Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Utopia” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.89  ·  Rating details ·  10,466 ratings  ·  380 reviews
Fasten your seat belts–the white-knuckle thrills at Utopia, the world’s most fantastic theme park, escalate to nightmare proportions in this intricately imagined techno-thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lincoln Child.

Rising out of the stony canyons of Nevada, Utopia is a world on the cutting edge of technology. A theme park attracting 65,000 visitors each day,
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Fawcett (first published December 24th 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,466 ratings  ·  380 reviews

Sort order
This book was remarkably dull for being a thriller. Within a couple chapters, it began to feel like a chore to read it. I wasn't into any of the characters from the very start. Then I got the audiobook since I needed something to listen to, and I listed to the rest of the book until the epilogue. Read the epilogue from the actual book.

I just never bought into the premise of this book. A futuristic, amazingly technologically advanced theme park that has turned the amusement park world on its head
Dec 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, good not great. Theme park shake down thriller featuring widowed robotics professor with teen daughter. WestWorld meets Ocean's 11 for the taking of the Pelham 123 with a hat tip to Jaws. Escapist fiction like fiery cheese puffs.
Chris Friend
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Theme-park fans, ya-lit lovers
Recommended to Chris by: Friend of a friend on Facebook. Fancy that.
I liked this book more the further I got into it. At first, I thought it was a former Disney employee trying to dream up a great scare at something unimaginatively similar to Walt Disney World, with the only major addition being a glass dome atop the property, what amounts to a running joke at Disney. About a fourth of the way in, the dialog was so reminiscent of soap operas that it was very difficult to take the story or the characters seriously.

Things improved as the plot began to pick up pace
Scott Sigler
Dec 20, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is only my second novel by Child but I am already a fan of his sleek and compelling techno-thrillers. Utopia is the most modern and technologically-advanced theme park of the world. Its rides and attractions use cutting-edge technologies such as highly realistic holograms and robots with artificial intelligence. When the park is held hostage by a team of ruthless criminals, the responsibility of saving the lives of seventy thousand-odd guests falls on the shoulders of the robotics professor ...more
Kristin Lundgren
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Another great one by Lincoln Child, writing solo. This is the second go around for me, previously having read it about 8 plus years ago. It is a very well-researched, strong thriller in an amusement park, miles outside of Las Vegas, set in a deep chasm, so that visitors approach the front of the park on ground level, and it falls away behind the park to several levels of offices, maintenance etc, . The park is under a large dome, sectioned into four themes - Gaslight, a perfectly recreated Victo ...more
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Utopia is not a bad book; it's just not a great book. I'm spoiled by mystery writers such as Jeffery Deaver and Anne Perry who build suspense like master architects of breathtaking mazes that delight and confound but still let people out at the end. Yes, okay, Lincoln Child (Is that his real name??) wrote a thriller, not really a mystery: In an idyllic new theme park that draws on the latest technology comes a bad guy who threatens serious harm unless he's given the technological secrets to the ...more
SUMMARY: The sitting is a fantastic amusement park near Las Vegas. A group of bad guys infiltrate the park and threaten mass destruction and death unless the park turns over some very valuable assets to them. I kept thinking of Disney World on steroids as I read the book. I don't know if the author intended the comparison to Disney World or not, but it was hard for me to avoid.

COMMENTS: I listened to a complete audio version of this book I got from the the library.

While the book was "okay", it w
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very intrigued with the setting of this novel more than anything as I am a huge fan of amusement parks. It delivered on some new ideas for rides and park themes, though it would be better served in a movie than in a book. Too much description can bog a novel down, especially a thriller.

But this book didn't really deliver on the thrills in my opinion. I expected rides to be incorporated into the action a bit more. It got much better towards the end, but the characters remained rather woode
Bonnie Lynn
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Looking forward to this Lincoln Child suspense novel where a high-tech futuristic amusement park is taken hostage by unknown bad dudes for unspecified reasons, My expectations must have been too high. The book had it's moments but, for me, not many. My opinion would be different Had I cared for even a few of the characters. The fact is I worried more about the robot dog and random park visitors than I did about anyone who'd been given a name in the novel. This doesn't mean I won't seek out anoth ...more
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soft
took me longer than expected;
it seems i have more hobbies than i care to admit

hurray for teresa bonifacio!

p106: a postcard labeled borokay beach, philippines was affixed to the inside of the lab door.

p419: sitting alone at the rear of the payload compartment, john doe had removed one of the countless stacks of currency and was making origami cranes from the contents.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When it was UTOPIA, this book was my absolute favorite in Lincoln's repertoire (and still is, to be honest). Everything, from the inside map of the amazing theme park that it is Utopia to the technology that runs it and the terrorists that destroy it, is amazing. Page after page. A must read for any techno-thriller lover!
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The best parts of this book are the descriptions of a futuristic amusement park. Short on suspense and there isn't much character development
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Cats Mother
This has a great premise - terrorists take over the worlds greatest theme park - Die Hard meets Westworld - but I found it disappointingly slow and predictable. I had not read anything by this author before, but have seen his bestsellers in shops, and picked it up somewhat at random, keen to see what it was like. Robotics expert Andrew Warne visits futuristic theme park Utopia, run by his ex-girlfriend, with his teenage daughter, on the day a team of baddies have infiltrated the park to hold it ...more
Tom Hill
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, but as I was reading it there was this nagging thought in the back of my mind that the plot seemed familiar. After finishing it, I realized why. This is the perfect plot line for a Die Hard movie. Bruce Willis would play Mr Poole, bringing his kids to Utopia for a day of fun, the ride they are on is sabotaged by greedy terrorists, but he heroically saves all the passengers, while figuring out there are some real bad guys in the park. His ex-wife would be Sarah, the head of o ...more
Rebecca Lefler
This was a good thriller, perfect for beach read.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story

