This is a fairly typical Crichton book -- I'd rate it a little better than Prey or Timeline, not as good as Disclosure, JP, or Rising Sun.
I'm a little surprised to see all the hostility directed toward his subject matter (right-wing propaganda, said one of the reviewers). As always, his subject matter is well researched and well thought out. Also, as always, there are shadowy groups and people who populate the novel. The use of a wise academic from Cambridge, Mass, to initiate a novice in to the world of faith reminds me of The DaVinci Code -- yet, this is better sourced and supported.
On one hand, you could say he's demonizing environmentalists (like DaVinci Code did to the Catholic Church), but I think if you look below the surface, he's really hitting the lawyers (full disclosure: I am a lawyer) and media people who may be playing with the environment without a real understanding of what they're doing.
And this is a constant theme in Crichton books from Terminal Man to Prey.
Let's face it -- I've never known anyone to read Crichton for character development -- it's not his strong point.
Moreover, if you look back to a book like Congo, you've seen Crichton take the same stand with respect to the environment as he does in this book.
Crichton hasn't changed since he wrote Rising Sun and relied on Al Gore for his background. Those who think he is now a "right-winger" are missing what he has always done as a writer.
In any event, read it for the story and make up you own mind by reading the science elsewhere.
Purportedly by and for those in service to the country, it's just another excuse to line Michael Moore's (ample) pockets.
Note that while my review gives it one star, that's just because Audible won't accept zero stars.
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