Michael Crichton – Prey

If book’s quality would be measured by extremely late reading and not being able to put book down and by reading it in 9 days (same size book would usually take me 4-6 weeks), then for sure, this is 10/10. Haven’t read much this year, but so far it a contender for best book. No surprise. Michael Crichton is recognized for his suspenseful thrillers and sci-fi novels. It’s weird that i have only read one of his books before, very very long time ago. I think it was Lost World from his Jurassic Park series. I’ve read it before i have even see any movie about dinosaurs with his adapted screenplays. A year or so ago i have watched Andromeda Strain movie based on his book. Remember seeing this in my childhood and being terrified. It’s an old movie, but very good. And then i saw he also did Westworld movie (long before it became TV series). So, i was looking what to read next the other day and decided to give a try his yet another bestseller. Prey doesn’t disappoint. Although it starts from a far and is not even close to sci-fi in the beginning. Yet, you quickly become attached to mundane daily routine of out of work dad tending to his family while mom is making money. Somehow it is very likable, with annoying kids, teenager tantrums, picking what food. Crichton is very good with internal monologues which somehow very seamlessly develop into dialogs. Haven’t seen such technique, where first one person says something, then main protagonist starts thinking in his mind, but by the end of his internal speech it looks like he is actually relaying everything to the other person and they respond. This makes book even more dynamic without unnecessary repeating of what character already thought of. Then of course tons of scientific information. And this time it is not just biology, genetics, but also nanotechnology and even computer programming. It’s truly fascinating how author manages to combine all of this and present in believable manner. Although, at times it does look like main hero just cannot not know something about distributed agent programming and analogues in real animal world, sometimes too quick to find solutions and so on. But not that much over the top to start cringe. Book starts like a fascinating puzzle, but by the middle of the book horror and thriller elements start to creep in and then you are afraid to read and afraid to put it back. By two thirds of the book i started to kind of figure out main mystery, but had two ideas. In the end it was combination of two. Which is kind of satisfying that you have guessed and still different. The end as usual (i hate myself for repeating this) is a bit weaker than the main book. It seemed that at the end enemy was not as terrifying and strong like in the middle. Although author still managed to inject a little twist and aha moment which is not that convoluted for most readers to grasp. So, in the end, it was a great experience with a slightly weaker but still satisfying ending. And now i will get some sleep, finally 🙂 9/10

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