|Genre||Thriller, Science fiction|
|5 January 2010|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Followed by||The Kraken Project|
Wyman Ford returns to investigate a mysterious source of gemstones and instead uncovers evidence of an unusual impact crater. Weaving seemingly separate stories of Wyman Ford's engagement by the government to investigate a meteorite's crater in Cambodia, a Mars Mission scientist's investigation into unusual gamma ray activity on that planet, and a waitress's adventurous trek into the Maine offshore islands to locate a meteor strike that others assumed hit the ocean, the author resolves the fast-moving plots steadily throughout the book, focusing the separate paths to a single conclusion that impacts the future of the entire planet.
The book was reviewed on All Things Considered in February 2010.
The events in this novel follow those of The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon, and Blasphemy. As such, Wyman Ford is the main protagonist once again (having appeared in Tyrannosaur Canyon and Blasphemy), and the character of Stanton Lockwood III (who debuted in Blasphemy) also returns.
Near the start of this solid thriller from bestseller Preston, the U.S. president's science adviser asks former CIA operative Wyman Ford, last seen in 2008's Blasphemy , to look into the sudden appearance of radioactive gemstones, in particular to identify the precise location of their origin in Cambodia. Meanwhile, college dropout and frustrated astronomer Abbey Straw, who believes she witnessed a meteor's fall, embarks on a search of small islands near her Maine home to locate pieces of the meteorite to sell on eBay. In California, soon-to-be murdered professor Jason Freeman sends Mark Corso, a Mars mission technician at the National Propulsion Facility, a classified hard drive with evidence of gamma rays emanating from the red planet. The three story lines end up neatly intersecting, though the final payoff doesn't do justice to the engaging setup. Preston refrains from inserting the scientific minilectures of which the late Michael Crichton was so fond. (Jan.)