Sunday, May 15, 2011


Author: Michael Crichton

Is it possible for human beings to create another species? What if we were Gods, capable of creating artificial life forms which can think, act, evolve and reproduce? Set in a premise, where men have cracked the code of commercially producing such creatures using Nano technology and distributed computing, Michael Crichton explores the aspects of such an act which can go wrong, in the sci-fi thriller PREY.

Scientists undertake an experiment to create surveillance for United States’ defense, using Nano technology. Set in an obscure desert, they succeed in creating Nano particles which can form a cluster and act as a camera, thereby undetectable to the enemy forces. All goes well, till some of the particles escape from the controlled environment and become rogue. These particles programmed to be logical predators, become real predators by adapting, adjusting and evolving at an exponential rate. They kill all life forms within a matter of minutes, and human beings are left defenseless, as no machine or bullet can penetrate them.

The hero Jack, an out-of-work programmer from the Silicon Valley, has to race the clock to figure out what went wrong with the code written for creating these Nano particles. Crichton adds further depth to the story by introducing an emotional angle in the form of power struggle, between him and his wife, who is the president of the research firm creating the Nano particles.

The story begins in a mysterious way, and the author makes the plot intriguing further. But then the climax falls short of the expectations built throughout the story. It’s an easy guess to find the villains, for there are a lot of careless clues strewn around. But I would rate this book above average, for its original story, and a wonderful pace till the end. Science fiction lovers will enjoy this book.

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