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Prey by [Crichton, Michael]
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Prey Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Length: 545 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

From Amazon

In Prey, bestselling author Michael Crichton introduces bad guys that are too small to be seen with the naked eye but no less deadly or intriguing than the runaway dinosaurs that made 1990's Jurassic Park such a blockbuster success.

High-tech whistle-blower Jack Forman used to specialize in programming computers to solve problems by mimicking the behavior of efficient wild animals--swarming bees or hunting hyena packs, for example. Now he's unemployed and is finally starting to enjoy his new role as stay-at-home dad. All would be domestic bliss if it were not for Jack's suspicions that his wife, who's been behaving strangely and working long hours at the top-secret research labs of Xymos Technology, is having an affair. When he's called in to help with her hush-hush project, it seems like the perfect opportunity to see what his wife's been doing, but Jack quickly finds there's a lot more going on in the lab than an illicit affair. Within hours of his arrival at the remote testing center, Jack discovers his wife's firm has created self-replicating nanotechnology--a literal swarm of microscopic machines. Originally meant to serve as a military eye in the sky, the swarm has now escaped into the environment and is seemingly intent on killing the scientists trapped in the facility. The reader realizes early, however, that Jack, his wife, and fellow scientists have more to fear from the hidden dangers within the lab than from the predators without. The monsters may be smaller in this book, but Crichton's skill for suspense has grown, making Prey a scary read that's hard to set aside, though not without its minor flaws. The science in this novel requires more explanation than did the cloning of dinosaurs, leading to lengthy and sometimes dry academic lessons. And while the coincidence of Xymos's new technology running on the same program Jack created at his previous job keeps the plot moving, it may be more than some readers can swallow. But, thanks in part to a sobering foreword in which Crichton warns of the real dangers of technology that continues to evolve more quickly than common sense, Prey succeeds in gripping readers with a tense and frightening tale of scientific suspense. --Benjamin Reese

From Publishers Weekly

The concept of nanotechnology can be traced back to a 1959 speech given by physicist Richard Feynman, in which he offered to pay $1,000 to "the first guy who makes an operating electric motor... which is only 1/64-inch cube." Today the quest is to make machines that would be about 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Enter Jack Forman, a recently unemployed writer of predator/prey software, whose nearly absentee wife, Julia, is a bigwig at a tech firm called Xymos. When a car accident hospitalizes Julia, Xymos hires Jack to deal with problems at their desert nanotechnology plant. The techies at this plant have developed nanomachines, smaller than dust specks, which are programmed with Jack's predator/prey software. Not only is a swarm of those nanomachines loose and multiplying, but they appear to be carnivorous. The desert swarms are the least of Jack's worries, however, as the crew inside the plant are not entirely what they seem. Like Jurassic Park, this "it could happen" morality tale is gripping from the start, and Wilson's first-person reading as Jack sets the pace. His confident, flinty voice and his no-nonsense delivery makes this a solid presentation of a high-speed techno-thriller. Crichton gives the audio an air of sobering authenticity by reading its cautionary foreword himself.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1253 KB
  • Print Length: 545 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition (Oct. 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC13E0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Why dont most people like sci-Fi novels? especially Greg Bear and Arthur.C.Clarke, because they concentrate more on science rather than entertainment. Michael Crichton is the only author who is not handicapped by this habit. One thing that is really good about crichton's novels is that you will never keep the book down in the middle. This time too, MC has not let us down. The book guarantees 100% entertainment. For those who fel that reading novels is a waste of time. I would advice you to read any MCs books as you will learn a lot about the subject than by reading a couple of scientific journals. "Prey" concentrates on AI, genetics and Nanotechnology. After 1/3rd of the novel, the pace picks up a speed that you would never have imagined. This is definitely not one of MC's best novels, but definitely he gives you more than you would have expected from the book. My advice is, get the hard back and have a nice time.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Michael Crichton has made a career out of scientific cautionary tales, some of which are significantly better than others. Unfortunately, _Prey_ is one of those others.
You already know the drill, right? A small army of sci-fi/horror works have used it by now -- including _The Thing_, more than a few episodes of _The X-Files_, the _Alien_ series, and a good half-dozen of Crichton's previous books. A small group of scientists, trapped in a remote location and unable to summon help, must fight for their lives against a deadly new species that they don't understand -- even if they've given rise to it themselves. As always, the good guys have to venture out of their temporary refuge on various missions, only to be stranded and picked off due to unforeseen circumstances. As always, there's a guy who wants to protect the enemy species out of greed. And as always, just about everyone except for Our Hero winds up dead. (Anyone who considers any of this to be a spoiler probably doesn't get out much.)
Unfortunately, _Prey_ takes this time-tested formula and manages to make it singularly unconvincing. For one thing, the good guys *aren't* unable to summon help until very late in the game. While the full extent of the enemy's capabilities isn't immediately apparent, Our Hero has plenty of time after realizing that the team is in big trouble to find a darn phone and call in the big guns. (If we're really supposed to believe that he doesn't do so because of company loyalty and/or a non-disclosure agreement, Crichton needed to make a much stronger case.) Nor would the big guns find the enemy difficult to dispatch, because it's got more vulnerabilities than Achilles had heels.
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Format: Audio CD
While not his best novel, Crichton does a competent job of weaving a tale of suspense around some interesting emerging technologies. The first part of the novel had me hooked, but by the time he shifts locations, Crichton started to lose me. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, there is the mystery around what is happening to his wife. I found this pretty transparent, and so found myself having to wait far too long for it to be revealed. Second - and this is my own fault - I found the capabilities of the technology in the story pretty tough to swallow. I work in software, and have used some of the techniques discussed, so it was hard for me to suspend my disbelief sufficiently.
Still, I thought the idea behind the story was interesting, and the beginning and end of the novel were pretty engaging. If you don't mind a little technology mixed in with your fiction, you might like this. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but I wouldn't try to dissuade you from reading it, either.
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Format: Audio CD
I am an audio book "reader". I have a 35-minute ride to work each day and love using my time productively by listening to books on CD. Since most reviewers read books the traditional way -- which supposedly explains why I have to pay extra for audio books :) -- reviews are almost always for the printed version. Thus, I'm left to cross my fingers and hope for a good reader. I always find myself wishing for information on the quality of the reader's presentation. So, for this review, I'm focusing on the audio presentation, since the various other reviewers have covered the content of the book in great depth. My dream scenario is when the author reads the book. Somehow I equate this with being as close as possible to being inside their head. Alas, not all writers are good readers, so thank God there are excellent readers like Leonard Robert Sean. I really enjoyed his presentation. His vocal inflection was great, and his voice is very pleasant. He did a great job with the various characters in the story. So, fear not, my fellow audio format enthusiast, the presentation is extremely well done for Prey. As for the story, I liked it a lot. I couldn't wait to go to (and leave) work each day so I could hear what would happen next in the story. The whole premise is especially worrisome since nanotechnology is real and nanoparticles already exist in our world today. Hopefully our government has responsible people involved. Or maybe we are all already infected :) Bottom line: The audio presentation rates "5" stars and the story rates "4" stars. Average them up, and you get 4.5 stars. Since Amazon doesn't offer me that choice, it seems fairest to let my ranking reflect the "4" stars for the story itself. Enjoy!!!
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