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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great reminder of the good old Jurassic Park days!
I have been a fan of Michael Crichton and his fantastical and yet somehow believable technothrillers since I leapt on Jurassic Park back in 1990. Since then, I don't think there's been a title I've missed - with the exception of Pirate Latitudes (I have an aversion to books about pirates). Crichton's death in 2008 was a great loss. It was an unexpected pleasure, then, to...
Published on 23 Nov. 2011 by Kate

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Micro story, minimal interest
Firstly, I am a massive Michael Crichton fan, and was very sad to hear of his passing. 'Timeline' is my favourite book of all time. I have read it three times, which for me, I am always looking for new authors and adventures, is saying something.

So it saddens me to say I was disappointed by 'Micro'. The story never really seemed to to gain momentum. The...
Published 19 months ago by Sam


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Micro story, minimal interest, 7 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Micro (Paperback)
Firstly, I am a massive Michael Crichton fan, and was very sad to hear of his passing. 'Timeline' is my favourite book of all time. I have read it three times, which for me, I am always looking for new authors and adventures, is saying something.

So it saddens me to say I was disappointed by 'Micro'. The story never really seemed to to gain momentum. The principal conceit of the story, a science facility set on the beautiful island of Oahu, experimenting with nano technology and being able to shrink everything from planes to humans to pin size, was fascinating and held promise. However, once the main protagonists the students from Harvard who are invite to visit the facility are shrunk and lost in the flora and fauna of Oahu, it is just man versus bugs, and it got a bit like and then there were none. It was the island itself that kept me going, I have visited the city of Honolulu, and found myself as a result of the books descriptions of the area reliving the Waikiki beach experience, and the stunning view of Diamond Head.

Although once I had reached about halfway through the novel I had became very bored of the gratuitous descriptions of each character being disembowelled. I also felt a little like I was being given mini studies on each insect that the group encountered, it felt as if I had stepped out of daylight and paperback reading, into a college lecture, mistaken for a cinema auditorium. Anyway, I skipped to the end just to see who survived, ultimately.

In fairness to Mr Crichton, this book wasn't completed by him, and although the flow of the story was seamless, each writer has their own style of storytelling.

Anyway I am still glad I read this book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the author, and science fiction.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great reminder of the good old Jurassic Park days!, 23 Nov. 2011
By 
Kate (Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Micro (Kindle Edition)
I have been a fan of Michael Crichton and his fantastical and yet somehow believable technothrillers since I leapt on Jurassic Park back in 1990. Since then, I don't think there's been a title I've missed - with the exception of Pirate Latitudes (I have an aversion to books about pirates). Crichton's death in 2008 was a great loss. It was an unexpected pleasure, then, to hear that he left more than one novel in a near completed state. The first of these, Micro, was finished off by scifi writer Richard Preston and published yesterday. I've read it already and that's because I was counting the days until Micro came out and I wasn't going to let a little thing like work, eating, sleeping, communication with fellow humans, get in between me and this book.

I'm delighted to report that there are no pirates in Micro - at least, not the sort with one leg who sail around in boats. Instead, we're back to what Michael Crichton does so well: taking a hugely attractive and exciting idea (here deadly nanorobots - bots - and humans shrunk to about an inch) and putting them in an environment that catches the imagination (here the Hawaii jungle complete with every creeping, crawling and wriggling critter you could try not to imagine), all carefully slotted into a tight plot that will keep those pages turning.

Seven graduate students, including Peter Jansen, leave their studies (ethnobotany, arachnology, venomology, biochemistry, psychology) in the NE US to join Peter's brother Erik who is Vice President of a hi-tech company in Hawaii called Nanigen. They have been headhunted. Nanigen doesn't have enough scientists. It's not too long before we realise why. From the moment of their arrival, nothing goes to plan. Erik, an experienced sailor, has been lost off his new boat and his brother Peter, using some hi-tech methods of his own, soon suspects Nanigen's part in his brother's loss. But there's not much he or his fellow students can do about it when they're shrunk to an inch and a bit and banished into the Hawaiian jungle.

