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The Technologists by Matthew Pearl
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's review
Feb 22, 2012

it was amazing

“The technologists” by Matthew Pearl follows the adventures of MIT senior Marcus Mansfield and his friends and fellow students, to solve the mystery of who is to blame for terrors inflicted on 19th century Boston. The terrors include ships going out of control and towards each other, as their instruments stop working properly because strange fog covers the area, glasses that turn into liquid, making windows melt, and killing an actress on the Boston streets.

In the midst of everything, Marcus tries to figure out who is manipulating technology, and is terrified that MIT would get blamed and their beloved college would get shut down. As it is, they already promised to avoid engaging themselves in the investigation, which is handled by the police. But Marcus doesn’t trust anyone, even as the tensions are high and he has to navigate a highly-political landscape. Meanwhile, his mentor and MIT president starts trying to solve the mystery on his own before being stricken with a health ailment. Soon enough, Marcus and his friends are left on their own, and form the Technologists club.

As Marcus, Eddy, Bob, and Ellen investigate, their efforts are frequently sabotaged and someone is keeping a tab on their activities. There’s a lot of mystery, action, and character development going on, which explains this book’s length. Pearl does a good job with all the historical research (some of his characters are based on real-life MIT students) and engulfing the reader in the atmosphere of nineteen century Boston, while providing a backdrop filled with tension. Overall, an interesting read—especially if you like historical fiction or suspense titles.

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