Crichton has been one of my favorite authors ever since I read Timeline. I liked his style of writing. I was really impressed by how he mixed complex subjects such as quantum physics with fiction. He managed to make all the difficult stuff seem simple, still keeping the book fast paced and easy to read. This book however was not as impressive as Timeline was. It was both predictable, slow paced and for the most part from only one point of view. The book had no real depth and made me at times feel spoon-fed by the author.
I am not a fan of any kind of art that tries to be too detailed in explaining what I think I am intelligent enough to understand. For example in a film when a bad guy is stalking behind a corner and he has a gun, it really bothers me if the following shot is a close up of the gun he is holding. I believe the artist in any medium should expect at least that much level of intelligence from their audience.
I am not saying that it was a not good book. I did enjoy it and finished it rather quickly, but it was mostly by that urge to prove to myself that I had already guessed what was supposed to happen.
The book had a couple of big redeeming qualities that I really liked. One was demonizing the media and more specifically television as an evil that is damaging the world. A paragraph from the book summarized it best by pointing out that TV makes our life seem without excitement, almost boring, the solution to the problem is just simply turning the TV off.
The second redeeming quality was that the main character was a strong woman that in the end defeated a man that had considered her not smart enough to spoil his plans. At the same time I am not sure that a woman would be impressed by the authors point of view on describing a strong woman.
I would not recommend this book if you have an extensive list already waiting for you, if you are interested on opening a little window into how the airframe manufacturing industry might work and really dislike what TV news has done to information flow, give it a try.
(*) Don’t bother even reading the synopsis
(**) If you want to kill some time
(***) Great reading for a long trip
(****) Must Read