I... um... what? What in the world are people doing... I just... what?
Anyway, the book! I enjoyed rereading Jurassic Park so much that I decided to grab a few more of Michael Crichton's books. I picked five or six of them at random and tossed them in my To Read pile (thankfully not an actual pile anymore, since they're all ebooks). At random I picked Prey.
I love learning new things when I read, but in this book Crichton takes it way too far. The story will be merrily trotting along, then BLAM! The whole plot pauses for a few pages as he talks about some technology. It's totally outside of the story other than the character is daydreaming about it or thinking about it or whatever. Then the plot will continue a bit until BLAM! A few more pages on the history of that technology. More plot, then BLAM! Another total halt of the story as he talks about how that tech might be further explored, how it relates to other sciences, whatever. Scenes go something like this:
Mary says, "We're glad you were able to come today, Mike."
Mike's attention drifts. Nanotechnology first came about in 1992 when Jack Mercer, a computer engineer specializing in software development, of CalTech and Jane McKay, a biologist with twenty years of field experience in India, now working at Intel got together...
[Three pages of information about the history of nanotech.]
Mary says, "Are you listening, Mike?"
Mike says, "Oh, yes, sorry."
[Plot continues for a while, as if that pages long break never happened.]
The story was okay at best. I think it would have been a much better movie than a book (the whole thing had an action-adventure feel to it, other than the walls of information dropped in at random). Basically it was the exact same story as Jurassic Park, except with nanites in place of dinosaurs. Stupid and/or greedy people with higher tech than they should posses losing control of it and it ends up eating a bunch of people who deserve it, the good people walk away at the end.
I started my next book last night, Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge. It hasn't hooked me yet, but I'm only a few pages in. Unfortunately the writing style doesn't thrill me, and it's written in the British style of single quotes around dialog), which keeps knocking me out of the story.
Looking at the Amazon page again, it's odd that it has only one review... It's been out for years, won awards, and is from a major publishing house (as opposed to self published). Strange that it has only one review. Hope that's not a bad sign.