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Impact (Wyman Ford Series) Hardcover – January 5, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 422 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Wyman Ford Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Near the start of this solid thriller from bestseller Preston, the U.S. president's science adviser asks former CIA operative Wyman Ford, last seen in 2008's Blasphemy, to look into the sudden appearance of radioactive gemstones, in particular to identify the precise location of their origin in Cambodia. Meanwhile, college dropout and frustrated astronomer Abbey Straw, who believes she witnessed a meteor's fall, embarks on a search of small islands near her Maine home to locate pieces of the meteorite to sell on eBay. In California, soon-to-be murdered professor Jason Freeman sends Mark Corso, a Mars mission technician at the National Propulsion Facility, a classified hard drive with evidence of gamma rays emanating from the red planet. The three story lines end up neatly intersecting, though the final payoff doesn't do justice to the engaging setup. Preston refrains from inserting the scientific minilectures of which the late Michael Crichton was so fond. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Wyman Ford, the former CIA agent turned freelance investigator introduced in Blasphemy (2008), returns. This time the U.S. government sends him on a seemingly straightforward mission to locate a secret Cambodian mine, the source of some unusual gemstones. But Ford’s assignment quickly gets a lot more complicated, and soon he’s immersed in a mystery involving conspiracy, murder, and a strange object buried in a moon of Mars, an object that might be about to unleash something unimaginable upon Earth. Blasphemy felt almost claustrophobic at times (much of its action took place on a single set), but here the author opens up the stage, with plot threads unspooling in various countries and involving various supporting characters, who seem, at first, to have no connection to one another. Where Blasphemy tread on some controversial ground (the nature-of-God question), this book is a more traditional thriller, substituting adventure for philosophical exploration. Is it a better book or a worse one? Different readers may answer the question in different ways, but one thing’s for sure: once Preston kicks the story into high gear, they won’t put the book down until it’s finished. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Series: Wyman Ford Series (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765317680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765317681
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Doug Preston's latest solo effort starts with a bang--literally--in the form of a meteoroid impact off the coast of Maine. And that's where the juggling begins. Preston's juggling three narrative threads. The first involves two young girls who go in search of the fallen meteoroid. They're after big bucks on Ebay and maybe a little adventure. They get a hell of a lot more than they bargained for.

The second thread involves a researcher with the Mars Mapping Orbiter (MMO) project at the National Propulsion Facility (NPF, but you might as well think JPL). Mark Corso has just been promoted. In fact, he's taken the position of his disgraced mentor, Jason Freeman, who was fired and then murdered in a random home invasion. (Uh huh.) A few days after Dr. Freeman's death, Mark receives a package from his mentor with a stolen hard drive full of very classified, very illegal data. He can NOT have this data! He's got to destroy the thing, forget he ever saw it.... but he can't help looking to see what's on it first. And so Mark Corso gets sucked into what may be the biggest, most dangerous scientific discovery of all time. And possibly the biggest cover-up, too.

And finally, the third thread involves our old friend Wyman Ford. (Don't worry if you haven't read his previous adventures. This book is essentially a stand alone. There's not a thing you need to know from previous books that will effect your reading of this one.) Ford's a former CIA operative, a freelancer now, and he's just been offered a job. There have been some very unusual gems showing up for sale in Asia. They're strikingly beautiful, but notably unlike anything anyone's seen before. And potentially quite dangerous. Ford is tasked with finding the source of the stones and reporting back.
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Format: Hardcover
I look forward to every new offering from Preston and Child, whether it be their solo efforts or (and these are some of my favorite books) their combined efforts. I'll say that Impact didn't grab me quite like I expected it to.

What we have here are three concentric stories enveloped in a bigger story.

A series of strange and exotic gemstones never before seen suddenly start to show up and garner the interest of the CIA. Why? The stones have never been seen before. Oh, and they're quite deadly from a radioactivity standpoint. Wyman Ford is contacted by his old CIA higher ups in order to head to cambodia and take pictures of the mine.

At the same time the gems start showing up in Cambodia, a waitress/Princeton University dropout in Maine (Abbey) is using her telescope to gaze at the stars when she captures a picture of a meteoroid that struck the earth at just that time and landed off the coast of Maine. She's the only one who has any idea of the general area in which it fell. What's her idea? Find it and sell it on ebay!

Moving across the coast to California and the National Propulsion Facility at Cal Tech. A Mars mapping mission was set in motion nearly a year ago. Its mission to take high resolution pictures of the surface of Mars as well as using ground penetrating radar to see below the surface. An employee of NPF and professor at Cal Tech finds some strange gamma ray emissions from the surface of mars during his usual work. He finds the anomaly dangerous and brings it to his superiors. This being impossible, his superiors call him crazy, discredit him and have him fired.
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12 Comments 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I have been an enormous fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child ever since I read 'Relic' a few months after it originally came out (how long ago has it been now? 13 years?) and while I view their novels very similar to how I view music by John Lennon & Paul McCartney: sure I like their solo stuff, but they write stuff better TOGETHER...the same for this duo. But that certainly doesn't mean that their solo stuff isn't sure-fire winners.

Take the latest from Mr. Preston. Impact was yet another home-run for him. While the cover of the book initially disappointed me, I have to remember its what you find INSIDE that counts, and boy does it!

What I enjoyed most was what--at first--originally I did not like about the book. Let me explain: right away the story splits off into 3 separate and distinct tales, and after a bit I got used to it after initially not liking this particular format. It wasn't until the 3 separate stories began to merge that I really came to appreciate the way in which the story unfolded. Another thing I have ALWAYS liked about certain books are short, crisp and entertaining chapters. I like to read in short bursts sometimes because I have 7 children, and lets face it, I rarely get much time to myself, so being able to read for 5-10 minutes at-a-time allows me to down 2-3 chapters and doesn't strand me in somewhere between one chapter and the next forcing me to backtrack next time I pick up the book to recall where I was exactly. The DOWNSIDE to that is since the chapters are so short, you end up promising yourself, as I do regularly, that I'll stop after the NEXT chapter only to be left hanging, and then making the same vow yet again and again. Don't get me wrong, I sincerely LOVE a story to grab me so directly that I have a hard time putting it down.
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