Micro by Michael Crichton, is an unfinished novel by Crichton, and completed posthumously by Richard Preston. Micro is another scientific novel, discussing the world of micro technology, the possibilities, the ramifications, and the ultimate dangers when in the wrong hands.
The story opens on a private investigator hired by a lawyer to investigate a company named Nanigen. He finds his entry unopposed, but suddenly finds he is bleeding from multiple cuts in his body. He eventually dies as do the two men who accompanied him.
In Massachusetts, a group of seven promising scientists are invited by Nanigen’s president Vin Drake to see his company to see if they wanted to work for his company which is leading research in the world of micro-technology. The vice-president is Eric Jansen, brother of Peter Jansen, one of the scientists, and he texts his brother the night before their scheduled trip not to come. Ignoring the warning the group fly over – to discover that Jansen is missing, believed dead.
Viewing footage of the accident, Peter’s suspicions are aroused and when presenting Drake with his evidence, Drake hustles the group into a Tensor generator and shrinks them to half an inch in size. He tries to kill them by feeding them to a snake but another employee rescues them – only to be killed by Drake for her troubles. The group flee and one security guard is shrunk as well because he overheard the confrontation, warns the group that it is almost impossible to survive with their size for more than three days because of the ‘bends’, something which causes internal bleeding and ultimate death. The group begins to try finding their way back, but suddenly they have to cope with an alien wilderness – where the smallest bug is suddenly a predator and potential death.
Drake in the meantime, has shoved a car into the water with the scientists’ clothes to make it appear that they had drowned and he shrinks two of his best security guards to hunt down the scientists. The group, having lost two members to predatory creatures loses a further two when the guards fire weapons at them. However, the scientists have developed curare tipped harpoons and they eliminate the guards. The troubles continue, as they have to fight every inch of the way – hounded by man and beast as they try to find their way back to the generator to return to their natural size before the bends kick in.
This book is classic Crichton, combining his vast scientific knowledge with his ability to weave spine-tingling plots, as he portrays an eerily plausible scenario where we have to battle forces of nature hitherto unknown to mankind. A chilling and thrilling read.
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