Prey

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $84.00
Paperback $5.99, $10.47
Hardback $20.00
Kindle $6.99
Associated ISBNs 9780066214122
9780061015724 — Paperback
9780060536985 — Paperback
9780061703089 — Paperback
9780307209429 — Paperback
9780062227201 — Paperback
9780606309295 — Glued Binding
9780060540791
9780061750236
9780756931261 — Glued Binding
9780007229734 — Paperback
9781439568262 — Prebind

Rating (VOYA)

3Q, 3P

Its not the greatest quality of thriller, and it comes off pretty dated in some ways. The pace is a little inconsistent, but its still pretty enjoyable.

Popularity-wise, it is a little dated. It is a silly premise, but the subversion of some tropes helps. It could appeal to the mainstream audience.

Readers Annotation

Something is wrong with Julia. Jack must find a way to stop it.

Summary

Jack Forman is currently a stay at home dad after he lost his programming job. His wife Julia works for Xymos, a company that is working with cutting edge technology. Jack suspects that there’s something wrong with Julia, and that she may be having an affair. Julia shows him Xymos’ nanobot project. His sister comes for a visit and he’s called in to consult on a project at Xymos. Julia is involved in a car accident and refuses to have an MRI.

When he gets to Xymos, Ricky the project manager is cagy about the details of the nanobot project. There are swarms of nanobots in the desert that seem to be evolving. Jack watches the nanobot swarms kill a rabbit and takes samples. He comes to the conclusion that they must stop the swarms immediately or they will never be able to be stopped. He takes a team into the desert to get supplies and two die. That night he takes out two other programmers to take out the swarms in their hideout. They blow up the swarm base, but when they get back something strange is going on.

Julia shows up and acts strange. Julia and Ricky argue that the production cannot be shut down and the company should not be notified. A programmer is found dead. Jack and Mae formulate a plan when they find evidence that Ricky and Julia are having an affair and are infected with the nanobots. They put a compound in the sprinkler system and turn off the safety precautions on the production unit and destroy the nanobots. Julia and Ricky die.

Evaluation

This was an okay book. It wasn’t particularly well written, and supposedly smart characters were pretty stupid at times to help with the plot. But it was an intriguing premise of technology gone wrong and the climax was suitably thrilling.

The plot was not bad. Technology gettin out of control is always a compelling plot. It was slow in the beginning, and took way too much time establishing Jack’s life before the incident. The characters were okay. Jack was the most fleshed out, but he could be pretty stupide for plot convience. Mae was probably the best character, though Ricky and Julia weren’t bad either. But all the characters could be stupid when the plot needed them to be.

The setting was pretty good. Jack’s home life was pretty detailed and the desert and factory were just right to give the right feeling. The ending action was pretty thrilling. Once the characters were in danger of the nanobots the action was compelling.

I wasn’t really drawn into the emotion of the book, but I was distracted by the occasional stupidity. I think its a good mainstream thriller that would appeal to people that are a little afraid of technology. Its a good cautionary tale.

Flaws were pretty evident. The pacing was off for half the novel. The characters would be stupid if the plot needed them to not understand, and the technology was just a little dated.

Genre

Techno-thriller

Readalikes

The Deep by Nick Cutter

Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

Significance

This book doesn’t really have much significance. Its a run of the mill “beware the hazards of technology” thriller.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

When do you think Julia became not-Julia?

How are the swarms different from the other nanobots?

Do you think the nanobots were actually stopped?

Author’s website

Michael Crichton

Awards

Booklist Editors’ Choice – Adult Fiction for Young Adults: 2002

Reviews

Kirkus

PW

Why I Chose It

I chose this book for the intriguing premise and because it is a Michael Crichton book.

Other Information