I love this author and have read almost all of his fiction. But this is not Preston's best work. The storyline itself is intriguing, as is the science involved, but his villains are the basest sort of caricatures, as are the bureaucrats. Preston's story comes across heavy-handed in its disdain of religion, which I imagine is off-putting to all but the most fanatical anti-religion adherents. It's almost as if the author--through the story as a whole--engages in the same sort of mindless judging and finger-pointing about religion and faith that he accuses the Christian right of doing to those who aren't believers. Beyond that, the ending was quite a disappointment. If you've never read Preston, don't start with this one.
Isabella is the most powerful machine ever built. She's so powerful , that when turned on the lights in Las Vegas sligthly dim, she's a secon-generation superconducting supercollider particle accelerator. She's the one to prove the Big Bang
and it's energy levels, she's there to explore exotic ideas for generating power.
When Isabella has her first test-run on 100% of power scientists are puzzled about a greeting-message. Someone must have broken into the system and hid a malware program in to 40 billion project. But who and why ?
The scientists become more quizzed when Isabella answers with intelligence. When she responses to dorect questions with an direct, specific answer. Who are they talking to ? And is it possible that Isabella is who he claims to be ? Namely being God.
Things soon get out of control when Russ Eddy eavesdrop a talk between two of the non scientist members of the small Isabella team. Pastor Eddy fears Isabella is the beginning to the Armageddon and the leading scientist Gregory North Hazelius is the Antichrist. He sends out 2000 emails to 2000 Christians and releases a chain reaction of unexpected extent. The Christians arrive at the underground "hive" to ambush the project and the scientists. Lead by a maniac and heavy armed they don't stop for a single soul. Who doesnt belong to them simply dies.
I am not too impressed by the book. Mainly there is no main character. Or there is one but a very one-dimensional one. The idea of a machine talking as a higher intelligence isn't exactly new so I always thought I knew what is going to happen and wasn't a bit surprised when exactly happened what happened. It cleary lacks of consistence and is poor in execution.
This one's going to be quick. Lots of plot elements and characters, but some very nice intersections of some very different concepts a super-collider, Christian fundamentalism, national politics, Indian affairs the fact that I figured out WHO was responsible didn't lessen my enjoyement (even though I didn't figure out WHY).
Rating: 4 stars it felt a little stretched out; with a little extra editing, I would have rated it higher.
Another very exciting book very well written.
A thought-provoking exploration of the interplay of science and religion with politics thrown in to really complicate matters. Very interesting.
I picked up this book on a fluke. Once I started listening, it "had" me right away, and I couldn't stop listening until I was done. I think I need to read more of Preston's work....
Preston mixes science with spirituality. As always full of excitement and hard science conjecture. A great read!
You can tell when someone writes their book with having a movie deal in mind...this is one of them. The plot was interesting, you can guess the whodonits part before the big reveal. It isn't the best written and because it was written in chronological order, the plot seemed to drag on a little. I am not sure it is in the caliber of Michael Chrichton, but it comes close. A decent read.
Contemporary suspense/thriller by Douglas Preston. Wyman Ford, ex-monk, ex-CIA agent, widower, and private contractor is hired to find out why a multi-million dollar project in Arizona is floundering.
In Arizona, in the middle of the desert, government project, Isabella is stalled. Isabella is a huge atom-smasher, scientists hope will help uncover the scientific secrets of the beginnings of the Universe.
The scientists are having difficulty getting Isabella to work, the Native Americans protest the project, and the Christian Conservative community feel Isabella is Blasphemy.
I enjoyed the book. But I was able to figure out some of the plot.
Didn't finish. Probably not a bad book, but it suffers from being pretty much a clone of Preston & Childs' "Mount Dragon", with a vast and sinister Secret Project in the Arizona, staffed by a group of miscellaneous wackos, all with secrets of their own, which will go awry with earth-shattering results.
A real page turner - I finished it in less than 24 hours. Mystery, action, and a little romance; a fun read.
This book follows the same kind of story arc as many of the Preston / Child books - in fact the characters are far to similar to the stereotypical roles that appear in others. However, it's an interesting premise and an entertaining book. Preston calls into question what shapes belief and religion....whether you agree or disagree, there is plenty to consider as you read. Recommended for Preston/Child fans.
Good story except he gets a bit fogged with the ending. An OK Read
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The underlying science is solid and well-researched, which is important to me in a sci-fi novel. Preston's pacing is excellent and made it very hard to put the book down.
He offers an action-packed plot which shows us the dangers of allowing religiosity to persist unchallenged, (although his religious characters are a bit one-dimensional). While doing so, he manages to invent a God that even an atheist could believe in, and demonstrates how strong the pull to believe in something can be. Through the magic of suspension of disbelief inherent in reading fiction, I found myself wanting this God to turn out to be real.
If you read Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, and Stephen Wolfram (and I highly recommend you do), you will enjoy this one. If you're looking for intense characterization, romance, and unexpected plot twists, this one is not for you.
How does he do it? Book after book, Douglas Preston never fails to catch your imagination. A real page turner as always.
Interesting book. Enjoyed it.
The authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child write thrillers together.
This is one of Preston's solo books. It's about a 'genius' physicist
who overreaches in his plan to become the next 'Universal God'.
It's, of course, set in an ultra-secret, ultra-advanced science
center. It's Big Bang, anti matter and philosophical too. The
part I like best about the book is it's a "What's Behind the
Curtain in Oz" story.
Very boring. I love Preston and Child together and they often write good apart. But this book was a total disappointment! I can't believe I spent more than $20 on the hardback. :(
Couldn't put this one down.