Micro by Michael Crichton (& Richard Preston)

Posted February 17, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Micro

Micro

by Michael Crichton, Richard Preston

Publisher: HarperCollins on November 22, 2011
Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Target Age Group: Adult
Representation: BIPOC
Content Warnings: Animal Death, Blood, Body Horror, Car Accident, Death, Gun Violence, Kidnapping, Murder, Suicide, Violence

Rating: ★★★½

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

In the vein of Jurassic Park, this high-concept thriller follows a group of graduate students lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company—only to find themselves cast out into the rain forest, with nothing but their scientific expertise and wits to protect them. An instant classic, Micro pits nature against technology in vintage Crichton fashion. Completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston, this boundary-pushing thriller melds scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction to create yet another masterpiece of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.

 

After having read a few of Crichton’s posthumous novels, I think that they’re generally not worth reading because they seem to amplify his faults without the redemption of his creative science fiction.  However, if you were determined to read one of Michael Crichton’s posthumous works, I think that one should be Micro.

In many ways, Micro felt like a rebooted, not-quite-as-good version of Jurassic Park. It had adventure elements that kept the story moving forward, something I have found lacking in a few of his other novels.  It also features Crichton’s trademark “company on the breaking edge of science that does terrible things for greed”.  The paces of the story didn’t feel particularly original, but it was interesting.

Okay, if I were to do a quick pitch of Micro, I’d say it’s Jurassic Park meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  It’s two 90s blockbuster hits that would sure as heck be entertaining together, but may not be as thrilling today as it would have been twenty-five years ago.

Even when the science is interesting and well-thought out, I have similar qualms with Micro as I do with many of Crichton’s other novels.  It’s flat.  The characters are two-dimensional, their actions are predictable, and when people die it’s not even a surprise because it’s consistent in Crichton’s formula.  these stories make far better films than they do books because even though the ideas are fascinating, the execution is lacking  From a literary standpoint, the kindest thing I can say about the writing is that it’s boring.  The characters fall into archetypes and I didn’t keep reading so much because I cared about them.  Okay, okay.  Except for Danny’s arm?  I wanted to know what in the world was going on there.  … Until I DID find out, and then I really wished I didn’t know because ew, ew, ew.

Still, Micro is interesting and in this particular case, I think Preston did a good job finishing Crichton’s work.  However, you can tell Crichton was a good deal into this one because it feels much more like his traditional adventures than other posthumous novels, so it was edited decently.  It stays suspenseful and engrossing despite the lack of depth in the characters because the micro-world is lush and interesting.  If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be half an inch tall and struck in a Hawaiian forest… here it is.

This is great for people who are interested in very science-driven science fiction and suspenseful adventure stories.  It’s certainly not as good as Jurassic Park or Timeline (in my opinion), but if you have a free afternoon and want something that is going to keep you entertained but not ask too much of you as a reader, Micro is fairly decent.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★ 1/2
Plot: ★★★
Characters: ★★ 1/2
Writing: ★★★
Pacing: ★★★ 1/2
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2

three and a half star rating

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Micro Will Be Donated

While I was entertained enough while reading it, and even though Micro is the type of book I would recommend to the right reader, I don’t think it’s one I’d be reading again.  It was overall a mediocre read for me – the world was so interesting, and the characters… so… not.  My policy is that if I wouldn’t read the book again, why would I keep it?  I actually have a coworker in mind who I think may enjoy this, so I think I’m going to see if he’s interested and pass it forward to him if he is.

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Code Orange Problematic Author History

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Would you ever want to be shrunk down so you could experience the micro world? For me, that would be a hard pass.  Bugs creep me out and I feel like the smaller you get, the more prevalent creepy crawlies are, and I’m ALL SET.  What about you?  Let me know in the comments!

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