Micro – Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

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Remember, Honey I shrunk the kids? Great movie that made you really feel bad for ants. When I would watch that as a kid I would often think how cool it would be to explore my backyard and only be an inch tall. After reading, Micro, I have decided I would like remain above 12 inches tall, thank you.

The late Michael Crichton had left a few unfinished gems when he died. They have since been found by his wife and, with the help of other talented authors, like Richard Preston (whom you may know from The Hot Zone), they are being finished and published so that fans can continue to enjoy his work. I have always loved his books, even if I had to read them at a snails pace. The reason I have to read them so carefully is the same reason I love them. He goes into immense detail and does mountains of research for each book, so when you are reading it, it feels like it has or could possibly be happening. Evident in, Micro, there is a bibliography that spans five pages. All data and research for this book. Everything from the habitat of spiders to journals by Nicola Tesla. What you get from all this hard work is a wonderful, rich, suspenseful, and beautifully detailed story.

Micro is a story about a group of grad students in varying fields of science, who get an opportunity to work at a cutting edge facility that says they are creating groundbreaking medicine and medical research. Once the students get to Hawaii, where the facility is located, they quickly come to realize that all is not what it seems. Once they get shrunk down to micro sized humans and thrust into the Hawaiian forest, they quickly find themselves in a whole new world, as alien to them as a different planet would be. They find new species  of insects and bacteria never before seen with the human eye, fight off dangerous monsters, like centipedes, and learn to trust each other and each others individual knowledge about the world around them. Each student is a specialist in something, beetles, spiders, poisons etc, and that all becomes life or death information as they travel to find help.

One great example of how richly detailed this books is, is when they are so hungry that they hunt a katydid and butcher it for a meal. insect_musicians_ptero-camel_LEa_WHITE

The description of them craving this thing up almost made me a vegan. No joke. I am not sure I could ever be that hungry. But in all lost survivor novels or movies, you often find the main character doing things you couldn’t see yourself doing. Killing, eating weird food, finding strength, endurance, and the primal will to survive. That is what makes these stories so good, because you sit and squeam about eating a bug while you snack on your crackers, saying you would never do it, but deep down…what would do if you were tiny?

This book was absolute joy to read. It was exactly what you would expect from a two very seasoned authors and it felt like Michael Crichton the whole way through. I think this would appeal to anyone who loves his work, or enjoys science fiction, biology, suspense or just loves a good book. You will have a book hangover after this one.

Seriously though – I don’t want to see one of these at 5’6 – can you imagine seeing it if it was bigger than you?

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