Good story but I did skin a lot of the beginning and descriptions. I didn't care about the theme park and rides, but I did care about the characters and action!
Jane Greene
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: thrill lovers
Lincoln Child knows how to entertain a reader. Yes...his books are not cerebral...they are just plain fun! Utopia is the setting..a "playground" for the public near Las Vegas. It is a fantasy world beneath a giant dome, the size of a small town. The book is rich in description allowing the reader to partake in what the "amusement park" has to offer. Lots of holograms, futuristic robots, replications of mood/weather/towns. The main character returns to Utopia when a problem with the programming o ...more

What seemed like a slam-dunk thriller premise (a super-high-tech domed amusement park outside of Las Vegas called "Utopia", sabotaged by terroristic thieves) was all but undone by hackneyed dialog, gaping plot holes and glacier pacing. It reminded me a lot (in hokeyness, anyway) of a movie I saw at the drive-in when I was ten or so, called "Rollercoaster". Despite Utopia's supercharged AI/robotics and holographic effects (and a significantly higher body count), its overall impression left with m
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Taught thriller that takes place in a futuristic amusement park. Overall I really enjoyed this one -- especially the descriptions of the park itself that utilized robotics and holograms as part of its 4 worlds. This was a great combination of science fiction and techno-thriller. I've read a couple of books by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child that I have enjoyed. This is the first I've read by Child on his own and would definitely recommend it. I have several more Preston/Child novels on my TB ...more
Scott Zeien
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fun read. Anyone who has visited an amusement park must have wondered at some point - perhaps at the top of the coaster - "What if something goes wrong?" This book feeds the disquiet while creating a fabulous vision of a fantasy world about to be turned on its head.
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookshelf, 2016
Amazing descriptions of a very cool amusement park. Utopia would be such a cool place to visit if it were real. The book felt too long, the suspense might have been more exciting if condensed a bit. 3 1/2 stars.
Odile Maite
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
whyyyyyyyyyy is it soooo longggggg
Very good read, but why republish with a different title? This will confuse and mislead a lot of readers who have read Utopia, but think this is a different book. Uggg...
Paul Weiss
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: techno-thriller
A roller-coaster thriller ... literally!

Dr Andrew Warne is a brilliant computer engineer with some very avant garde theories in the field of artificial intelligence and robotic learning. Warne's hardware designs and his cutting edge software - "The MetaNet", an operating system that allows large numbers of robots loosely tied together in a common network to operate quasi-autonomously and to learn and improve from their day to day activities - have been used to create the wildly successful theme
Marc Szewczyk
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book was fine but not great. This is more frustrating because I think the idea had so much potential to be really fun and exciting. This book qualifies as a thriller in that there is tension and conflict, but it is not terribly suspenseful. There are excessively long detours to try to inject emotion by "building up" extra characters that are obviously about to become throwaway victims. The story is entertaining, but several of the plot elements are heavily telegraphed. For example, I don't ...more
Matt Glaviano
Read on a week long vacation to Disney World. When I visit an immersive theme park, I read books about immersive theme parks. And I can't ever read Dream Park again.

Super boiler plate with some nice touches. Characters? We've got dozens, and you won't remember any of them. Dialog as wooden as Pinocchio. Felt like a novel-length movie pitch, just waiting for its rights to get snapped up. I wanted more details about the park -- those passages were the ones that interested me the most. The epilogu
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mount Dragon
  • Deep Fathom
  • Saving Cascadia
Lincoln Child was born in Westport, Connecticut, which he still calls his hometown (despite the fact that he left the place before he reached his first birthday and now only goes back for weekends).

Lincoln seemed to have acquired an interest in writing as early as second grade, when he wrote a short story entitled Bumble the Elephant (now believed by scholars to be lost). Along with two dozen shor
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“And yet it was not authentic, of course, because no real boardwalk of 1910 had been this perfect. It was like a fondly remembered nostalgic confection, a past sanitized of its imperfections, buttressed by an arsenal of hidden technology.” 1 likes
“We have, what, 66,000-odd guests here today? And not one of them retains even an infant’s sense of self-preservation. They checked their fight-or-flight instincts at the door. That’s what they’re paying for. They see a fire, hear an explosion, feel their roller coaster begin to shear off its track—what are they gonna do? Laugh all the harder. Because they think it’s part of the act. That makes every last one of them a sitting duck.” 1 likes
More quotes…