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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  170,809 ratings  ·  3,898 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 passin
Paperback, 507 pages
Published 2004 by Avon (first published November 25th 2002)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  170,809 ratings  ·  3,898 reviews

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Crichton is pretty much the king of speculative science fiction. From dinosaurs, to diseases, to genetic engineering, to, in the case of Prey, nanotechnology. If you read a Crichton book and don't say to yourself, "Damn! Science is scary!", then you missed the point.

This was not my favorite book of his, but it was very good. The thrills, the mystery, and terror all combined for a pretty intense experience. One of my issues with it, though, was how bizarre and out there some of the plot twists w
Mario the lone bookwolf
A, for the characters, tour de force of possible nanotech escalation settings.

It´s like a combination of different tropes surrounding grey goo, all seen in Sci-Fi many times from huge scales to tiny scales, resulting in the reader wondering which scenario might unfold next, what crazy ideas these nanobots will have in the following chapter.

It´ hard to waste a perfect nanotech plot, but Crichton exaggerated a bit, he had the ability to even make molecular assemblers and tiny robots a bit unlike
Henry Avila
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the vast, hot, sparse dry deserts of Nevada a miracle occurs...but not for the good. Back in Silicon Valley , in California, everything seems the same, cutthroat as usual, business is business, the weak fall, and the vicious prevail until another stronger one arrives...Jack Forman is unemployed, he lost his job six months ago, finding corruption can have hazardous consequences , companies are not happy with whistle blowers . A longtime inactive in this competitive place, is a disaster, a man ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was very creative and imaginative and very strange in a "good way". I think Michael Crichton is one of the best if not the best Science Fiction writers!
I highly recommend this book and give it 5 shining 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past, and so might be wrong in the future. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds—and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.”

Michael Crichton seems to have a bee in his bonnet about misuse or abuse of technology. Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Next etc. are all cautionary tales about
Ahmad Sharabiani
Prey, Michael Crichton
Prey is a novel by Michael Crichton, first published in November 2002. The novel is narrated by the protagonist Jack Forman, an unemployed software programmer who used to work for a company called Media Tronics but was fired and blackballed for discovering an internal scandal. As a result, he is forced to take the role of a house husband while his wife Julia serves as a high ranking executive at a nanorobotics company called Xymos. Julia claims that she is working on a new
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. ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unable-to-finish
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 bu
David P.
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
May 23, 2022 rated it liked it
This book was written twenty years ago yet it still pertains to a possible future. The characters drew me in to a slowly unfolding plot. If you enjoy science mixed with thrillers, there's a good chance you'll enjoy this book. I did. ...more
Mar 14, 2022 rated it really liked it
Prey definitely was the kind of book I needed, fast paced and exciting from the beginning to end. Need to try and read more by him rather soon
Paul O’Neill
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it
It was always going to be asking too much to go 3 for 3 (5 star ratings for both Jurassic Park and Timeline). This was still a fairly entertaining book. I think the science was there, for some reason Crichton fails to add in the element of horror or fear. This results in a big 'So, what?' factor.

Still a good book, but read Timeline or Jurassic Park first

Jurassic Park
(David and Jack talking about the rogue micro-robotic swarm outside the facility)

Jack: "...So what you're telling me is that this swarm reproduces, is self sustaining, learns from experience, has collective intelligence, and can innovate to solve problems."

David: "Yes."

Jack: "Which means for all practical purposes, it's alive...you realize that you're talking about a mechanical plague. that's what you've got here. It's just a bacterial plague, or a viral plague. Except it's mechanical organisms
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second (and last for a while) thriller by Michael Crichton.

What I learned:

- Keep your hands off of semi-intelligent nanoparticles, especially when they were programmed with a modified predator-prey-algorithm, unless you want to erase humanity in which case it’s an efficient method.

- Authors should not write program code and include it in their novels. Never. There are two small snippets here and both are utter rubbish and doesn’t make sense at all (that usually applies to film makers too, wi
Teck Wu
May 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Exciting and the science on emergent behaviour and self-reproduction of bots is so good and fairly plausible. Pretty dystopic thinking about it tbh. I enjoyed it!
Jun 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: scifi
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
Meghan Leger
Jun 23, 2022 rated it really liked it
This is my second Michael Crichton read (thank you Simone), and I absolutely could not put this book down!

As is classic Michael Crichton style, this is a piece of speculative science fiction. We open to story from the perspective of our protagonist, Jack Forman, a biologist turned programmer raising a family in Silicon Valley. Jack is currently unemployed and is a stay-at-home-dad after being let go by his employer. We are then introduced to his wife, Julia, an ambitious executive at a biotechn
Ashlei A.K.A Chyna Doll
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..
Sep 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I chose this book for my science project and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I usually do not enjoy science books but I found this one very exciting and interesting. I would recommend it to all looking for a good science book to read.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most entertaining books I've ever read. ...more
David (דוד)
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read after thirteen years. Still, it was an entertaining read. A techno-thriller, but I enjoyed reading the SF part of it: a bit of Biotechnology, added with Nanotechnology & Self-evolving Artificial Distributed Intelligence. Good suspense and pace. The theme of the book is not yet dated. The book's message, to us humankind, is about the dangers of inventions when Biotech and Nanotech converges with Computer Programming and AI.
Suggested reading, at least once. :)
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had heard about Prey since a few years, but got round to reading it only a few days back.

The story is very interesting. A technology experiment - combining bio and nano tech brings out unexpected results (quite expectedly!) and a crisis of sorts.

Jack is a person who has lost his job. His wife Julia works in a senior position at a company called Xymos. The company is reportedly on the verge of making a major breakthrough - nano miniature cameras which can be used for a wide range of purposes.
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Prey is my very first Michael Crichton book. Before this book, the only experience I had with Crichton was the film adaptation of Jurassic Park, a movie I had never seen until my girlfriend urged me to watch it. I was intrigued by the movie and could definitely see why it's considered a classic in the world of cinema. A Crichton novel has to be even better, right?

Oddly enough, I can't find the novel version of Jurassic Park without paying more than five bucks (sorry, but when I buy old books I
Feb 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Oct 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
An entertaining enough read but not up to Crichton's usual standards. ...more
Nov 06, 2021 rated it liked it
The most terrifying thing about this book might not be the killer robots, but instead the terrible marriage thats written in excruciating detail.
Feb 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
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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 Doug ...more

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