Four years ago, after Michael Crichton’s death, two novels were found in his private archives. One was a finished historical fiction novel called Pirate Latitudes. The other was an unnamed and unfinished novel about the dangers of the microscopic world. And now, following the finishing touches made by Richard Preston, Michael Crichton’s final published work, titled Micro, can possibly be discussed in the same breath as Jurassic Park.
The story follows a team of Cambridge graduate students who go work for a medical research company called Nanigen. Their secret? They shrink humans and machine down to almost microscopic size to look for new types of medicine. But during the orientation, one student tries to blackmail the CEO for killing his brother. The ensuing chaos causes them all to be shrunk and dropped into a minute rainforest filled with microscopic creatures, armed only with their knowledge of what creatures do at that level. The biggest threat to themselves, however, is the side effects: Their blood can’t clot at that size and a certain illness persists among micro-humans. Add the fact that the CEO is trying to kill them, and then you can start thinking, “They’re screwed.”
But calling it a sci-fi thriller is only part of the diagnosis (No pun intended, to those who know that Crichton went to Harvard Med). It can actually help people who want some basic knowledge on certain insects and creatures. Every creature stated exists in real life and the descriptions in the novel are dead on. There’s also some scientific background regarding the shrink ray that is used (If you want to learn about it, read the book). But it can work both ways. For example, when (SPOILER ALERT: highlight text to read) a guy gets attacked by a multitude of ants, Crichton gets into a lot of detail as to how they tear apart their prey (SPOILER END), so this book is definitely not for the squeamish.
But all gruesome occurrences aside, this book is downright incredible. It doesn’t matter if you are an English language major who hates science, a science major who hates reading or a social studies major who hates both. You will probably like this book. The best thing about Crichton’s novels is that they are good reading for almost anyone.
By Luke VanDeWeert