If I could have read some of Micro with my eyes shut I would have done. There are some very exciting and truly horrific moments as everything with no legs or a lot of legs sets out to eat, dismember or impregnate our resourceful but surely doomed little heroes. There is relish here in the descriptions of some of the very many disgusting ways in which to die in the jungle but there is also a beauty and an appreciation of some of the wonders of nature. And that is a characteristic of Michael Crichton's work - a love of nature and the environment even though it frequently clashes with the technology that he enjoys equally. The students are scientists and they too respect and admire the animals and insects that they work with. They don't want to kill unnecessarily and when reduced to the same size as the beetles, mites, daddy longlegs and spiders that they know well, they see them with fresh, appreciative eyes. They can hear their sounds for the first time, they can see fear in their eyes. A mite crawling up the leg is carefully placed back on the squirming jungle floor.

However, this wonder at nature has its limits - and these limits are embodied in ants, centipedes and wasps and other nasties which are even more horrible when they're the size of a dog or car.

The environment is the strength in Micro. There is also a real charm in the students' discovery of this new world, despite the appalling danger, and this exuberance is infectious - I learned quite a lot about creeping creatures and plantlife. The baddies, though, and more than one of the students, are not particularly rounded and some strands are left inconclusively dangling. While some moments are savoured with relish, others are hurried and unsatisfying. Also, some of the description is repetitive and I wonder if this is an inevitable result of the book being left incomplete and finished off by another's hand.

Nevertheless, I am so pleased that Micro reached the light of day. It might have reminded me of Innerspace and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (inevitably, I think), but it also reminded me very much of the good old Jurassic Park days and that is a very good thing indeed.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Honey, I Shrunk the Postgrads, 7 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Micro (Hardcover)
As someone who enjoys the books of both Michael Crichton and Richard Preston, the potential offered by this team-up overrode my innate suspicion of posthumous novels as little more than craven attempts to cash in on a deceased author's popularity. Having felt that the first of those posthumous Crichton books, Pirate Latitudes, read like a half-finished manuscript tidied up and rushed into print, I was reassured by the fact that, this time, Preston would have filled out and finished off Crichton's work with a dash of style.

Wrong.

Micro just feels like someone has cobbled together a 'greatest hits' package from Crichton's earlier works: a bit of the nanotechnology from Prey, a bunch of the robots from his screenplay for Runaway, people being chased through the jungle by big beasties just like Jurassic Park... been there, done that. But whereas Crichton would have built up at least a reasonably plausible scientific basis for the story, here we just get told "Oh yeah, we've built this big magnet that shrinks people. Not quite sure how it works, but it's neat!" Except, of course, the shrinking process has weird physical side effects - just like the time machine does in Timeline.

All of which might have been forgiveable had there been even a shred of interest in the characters. But all we have are seven equally dull postgrads (each of whom luckily specialises in a narrow field of research that just happens to come in incredibly useful when they have to, say, repel a snake purely by smell or work out which particular spider venom will counteract the effects of a wasp sting) and a villain straight out of a lesser James Bond movie. My favourite character was the allegedly super-intelligent executive who is aware that their boss has committed a number of ruthless murders and reluctantly agrees to help him fake a car accident to cover it up, but fails to twig that something's up when he asks them to go and sit in the car that he's about to push over a cliff. Duh.

The action scenes all play out like this: Shrunken characters trudge through oversized jungle "How are we ever going to reach Tantalus?" "Wait a minute, what's that strange noise?" "Oh my God, it's a giant ant/spider/centipede/bat!"

