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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book reminded me very much of Moby Dick with its heavy emphasis on both an adventure story and sharing detailed information. Those who prefer one aspect or the other will probably find themselves flipping quickly through the pages that emphasize the other aspect.

Popular opinions are almost always wrong. That's the theme of this book. The point is made in the context of describing how global warming, as perceived by the public and media, is different from what scientists are describing. Dr. Crichton argues through his story that we can waste a lot of time and resources on popular delusions, and we need to get our facts right. His appendix I on the dangers of politicized science is something everyone should read. The eugenics example is a chilling one.

The adventure story itself is a Frederick Forsyth/Clive Cussler-type thriller written from the perspective of a young lawyer who tags along with a James Bond-like character who single-handedly saves the day along with his trusty, almost silent, sidekick. They are about as good a source for scintillating conversation as the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Instead of greedy multinationals or rich megalomaniacs being at fault, this story looks at how lawyers and rabid environmentalists can get carried away.

In typical Michael Crichton fashion, the story develops around little-known scientific facts about how humans can influence the environment. So if you wanted to know more about how giant ice bergs, tsunamis and flash floods can be created, this is your book. At the same time, there are nice subplots around how to track terrorists via the Internet and an obscure way to assassinate people.

I found myself drawn to both the adventure story and the global warming information. It's a nice combination for the reader who likes a little substance along with their thrillers. Even I, though, thought the global warming was overdone. The characters needed a lot of work to become interesting, rather than just being devices to drive the plot along. I graded the book down accordingly.

I kept thinking as I read this book that I would like to read a book like this by Dr. Crichton that looks at people manufacturing domestic terrorism for political gain. Perhaps that will be his next subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 10, 2013
Yes, it comes across as a little preachy but, you've got to admire the amount of research and documentation that the author completed to write this story. A few things bothered me but, overall, it was an intriguing story that made you think (a lot) and entertained you at the same time. I've always been a little skeptical about some of the causes promoted by the environmental movement and, I've recently become very annoyed by the media that seems to delight itself in exaggerating and over-reporting every weather hick up. So, I was in a receptive frame of mind for a novel aimed at eco-terrorism. It's a very thoughtful story and, once explained, even the title will make you reflect on your own environmental opinions. That said, I wish that the author had spent a little more time in developing the crises so that the good guys' abilities to overcome just about every possible problem would be a little more believable. Also, the love interests of the Evans character are kind of silly. No matter, I give this book 4 stars out of 5 (very good and intelligent!).
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on October 31, 2005
Amidst a high paced and (as usual) unrealistic thriller, where characters get in and out of life threatening situations in some amusing and sometimes ridiculous ways, Crichton makes an effective critique of the hysteria caused over Global Warming. I actually like the reactions to this book even better than the book itself. It seems to have enraged a large group of people who take what news media and environmentalists say about Global Warming at face value. Crichton doesn't come across as anti-environment at all, but does give us good reasons to question something that is taken to be fact, when it is still theory. Crichton uses a the novel as a means to have various charcters engage in arguments over environmentalism and global warming. He has several charcters produce evidence for and against. His evidence against is the most compelling, and despite many negive reviews of the book because of this, Crichton sources every bit of information from valid and reputable sources. Many sources he uses are ones that environmentalists themselves use. Studies, publications and journals are used. Crichton does a good job of weaving this information into the narrative and dialogue. I never felt bogged down or bored. I was intrigued. Intrigued enough to check out his sources, and they are all reputable.
Crichton not only critiques Global Warming, but he goes after scientists, their methods, and the environmental movement itself. He presnts scientists as biased based on need for funding. It makes a lot of sense. He presents their methods as flawed because they do not have blind funding or blind verification. This also makes sense. He presents the environmentalist movement as a multi billion dollar industry that needs funding, and uses fear as a means to ensure that funding. This, sadly, also makes a lot of sense. I'll be paying much more attention now, and will not quickly dismiss those who have an alternate viewpoint. I have no doubt that Mr. Crichton will face many unfair attacks over this book.
I give it 3.5 for the thiller which I enjoyed, but an extra half point for making me use my brain.
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on May 6, 2005
One of the masters of the science type thriller (the Jurassic Park books, Timeline, etc.) returns with this compelling and well researched thriller that challenges the bedrock upon which the environmental movement and the global warming debate stand. Using well thought out and documented arguments, Crichton questions the present infatuation with the fear of global warming. As the thriller suggests, anyone with a view contrary to the media and environmental elite is instantly discredited. Using a radical environmental organization's (one that really exists) plans to further their agenda allows the author to expound in laymen's terms on the arguments for (very little reliable and reproducible evidence) global warming and those against it.
Crichton also gives the reader a lesson on the pervasiveness of the media in our society and how it can drive opinion even when the evidence isn't there. Dr. Crichton has written an engrossing thriller that can be enjoyed for the thrills alone, yet he's also made an important argument about not blindly believing "everything" but instead, checking the evidence for oneself.
No matter what side of the debate about the theory of "global warming" (remember, it is only a theory, it's not a proven scientific fact) and climate change one is on, this book deserves a read. I challenge everyone, no matter how set in your beliefs you are, to read this with skepticism, check out the references and do the research yourself and prove Crichton wrong. Go for it!
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on October 11, 2005
I enjoyed this new novel by an author I respect and have always enjoyed. I usually find Crichton thought-provoking, creative and an attention-getter. This one was a little weak in its abundance of data and validity of its science, which might throw some people off, but since I'm a big fan of novels which include science, adventure, historical facts, projections, maps, etc., I found it quite fascinating. When I can say to someone else, "listen to this" and quote from a story I'm reading, then it's a book that has my attention. Anything to do with the environment, what we are doing to it, how it may play out, etc. peaks my interest. Another novel I recently discovered was a thriller, Fusion, by Bruce Huntly. This guy seems to have his facts and science down pat. It might be a good addition to Michael Crichton or Dan Brown and others of their ilk. While State of Fear proved a little tedious in spots, it's still worth the read.
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on July 12, 2005
it was an interesting book with lots of thrilling action scenes. the only problem was sometimes they would babble on and I lost concentration and was speed reading to get through those parts. other then that it was pretty good. it made you think about envritonmental issues and come to your own conclusion of what is really going on and what we should or shouldn't do.
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on April 19, 2005
Another exceptionally great thriller by Michael Crichton!
Reviewed by Janet Sue Terry, author of the contemporary romance, "Set Me Free" series Possibilities and Resolutions. President of Just My best Book Publishing Company.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2005
I enjoyed this book and I really liked the characters. But I thought the technical side, with all the information about global warming and the environment was a bit much. It was way too in-depth. The story is weighted down by it and things would have been faster and smoother without all the graphics and charts. The information IS interesting and I have read similar claims as made in the book in journals and magazines yet, I could have done without it in the NOVEL. Because it is a novel. And it reads like a university manual in some places. Other then that, I really enjoyed the book, much more then the last Crichton I read. And I thought the tsunami story was a bit spooky, considering this book came out in early December, just before the tragedy in Asia. But all in all, I would recommend it.
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