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It takes a lot of chutzpah to give your novel the same title as one of the most famous novels in the history of English-language literature, even if the original novel didn't spawn a literary field or two (utopian and dystopian fiction) or become an everyday term for the perfect place to live on Earth. Yet there's a postmodern appropriateness to applying the title Utopia to a novel set in a theme park that uses cutting-edge technology to create Earth's most desirable fantasy place to visit. Like Westworld and Jurassic Park, Lincoln Child's Utopia is a near-future theme-park thriller, and like Michael Crichton, Child delivers an abundance of white-knuckle thrills, chills, and shocks.
Despite its remote location in the Nevada desert, the Utopia theme park receives 65,000 visitors daily. They never dream their lives may be in any real danger. However, some of the self-programming robots are becoming erratic, so park administrators quietly bring the robots' brilliant creator from the East Coast to fix the problem before it gets any worse. Dr. Andrew Warne brings his daughter, for he doesn't believe there is anything wrong with his creations. But on the day of their arrival, a mysterious band of ruthless criminals infiltrates not only the park, but its computerized systems. The unknown terrorists appear to control everything, from the simplest robot to the most dangerous ride. And if their demands aren't met, thousands of innocent park-goers will be killed. --Cynthia Ward
A fantastic near-future amusement park is the setting for this techno-thriller by Child (coauthor with Douglas Preston of the Preston/Child bestsellers) in his first solo outing. Utopia, a Nevada amusement park extraordinaire, features several elaborate holographic theme worlds (like Camelot and Gaslight, which meticulously recreates Victorian England), all run by an ultrasophisticated computer system and serviced by robots. When a series of fluke accidents culminates in the near death of a boy on a Gaslight roller coaster, the Utopia brain trust calls in the original computer engineer, Dr. Andrew Warne. Warne arrives with his bristly 14-year-old daughter, Georgia, and sets to work solving the Gaslight problem, though he can't believe that the system is willfully malfunctioning, as the evidence seems to indicate. To complicate matters, Utopia's manager, Sarah Boatwright, is Warne's ex-girlfriend, and an obvious mutual attraction exists between Warne and Utopia systems controller Teresa Bonifacio. Just as Warne gets to work, violent attacks erupt all over the park, masterminded by an impassive psychopath known as John Doe and carried out by his cadre of henchmen, including a computer genius and a crack marksman. For three hours, Doe holds the park hostage, and Warne, Boatwright and Bonifacio race against the clock to foil his plans. Child creates a convincingly self-contained world, populated by amusing creations like a cyber-dog called Wingnut and clever descriptions of futuristic amusement park rides. Sluggish prose and an overload of technical detail slow the pace, but Child proves he is capable of fireworks (literally) at the rousing conclusion.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The story of this book is good, but the desciptions of Utopia sounded so familiar to me until it dawned on me that it sounds a lot like Disney World. Read morePublished on June 13 2004 by Kristy Lee
I usually tear through a good book in a day--it took me three weeks to get through Utopia. It was a great story idea and I wanted to like it--didn't want to give up on it because... Read morePublished on April 15 2004
I bought this book simply by the description but I thouroughly enjoyed it!
This is an inventive world that the author places you in w/ engaging characters. Read more
Utopia is one of the most advanced and realistic theme parks in the world. It has four separate divisions each offering their own thrills as patrons are immersed into the future,... Read morePublished on March 2 2004 by Larry
I have only read one other book by Lincoln Child, and that was his collaboration with Douglas Preston, "Relic," which I thought was okay. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2004 by Eric S. Bauman
Because I can't stand to travel without reading material, I had to stop at the Orlando airport before the flight back to Portland and find a paperback "just in case" I... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2004 by Thomas Duff
Just finished reading Utopia written by Lincoln Child, 1/2 of the co-writing team (the other one being Douglas Preston) that brought us the excellent horror novel Relic (one of my... Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2004 by Terrence H. Seamon
I am a huge fan of the Preston/Child collaborations. Utopia is the first solo effort I have read. Others have detailed the plot line, so I'll just give you my thoughts. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2004 by Karen
I have just finished reading Utopia - and, as a fan of the Preston and Child duo, I feel that this beats certain favourites including Relic ! Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Jonathan Steel