Mind you, I could hear a strange noise all the time I was reading the book. I think it was the bottom of a barrel being scraped.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the poor reviews - this book is excellent!, 23 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Micro (Paperback)
I loved this book. I am a big Michael Crichton fan, but I love how he explores the medical world, genetics etc. Of course he was a medic himself. The premise for this story is so far-fetched at the moment, but scarily who knows how far we really are away from what the novel describes. 100 years? I loved the way that in the face of adversity, some characters teamed up and clung together, life became precious. Some even willing to sacrifice themselves to save others. The suspense in the novel, plus the twists and turns are excellent. The bad guy was a real bad guy and I hated him - so - well written. The way the students used their knowledge of the natural world was my favourite part, particularly as I am not in the least bit scientific, but this was truly inspired.
A truly excellent novel
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Jurassic Park in miniature, 15 May 2015
This review is from: Micro (Kindle Edition)
In reading this posthumous book by Crichton I could not help but notice the parallelisms with “‘Jurassic Park”‘. In this book the size matters, too (à la Godzilla). Sure, the size is different, but not the proportions. If in “‘Jurassic Park”‘ they have been able to bring back to life the dinosaurs and then lose control on them, in “‘Micro”‘ a revolutionary technology is able to shrink humans so that insects and birds become proportionately larger and dangerous as dinosaurs. Again a sabotage leads a group of people to deal with the creature in comparison to which they are small and almost helpless. Here too, the group, as the story goes on, increasingly tends to become smaller, until only a few survive.
Although this book was completed by Richard Preston, Crichton’s hand is evident. This long and exciting adventure is addictive. The desire to return to read is very strong. But at the same time the adventure itself is an excuse to show us the charming and ruthless world of small animals, especially insects. Crichton teaches us a lot about them and with great care he imagines how life would be for a human if they were as small as an insect, how the force of gravity would act on their body, the enormous difficulties they would face in moving even for short distances, the terrible dangers they should face. Although the miniaturization technology is not really explained, and there are some aspects that even the characters fail to comprehend (how can miniaturised human cells have a biochemistry that enables the characters to take water and food?), Crichton, to make everything even more credible, quotes a study, which seems very real (but you never know with him: he manages to make us believe anything is real), about the effect of magnetism on the height of the people as the basis for the technology used in the novel. The assumption remains very imaginative, but the purpose of the story is to tell the science of micro-world and therefore it is not necessary that the premises are completely realistic.
I admit that I was annoyed at some point about the death of a character, and I was so taken by the story that I barely noticed a romantic and far from unpredictable development (which I liked very much) was about to come, but this is indeed a great book with an open ending which, unfortunately, will never have a sequel.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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2.0 out of 5 stars A sad way to remember a good author, 15 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Micro (Kindle Edition)
This novel has picked up a few bad reviews on here along the lines of "It's a shame Crichton published this" and "he wouldn't have got away with it if he'd not been famous". Cut Mr Crichton some slack, people - Micro was published in April 2012 (in the UK, 2011 US) and Crichton died from lymphoma in November 2008. Micro (and Pirate Latitudes) were unfinished at the time of his death and his publishers decided to complete them.

It might have been better if they hadn't bothered, in this case. This is a rework of Jurassic Park but with wasps instead of dinosaurs (but see below). The plot is exceptionally thin - I'd like to think that MC, had he lived to complete it, would have written something that was more than just a plot outline, and some character sketches, both existing only as a framework on which to hang some fairly wooly ecological/ethical jottings, some rudimentary scientific-sounding mumbo jumbo about magnetic fields and a lot of very good, though gory, details about insect and arachnid feeding and fighting habits.

For what it's worth the storyline (people shrunk to microminiature size, but for a limited time; Bad Guys; international ramifications) goes back more to 1966 and a film called Fantastic Voyage than to Jurassic Park. (Asimov's novelization was actually written after the film, but published before the film was released). Fantastic Voyage has the advantage of starring Raquel Welch, of course.

Two stars for the potential inherent in being even a little bit by Michael Crichton (RIP)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A tiny disappointment?, 25 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Micro (Paperback)
Micro was never going to be the best of Michael Crichton, given that it was an unfinished project, completed posthumously by Richard Preston. But it is a lot of fun. We generally associate Michael Crichton with authentic, detailed techno thrillers, and a bibliography of physics papers as big as the novel again. But he always had a streak of pulp fiction fun about him. Just look at the subjects he chose. Dinosaurs in modern times! Killer microorganisms from outer space! Time travel! A robot theme park run amok!!

