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Showing 1-10 of 735 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,168 reviews
on July 2, 2016
I've always felt this to be the last great Michael Crichton novel, even though he never finished it. The idea of shrinking people has always been a Hollywood staple (i.e. The Incredible Shrinking Man & Fantastic Voyage come to mind), but it was Crichton that helped give it scientific credence. To me, that's what makes a Crichton novel so memorable: the possibility that it could eventually be done, despite what modern science claims. I'm looking at you Jurassic Park. Richard Preston has done a remarkable job of translating and finishing Crichton's manuscript after his untimely death, but you can tell it doesn't have the meat of a typical Crichton novel. The characters are one-dimensional and many wear their emotions and characteristics on their sleeves, but it works. The action and circumstances work. Crichton's characters are meant to represent the pros and cons of the science being practiced and, in my opinion, helps drive the story forward. Crichton exemplifies scientific advancements, but also their dangers. Not since Prey has Crichton's writings interested me in the science being exploited. And I urge that same curiosity on you. So pick up this book and get lost in the adventure.
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on January 23, 2016
I've enjoyed most of Crichton's novels and expected to enjoy this, too.Perhaps because I listened to it on my Kindle, rather than read it, I was not as captivated by the characters and the story as I usually am.

One problem was the "science" behind shrinking. The atoms and molecules are said to be reduced in size, causing questions of the chemistry of respiration and nutrition and toxicology and of the much do they weigh? They supposedly nearly float when they jump or fall, but at 100-200 pounds, they would drop like rocks and be too heavy for their insect-size muscles to propel. Oh, well, perhaps one should not inspect too closely.

Except for the villain, I had trouble caring a lot about these characters. Maybe I was recalling too many graduate students from my past.
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on January 9, 2015
Wife here: Michael Crichton is my favorite author. This book was not written by him.

It was written after his death by a very good writer, Richard Preston.

However, it is not up to the standards of either of them. I'm not sure why????

It is written in a juvenile style.

Do not judge other Michael Crichton books by the quality of this particular one.

My favorite book is: State of Fear by Michael Crichton. It is an absolute 'must read' if you love books based on science.

Richard Preston's The Hot Zone is also excellent. It is an account of the 1st time EBOLA was found in the United States.
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on January 5, 2016
Sadly I found this to be a fairly poor work. The characters are thrown at you in the beginning in such a way that you don't get to know them before the author starts describing the next one. Because of that I didn't develop a relationship or sense of concern with any of them. Key points where an emotional attachment can be made are skimmed over. It's as though the author has a passion for describing the micro world and considers character development as a necessary evil which should be addressed only enough to get his micro world published.

I felt like I was in the old TV show, "Land of the Giants", with all the camp and simplicity of that show 50 years ago.

At about the 60% mark I had picked up enough about the characters to actually start caring about them, but then one page they're there, the next something happened to them and time to move on. The ending was also unfulfilling but right in line with the lack of concern for the audiences relationship with the characters as was the beginning.
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on July 20, 2017
The idea of micro-worlds and those which inhabit them is a fascinating one. If it had been written by Crichton alone, it would no doubt had been one of his best. Unfortunately, Crichton hadn't finished it at the time of his death, and while it was a very good story, the writing itself is somewhat sophomoric. It was hard for me to get past the first quarter of the book, but knowing it came from Crichton's imagination kept me hopeful. It would probably be a good stand-alone book for anyone not used to the way Crichton wrote, but for me, it just didn't work the way I hoped. That isn't the fault of Mr. Preston, I don't think. I was just really hoping for one last bit more from Crichton. Overall, it's a great idea, and there's a sequel that probably won't be written you're going to wish could be.
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on January 15, 2012
I'm a long-time fan of Michael Crichton so naturally I was devastated by his death and yet thrilled to learn that two manuscripts, one complete and one incomplete, were discovered on his computer. The first was Pirate Latitudes, a fun but not a particularly deep pirate adventure that was more of a historical adventure akin to Crichton's earlier works such as The Great Train Robbery and Eaters of the Dead than his techno-thrillers of recent times. The second was Micro which was only a third complete. Crichton's widow and his editor selected Richard Preston, an author who was known to write novels about infectious disease epidemics and bioterrorism, to complete the book.

