Book Review: Prey by Michael Crichton

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Having fallen in love with the Jurassic Park films when I was a child, I grew up  and devoured the Jurassic Park and The Lost World books, written in 1990 and 1995 respectively. After reading these books I feel in love with the writing style of Michael Crichton and decided to get my hands on another to see if I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the Jurassic Park books. This book was Prey, published in 2002.

Prey was one of the first books that I simply could not put down. I was reading it every day, carrying it around with me in my handbag, reading it every spare moment I had, every night before I went to bed and during every coffee break. It is an exceptional novel.

Prey follows the typical Michael Crichton scientific story themes, set around nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. It also incorporates Crichton’s classic thriller themes. It depicts a fictional scientific story, based on real, current and uprising technologies that puts a horrid twist on them, all of which can be perceived as plausible, making Crichton’s novels even more believable and horrifying. In the case of Prey, Crichton was interested in the applications of biotechnology, nanotechnology and distributed programming. While writing this novel, it had already been observed that nanotechnology was already being used for “manufacturing self-cleaning window glass; another made a nano-crystal wound dressing with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties”. But where would this technology eventually take us? This is where Prey comes in.


Source: Amazon

In short, Prey is set in the Nevada desert where an experiment with nanotechnology and artificial intelligence has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nano-particles has escaped the isolated laboratory and is observing self-sustaining and self-reproducing behaviors. It appears to learn from experiences, and it evolves, better enabling it’s chances for survival. The biggest problem with this is that the nano-bots have been programmed as a predator. Every attempt to destroy this cloud has failed and the creators of the technology soon become the predator’s prey.

This novel was an exceptional read and opened up a new admiration for Crichton’s writing. His writing style is so well done, with similar horror style to that of horror and thriller legends Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Having already possessed an interest in the sciences, I found it very easy to fall deep within the story line. The use of scientific language is concise and would not inhibit any person’s comprehension of the novel so it’s use has been well thought out and perfectly applied.

I certainly recommend giving this novel a read. Especially if you are a fan of horror/thriller stories.


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