Micro has the same streak of fun, and plays games with our expectations of this Land of the Giants/Honey I Shrunk the Kids world. Our heroes can leap and fly like supermen so small is their mass, and birds squawks sound like whales in the deep. At the same time it preserves the real attraction of this sort of story, as wasps, spiders and centipedes become nightmarish dragons to be faced. But the worst are the techno horrors constructed by man. I will agree that Vin Drake is the worst sort of comic book protagonist, a poor version of Robert Doniger (the very much better bad industrialist in Timeline), and we suffer from a lack of a key character, with the point of view mostly focusing on someone who doesn't make it to the end of the book, but doesn't exit with the sort of pathos that would ennoble the struggle either.

So if you are looking for the best of Michael Crichton, you probably need to read Sphere, Jurassic Park, Prey, and Timeline, or find a copy of Westworld [DVD] [1973]. But if you've enjoyed his works in the past this worth a read, because it's still got a tiny bit of what made us love his books. RIP Michael Crichton.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Elements of Genius, 8 July 2012
This review is from: Micro (Paperback)
REVIEW
Now I have to start by saying that I love all things Michael Crichton and I always have. Which is why it is hard to say that this book is not as good as his others. The reason I have chose to convince myself if because it was only started by Crichton and after his death someone finished it off for him. There are elements of this book where you can see the true genius of Crichton coming through. The story however, never then develops further enough in his true characteristic way. This book has twists and turns but my major criticism is you never really develop a relationship with the characters. At one point I found myself not caring whether the characters lived or died. For true fans I suggest you read this book as there are elements that will remind you of the old master at work. For those of you who this is the first introduction into Crichton's work, please move onto one of his other classics so that you get the full genius that is Michael Crichton not this below average offering.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE BOOK
17% Fast paced start. The action has already started.

25% This has just started to get weird first I started skipping parts and now I just don't believe what I have just read. Far fetched is an understatement.

40% I am beginning to feel I am just reading a revamped version of a rather famous classic novel.

68% What an unusual insight to the world around us, we take for granted. Who would have though centipedes were so scary.

72% Getting bored now just get out of the bloody woods.

75% Well that was a surprise genuinely didn't see that coming.

82% OK I just need to finish this now

100% Ending was brilliant shame about some of the rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badley written and boring., 12 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Micro (Kindle Edition)
Badly written and boring must be the worst possible combination of adjectives for a book and this one deserves both - it is utter rubbish and I suspect Michael Crichton is turning in his grave. The book comprises a sloppy plot with chunks of absurd science fiction (even by science fiction standards!)and biology lectures. I am an ecologist and the scientific bits that I read were pretty accurate, but just didn't hang together with the science fiction or the poor attempt at romantic interest. Absolutely terrible and I would give it no stars at all if possible.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Poor... very poor!, 20 Jun. 2012
By 
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk (Oldham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Micro (Kindle Edition)
If you stand on your lawn, I once read, the ground beneath you is teaming with life in a murderous struggle. The definition of sanity and insanity is quite simple; the sane chose to ignore that fact, the insane are all too aware of it. This book is about a group of people who are shrunk and abandoned in the wild, amongst the beetles and spiders, ants and wasps... and murder certainly unfolds.
This could have been such a good book, certainly the storyline is exciting and interesting - but the writing... well THAT'S a crime against literature! I don't know quite what it is but I think it's the sentence structure... short sentences with very little description ; "Harry met Sally. Sally was a girl. Harry was a boy. They went out together. They had a good time" ...that sort of thing - like a sketch that has been badly filled out. The characters are cardboard cutouts - no personality.
What WAS good about this book is that it reminded me of a good read I once had about miniaturised men struggling to survive in a garden and then sent as spies into Eastern Europe; "Cold War in a Country Garden". I've now tracked down a copy which I shall enjoy reading again... better than this sad effort!
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Micro by Richard Preston (Paperback - 12 April 2012)
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