today, thinking back further o
Kerry Nietz
Mar 29, 2010 Kerry Nietz rated it really liked it
When a friend offered to loan me this book, I had my doubts about taking it. Don’t get me wrong, I was an early fan of Preston’s works with Lincoln Child—Riptide and The Ice Limit being two of my favorites. I’ve been a lot more lukewarm with the duo’s works as separate authors, though. Preston’s last book, Blasphemy, I couldn’t finish. The Christian characters portrayed were so Hollywood stereotypical (meaning all were hypocrites, violent or ignorant) that I thought Preston had to be joking when ...more
Thomas Edmund
Feb 10, 2010 Thomas Edmund rated it did not like it

Impact follows a collection of different characters as their lives are irreparably changed by the impact of what appears to be a meteor/meteorite/metoriod??

I apologize for the spoilers throughout this review, however, this is the sort of book that you need to give everything away to explain just how poorly constructed the story is.

First of all the characters.

In part one of the story we have three protagonists: Abbey a young black woman just out of teenagedom, who smokes weed, makes smart-ass j
Mal Warwick
Jan 02, 2011 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Start out on the coast of Maine with a brilliant 20-year-old Princeton dropout and her less-brilliant friend puzzling over a meteor shower, cut to CalTech where office politics and other shenanigans are in full flower at the National Propulsion Facility, add one former CIA agent dispatched to the backwoods of Cambodia by the President's National Science Advisor, mix in a tweedy contract killer, and pretty soon you're caught up in a pulse-pounding tale that will drag you irresistibly toward an as ...more
Oct 14, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
A fast-paced action-adventure novel. It's not high Literature, but it's tons of fun to read if you're in the mood for an exciting, quick read. I will be reading more by this author, because I really like his style.
Mar 26, 2012 Josh rated it it was ok
Preston is often compared to Michael Crichton and there is indeed a strong resemblance, but Impact does not strike me as a Crichton novel. It has all the elements but it is missing something.

First of all, much of the novel is unnecessary. Preston's attempt to achieve a dense plot made it feel like I was just wading through muck to get to the end. Preston adds complications just so they can be overcome, like cheap speed bump plotting devices designed to add tension but little else. Randall Worth
Feb 04, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
This book caught me from the 1st few pages and held my interest throughout as few others have. This is the best Preston book so far and the comparisons to Michael Crichton though lofty are vell deserved. The characters come alive and are believable. The story carefully crafted and very clever. Kudos to Mr. Preston. Reading this was a joy. I had trouble putting it down and many household duties were put on hold. Finding the next read that measures up won't be easy.
Matt Bradley
Feb 24, 2011 Matt Bradley rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2010 Brooke rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, 2010
Coming off of Blasphemy, Preston's newest solo novel is a bit of a disappointment. It's the 3rd book featuring ex-CIA agent Wyman Ford (and the 4th in a series if you count the link between The Codex and Tyrannosaur Canyon), which suggests that there should be some continuity from book to book, right?

Well, Blasphemy ended with a startling bang, and I'd expect the next book in this series to mention it. But Preston didn't even give it a nod, which seemed like a wasted opportunity. After all, what
This book is a wild ride in more ways than one. It started out that I only liked about 1/3 of the first 150 pages because I hated most of the characters. One star. But then the story was finally set up and got going and after the next hundred pages, I couldn't put it down. Could have been four stars except there was too much improbability in the ending. Not the science fiction part, I can set aside disbelief for that, but the characters. It's an exciting and fun read if you can get past the prel ...more
Nov 07, 2011 Tonia rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I'm a big fan of Preston & Child collaborations, and usually when they write on their own, it just doesn't quite touch the caliber of their combined efforts. Okay, Impact isn't quite as good as a Preston & Child work, but it's still very good. I found it exciting and enthralling. If you're looking for a "guilty pleasure" read that's thrilling and touches on astronomy, you'll enjoy this one like I did.

What I particularly enjoyed about the early collaborative
Mitchel Broussard
Feb 12, 2010 Mitchel Broussard rated it it was amazing
I loved this one. Brilliant, exciting, surprising, funny, thrilling, scary, apocalyptic, and so much more. The simple story of 3 very random and different people from 3 very different places all being connected to a strange meteor that crashed into Earth.

Mainly told from the three character's perspectives, it starts out with Abbey: an African-American small town waitress that dropped out of Princeton because she focused too much on Astronomy and Physics classes and not on her intended med-school
Jan 11, 2010 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, thriller
An ex-CIA operative is sent to a mysterious mine, while a young woman hunts for a meteorite and a scientist is discouraged from following up on his murdered mentor's research. Their stories relate in a way that reveals an unprecedented threat to the earth. This is a fast, light read that should appeal to those who like thrillers with some science thrown in.

I really enjoyed the setting descriptions and Ford's investigation, but the characters were thin and some aspects of the pacing seemed off. F
Mar 23, 2012 Lowed rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of the author
The two stars was for the really good start that kept me going on until the dead of the night. It just took me a while to write a review because I was so mad at the ending, and I felt so cheated in trying to make myself believe that he [the author] would be able to pull this through without a problem.

