Michael Chrichton passed away in 2008. He had begun work on Micro and was about 1/3 of the way done. Richard Preston was hired to finish the book based on Chrichton's notes and research. Chrichton himself has been quoted as saying that Micro would be "an adventure story like Jurassic Park."
No dinosaurs this time - instead Micro focuses on nanotechnology -science that is no longer in the future but is a reality.
Seven graduate students head to Hawaii, hoping to land an internship at Nanitech, a leader in this field. They get more than they bargained for when they are unwillingly - reduced - shall we say. They battle for their lives in an environment as much familiar as it is terrifying. Meanwhile the Oahu Police department is stymied by the deaths of three men from hundreds of tiny little cuts. Has the technology run amok? Or is someone testing it outside the lab?
I found the idea quite intriguing, but it is the descriptions of nature seen from the eyes of humans half an inch tall that make the book. An ant or a wasp take on horrifying proportions. The characters themselves are quite blatant caricatures - the bad guy is almost formulaic, the whiny kid is predictable in his actions etc. The character I was most drawn to and I identified as the protagonist is abruptly killed off. It seems the players are there to only move the story along.
I chose to listen to this book in audio format. The reader, John Bedford Lloyd, was quite good. At first his voice reminded me of a news anchor. Lots of expression and he did justice to the action in the book. Some of his interpretations were a bit annoying, but matched the character, such as the whiny student.
I have enjoyed Chrichton's books. Micro didn't quite live up to past works, but then again, it's not truly Chrichton novel is it? That being said, it's was an entertaining, quick read that won't tax your brain. I can see it being made into a movie - but the plot isn't really that unique.
Listen to an excerpt of Micro. Or read an excerpt.