Large Print Reviews
State of Fear
By Michael Crichton
State of Fear
By Michael Crichton
Large Print Edition
Harper Large Print, 2004
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - March 25, 2005
State of Fear is an action-packed thriller by Michael Crichton that pits eco-terrorists against an unlikely group of heros, including a MIT professor turned agent for the National Security Intelligence Agency (NSIA), a lawyer, an executive assistant, and a former Nepalese climbing guide. Into this intriguing mix are thrown a series of unusual murders, the purchase of exotic cavitation machinery, the leasing of a research submarine, and a shadowy organization that is on the lookout for 'unusual' activity around the world.
The main focus of this story is global warming, and whether or not it is a real phenomenon - and at the center of it all is the tiny Pacific island of Vanutu. The Islanders have filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that due to their activities, or lack thereof, they have greatly contributed to global warming and the accompanying rise in sea levels. They fear that they will be forced to flee their homeland as the sea levels rise, and they want to be compensated for this monestrous, yet to materialize, loss. The Vanutu lawsuit is being aided in their cause by the National Environmental Resource Fund, an environmental friendly philanthropic organization, run by George Morton. Morton, however, soon begins to question the scientific foundations of this lawsuit. Shortly thereafter, he is involved in a horrific car crash and his body is thought to have been thrown out of the car and into the sea. Was this just a tragic accident or was Morton murdered to prevent him from withdrawing his monetary backing of the lawsuit? As our intrepid band of heroes look into Morton's death, they are lead on a dangerous race around the world. They are all that stands between the Environmental Liberation Front (ELF), a group of deadly eco-terrorists, and a series of man-made catastrophes of epic proportions.
This is a fast paced story that takes readers from the streets of Paris to an arctic glacier. The writing is fluid, and Crichton's story line is thought-provoking and entertaining. I did however, have one problem with this story. Crichton used this book as a platform from which to explain why he thinks that global warming is a contrived and unfounded theory. On its own, I do not have any problems with authors using their writing as a forum to express their views. I do have a problem in this case, however, because Crichton has incorporated a wealth of scientific data into this book - even to the point of using foot notes and charts. These forays into scientific dogma interfere with the flow of the story and they dampen the excitement of the story, in spots. In and of themselves, these scientific forays are interesting, but the story would have been better served if Crichton had been more selective in the amount of scientific explanations that he included.
Overall, State of Fear is a real page-turner that will keep your interest from beginning to end. While not up to the standards of Jurassic Park or The Andromeda Strain, this is still an enjoyable book that provides hours of entertaining reading. It is also a wonderfully thought provoking book that will have your rethinking your understanding of global warming, its causes, and whether or not Crichton got it right.
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- Timeline, by Michael Crichton
This is a full-out, swashbuckling, adventure yarn. It is full of sword fights, damsels in distress, wicked and cruel villains, the occasional flaming horse carcass, and three determined grad students out to rescue their professor who has been trapped in the past. (Large Print)
- Rainbow Six, by Tom Clancy.
John Clark, Jack Ryan's sidekick, is the star of this massive techno-thriller as he takes control of an international anti-terrorist organization. The team's first order of business - save the human race! (Large Print)
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