Pretty good techno-thriller from a new (to me) author in the Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton mold.

I’ve not read anything previously by Daniel Suarez, but he’s been well received by fans of techno thrillers and military fiction, which I will sometimes touch on peripherally. Some surprisingly imaginative ideas spiced up a pretty standard action story, complete with sneering antagonist (gee, I wonder if something bad will happen to him in the end?).

I was reminded quite a lot of several Michael Crichton stories, and apparently I’m not the only one (note the cover blurb). But like pretty much all Crichton work, the story suffered from predictability and an undermining attitude of “mess with technology and this is what WILL happen”. I always thought that was kind of a lame argument on Crichton’s part (wouldn’t Jurassic Park be more interesting if its failures were more subtle and long-term in nature?).

I guess it’s what sells, but it does ultimately relegate stories like this to derogatory categorization, e.g. “it’s an airport read”. That would be unfortunate in this case, because there is some remarkable stuff going on here, even if I can’t ultimately give it top marks.

Good audio by Jeff Gurner, who’s mostly worked on other techno-thrillers, military fiction, and Star Wars titles. Unsurprisingly, he does a good job with technical details and action sequences.

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