Sharon L Norris's Reviews > Micro

Micro by Michael Crichton
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it was ok

Having picked this book up out of a $2 bargain bin at the local Post Office in the tiny remote town in Northern Australia where I live, I wondered why Michael Crichton had partnered with someone to produce a book.

I've seen this before and know it's done in a sense to help give a leg up into the industry to an aspiring or emerging writer, but I have felt in the past that the reader's expectation is not necessarily fulfilled by buying books they think are authored by someone they know, but in reality are not.

I knew Michael Crichton had died some years ago but it wasn't until I'd done a bit of Googling that I discovered this was not a case of Crichton helping out an emerging author by lending his name to the cover. Rather, the co-author of MICRO, Richard Preston, had finished the book after Crichton died.

I found the story hard to get into, but I persevered. The concept of seven graduate students travelling to Hawaii to look at working with a major biotech firm, Nanigen, and becoming embroiled in industrial espionage and murder was interesting. However, it took far too long to introduce the large cast of characters, a bit of their individual back stories, and to set the scene of what was to come before the true guts of the story even began.

When the seven students and a hapless Nanigen employee find themselves shrunken to about half an inch (God, I wish Americans would polevault themselves into the modern era and convert to Metric measurements!!!), their fight for survival in the Hawaiian rainforest is dramatic reading.

There are a number of subplots at work in the novel, and not all of them work well. The sudden re-appearance of two characters thought to be dead is a little unbelievable, and the ease with which the villain of the story can bump off so many people without attracting the attention of the Hawaiian police until much later in the story (itself a simmering sub-plot) is also a little hard to believe. The end of the novel does not satisfy me as a reader, and leaves many questions unanswered.

The one thing I really did like about the book was its in-depth exploration of plants and insects. The insights into the chemical weapons and other strategies deployed by plants and insects to survive were very interesting. I have gained a new respect for the world of nature that I personally know little about. I am also scared by the suggested developments in science and technology that I realise could be used for the purposes of war in the future.

RIP, Michael Crichton. Not your best work, but an 'okay' read.



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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 17, 2014 – Shelved
May 17, 2014 – Finished Reading

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