There is one thing Michael Crichton has always excelled at, and that is taking a real field of study or research, finding a disturbing way it could be abused, manipulated or get out of control, and then construct a story around it that manages to inform, thrill and scare you all at the same time.

Prey is no different. The subject here is nanotechnology, small molecule sized machines programmed to work together to perform a task. The angle, what happens when the machines are coded with animal behavior logic that is intended to be open-ended and self-optimizing. In other words, the program makes decisions and learns from its mistakes.

The book was a pretty fast read, like most of Crichton’s books, and there is enough technojargon to give the book that science filled feel to it, but it never goes so far as to obscure the story from the read in mumbo jumbo that only learned people in the know would understand.

In short, the book didn’t suck.

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