I have always found Michael Crichton's writing to be very preachy and heavily saturated with a political agenda, trying to force feed his opinion on a touchy subject down the readers throat, but usually it is accompanied by a decent story. This time Crichton must have figured with less story he could put in more of his personal thoughts, and he did just that. Now I am not saying that Crichton did not have some interesting or valid points, which he did, but they could have easy been expressed in something other than a "novel".
From the begining of the book there was never really any main character, just twenty or so concurrent stories that seemed vaguely correlated by each having something to do with genetics. Crichton spent little time on developing each character and moved on to the next story quickly, only to return back to previous mini-plots after twenty others, leaving plenty of time for the reader to lose interest in the characters completely (except for Gerard the talking bird, you can never grow bored with him!). Also, certain chracters, mostly lawers, seemed to be added into the story just to go on a rant about one of the topics Crichton wanted to mention, and their rant had little to nothing to do with the plot, and there were plenty of useless character rants. Then there were entire sections of the book inbetween plot jumping when Crichton used narration to ramble on about gene testing, flawed scientific research, medical research, and endless other topics. These narrations had nothing to do with the story, but Crichton probably could not find the proper character to go on the rant, so he did it himself.
I am not really a fan of Michael Crichton (and definitly not after this one), but I respect his abilty to craft intelligent stories, so I keep trying his interesting sounding books. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is not already a Crichton fan, and if you find yourself holding it and teetering on whether or not to invest the time or money, I simply offer you one word which Crichton apparantly tried to offer me..."Next".