If you have read my review of his book Blasphemy, you could say I had a great time down to the last page. Though I felt that the ending was still mediocre it was, however, well compensated what wit
Mar 08, 2011 Keith rated it liked it
Two very unlikely characters partner up after discovering that the impact from a dramatic meteor strike is much more than appears on the surface---an intended pun that requires reading the novel to appreciate---and become involved in a tale of espionage, murder and death-defying adventure. If you can buy the premise, which of course is totally plausible for any science fiction fan and accept the plot, which gets stretched a little thin a few times, then you’ll really enjoy this novel. It moves a ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Starts with a big fat doobie and a radioactive gem and gets worse from there.
Iain  Edward Henn
Feb 23, 2012 Iain Edward Henn rated it really liked it
Entertaining from start to finish, 'Impact' is a solid thriller. Author Douglas Preston's work has been compared with that of Michael Crichton, and whilst this novel has strong scientific elements and undercurrents (which I love incidentally) the novel is more along the lines of a psychological suspense tale such as "Cape Fear". Largely set in and around the Maine coast and waterways, a feisty young girl (with a passion for astrophysics) is obsessed with locating a meteor that she is convinced h ...more
Jan 24, 2011 Earl rated it did not like it
I knew going into "Impact" that this book was going to be a crapshoot. I have enjoyed almost everything that Douglas Preston as written with Lincoln Child, but only "Codex" has worked for me when he has written on his own. However, I once again took the plunge, buying this book before I was scheduled to sit around the courthouse, waiting to be called for jury duty. The book passed the time, but that was about all that I can say positive about it.

"Impact" starts out with three different plot t
Oct 28, 2010 Chibineko rated it liked it
A word of warning to new readers- if you haven't read Douglas Preston's other books in the Wyman Ford series then you will be missing out on a little. `Impact' works well as a standalone, but to get the full story on Ford you'll have to read all of the books preceding this one. In fact, I recommend that you read the previous books first. This isn't a bad story, but it's not Preston's strongest work to date.

This book find Wyman Ford being called in to investigate radioactive gems that have been s
Jun 14, 2010 Elaine rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful. It has a unique twist on the popular end of the world scenario.

The format reminded me of James Rollins books in that the story progressed from separate viewpoints. Each chapter takes place in different parts of the world with different characters. Eventually, it all comes together.

This is the first book I have read by Douglas Preston, but it definitely won't be the last. I love reading apocalyptic stories and Impactcertainly is that.

The story has plots within plots. The
Jul 17, 2012 Pam rated it liked it
Shelves: preston-douglas
This book was a easy and light-weighted read for any mystery/sci fi buffs but I was slightly disappointed as I felt the book was very predictable and I expected more from Douglas Preston. This was not his best work.

A brilliant meteor lights up the Maine coast and Abbey, a young, brilliant but rebellious and unconventional young lady, decides that she wants to find the meteoroid to sell. In a series of twists and turns, she and her best friend, Jackie, set out in Abbey's father's lobster boat to
Andrew Mercer
Jan 17, 2013 Andrew Mercer rated it it was amazing
The biggest reason I enjoyed this book was the author's ability to suck you into the story. Impact consists of a fast-moving intense plot that follows multiple characters yet still keeps you connected. The author uses several elements of science fiction but his writing style makes the book flow without ever having to pause to question the few missing details. From the moment you open the book you are instantly caught up in an adventurous and thrilling story that elevates Impact to the next leve ...more
Dec 29, 2015 Mark rated it liked it
Entertaining read with a cast of interesting characters and a thought provoking if implausible plot. Pacing is fast with numerous short chapters and cliffhangers. A good novel for a quick read during the holiday period.
Feb 05, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Good Michael Creighton-style science-fiction potboiler about a sharp girl who finds the impact crater of a mysterious meteorite, an ex-CIA agent who finds another crater on the exact opposite side of the world, a dedicated young scientist who realizes something on Mars' moon Deimos is emitting gamma rays, and a host of bad guys trying to stop these three in their tracks. Meanwhile aliens menace the earth and moon by poking holes in them. Good stuff, well written, suspenseful, hard to put down. I ...more
Stephen Stewart
May 01, 2016 Stephen Stewart rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamey Goodyear
Jul 07, 2015 Jamey Goodyear rated it really liked it
Impact, by Douglas Preston, is a science fiction story that starts with the death of a prominent scientist, a missing hard drive, and a meteorite crashing down off the coast of Maine and in Cambodia. Then, radioactive gem stones start appearing in the United States. The government sends a man, Wyland Ford, to Cambodia to investigate. What he finds is astounding.

Meanwhile, in Maine, a young twenty-something and her friend borrows her dads fishing boat to go find the place where the meteor has la
Russell Atkinson
Sep 05, 2014 Russell Atkinson rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how libraries or others classify this book, as science fiction or spy thriller, but it is a bit of both. The lead character, Wyman Ford, is a James Bond-like figure, quite over the top, but good fun if you accept that going in. The plot is imaginative and the action scenes superb. The author appears to have done a good deal of research on astronomy and seamanship off the Maine coast among other things. The story bordered on the plausible at all times. The characters are really too o ...more
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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr ...more
More about Douglas Preston...

Other Books in the Series

Wyman Ford (4 books)
  • Tyrannosaur Canyon (Wyman Ford #1)
  • Blasphemy (Wyman Ford #2)
  • The Kraken Project (Wyman Ford, #4)

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