I went into the book apprehensive because I was unfamiliar with Preston's work and I wasn't sure if I would be able to tell Crichton's work and from Preston's. Unfortunately, it became far too easy to tell. The book plays out like Jurassic Park meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and even though this premise was more ludicrous than Crichton's normal fare, and I could tell where the book was playing with his ideas.

Preston's side of the book stuck out painfully: Rarely have I read such horrible prose and poorly written dialogue in a published work. The prose constantly broke the simple writing rule of "show, don't tell" that it became hard for me not to throw the book across the room. The dialogue felt unnatural and clumsy, while the narration often repeated itself within several pages or even with single paragraphs.

With all this in mind, it's no surprise that the characters themselves had nothing going for them. Almost all of them were cyphers and merely played out roles for the needs of the story instead acting out their own motivations. Everything each character did was predictable and boring and the only shocking moment of the whole story was when the lead character was abruptly killed.

If this book was so bad, why did I keep reading? I've read every single Crichton fiction novel (with the exception of State of Fear) so I suppose kept with it out of some sense of loyalty. I wanted so badly to enjoy this book. Granted Crichton's work declined somewhat in recent years (his last great novel, in my opinion, was Timeline) but I always at least enjoyed reading his books. Micro had some interesting ideas but Preston did an absolutely appalling job in presenting them and and even worse job maintaining the spirit of Crichton's work.
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on July 10, 2012
I was so excited to get the latest Michael Crichton book and what I can only assume will be his last. I knew that it was written in party by Crichton and in part by someone who finished an unfinished manuscript but the James Rollins review convinced me to get it. I think Mr. Rollins must have read another book. This is nothing like Congo aside from sticking a handful of people in a "jungle" and having a one word title, that's where the similarities end. It was terrible. The dialog was terrible. The narration made me want to drive a pencil into my brain. I'm not sure if it's OK to actually type out sentences from the book but let me just say that there was a sentence that began and ended with the word "generally". Yeah, sad but true. It was just painful to read. I can't count the number of times I actually said out loud "Are you freaking kidding me?" while reading this book.

Sadly I read the reader reviews after I got halfway into the book. I wish I had read them before but I jumped on this purchase almost as soon as it was available so there really weren't any reader reviews to read. One of the reviews said they wondered if Crichton started writing it, realized how bad it was and then stopped and locked it in a trunk hoping no one would ever find it. Others said they wondered if he had written anything more than the title on a cocktail napkin. It breaks my heart thinking that this book is going to be part of his legacy. His estate really did him a disservice when they allowed this to be published. Even after realizing how bad it was and reading the reviews that indicated it would not get better, I forged on and refused to give up. It only got worse.

I think the final indication of how bad this book was came when I reached the end. Ordinarily I care about the characters in the books I read, I wonder what happens next, I wish that the book would continue on. When I got to the end of this book I couldn't have cared less about the remaining characters.
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on May 4, 2014
Michael Crichton was one of my favorite novelists, and this novel was his last-it was almost completed at his death and finished by another excellent writer, Richard Preston. I've read almost all of Crichton's novels. This one didn't show the depth and intricacies into the science behind the plot, as his others did, but it was still a great reading experience. It involves an evil villain, the CEO of a company with technology both to shrink people and materials down to tiny sizes, and military technology that has the capacity to kill. The protagonists get shrunken to 1/2 inch in size and are "lost" in the rain forest in Hawaii. I gained ALOT of knowledge about insects and small predators around us all, and I guess it affected me enough that I really grew to horrendously dislike the villain. I would say that it is not Michael Crichton's best written novel, but he was such a great writer that even his "not best" is better than most other's best.
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on March 31, 2016
I will admit, I did not read the entirety of the book. I stopped part way through. Why? Because I was not enjoying it. I thought it felt kind of lanky, and like it was kind of taped together. This is not like Jurrasic Park, and other classics. But feels more like a fan trying to write in the style of Crichton. If the new writer had started from scratch, and massaged the book some more, it could have been great. But when you are trying to emulate Crichton (a style that is very intense, and hard to do), it can fall apart very easily.
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on March 19, 2016
This is awful. Michael Crichton used to be one of my favorite authors. I have a lot of his older books saved to give to my son when he gets older. This one is garbage. "State of Fear" was bad, this is even worse. I usually don't write negative reviews, if you don't have anything good to say and all that...but I;ll make an exception here cause no one should buy this book.
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