Sunday, January 22, 2012

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

I had eagerly anticipated the release of Micro since reading that the incomplete manuscript would be complete by Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone.  After an initial rebuff due to an excessive initial list price of $14.99, I patiently bided my time waiting for my turn through my local library. I am so glad that I was able to delay my immediate gratification and wait for a free copy.

I had read the first 20 pages with a free sample on my Nook, so I quickly reread the beginning and poured into the rest. The set up was engaging, with an excellent combination of technology, humanity and industrial intrigue. There were mysterious attacks by invisible assailants, a powerful new high-tech company recruiting elite grad students and several curious deaths and disappearances.

Unfortunately, one third of the way through the book, the plot took an unexpected and unbelievable twist. For most thrillers, the reader must suspend reality and buy into the premise proposed by the author. For some reason I just couldn't get past this sudden turn of events. Maybe I watched Grant Williams too often as the Incredible Shrinking Man or remembered my sleepless nights with early morning viewings of Dr. Cyclops. All I could think of while reading the second half was my alternate title, Honey,  I shrunk the graduate students. Although Micro is filled with an enormous amount of scientific information concerning rainforest denizens, it felt like a journey through a universal studio set.

Micro is a well-written, engrossing thriller that surprised me with several of the twists that occurred. If you can truly buy into the premise, then this will be quite a ride, but I was left wondering what Micro could have been if it were left as an exploration of the uses and abuses of micro bots and nano bots on the national and international political stage.


  1. I heard a great interview with the author (Richard Preston) on The Book Report Radio show with Elaine Charles. You can listen on

    With Michael Crichton you need to suspend your disbelief and then you have an excellent read.

  2. What a great review, I feel the exact same way. I fell in love with Preston after The Hot Zone and Crichton is usually great, but I also feel this book fell short. I actually heard the same interview as Francis and bought the book right after.