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Prey Audiobook Summary

In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles — micro-robots — has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive. It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour. Every attempt to destroy it has failed. And we are the prey.

As fresh as today’s headlines, Michael Crichton’smost compelling novel yet tells the story of a mechanical plague and the desperate efforts of a handful of scientists to stop it. Drawing on up-to-the-minute scientific fact, Prey takes us into the emerging realms of nanotechnology and artificial distributed intelligence — in a story of breathtaking suspense. Prey is a novel you can’t put down. Because time is running out.

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Prey Audiobook Narrator

George Wilson is the narrator of Prey audiobook that was written by Michael Crichton

About the Author(s) of Prey

Michael Crichton is the author of Prey


The publisher of the Prey is HarperAudio. includes the following subjects: The BISAC Subject Code is Fiction, Technological, Thrillers

Additional info

The publisher of the Prey is HarperAudio. The imprint is HarperAudio. It is supplied by HarperAudio. The ISBN-13 is 9780060735623.

Global Availability

This book is only available in the United States.

Goodreads Reviews


September 21, 2017

Crichton is pretty much the king of speculative science fiction. From dinosaurs, to diseases, to genetic engineering, to, in the case of Prey, nanotechnology. If you read a Crichton book and don't say to yourself, "Damn! Science is scary!", then you missed the point. This was not my favorite book of his, but it was very good. The thrills, the mystery, and terror all combined for a pretty intense experience. One of my issues with it, though, was how bizarre and out there some of the plot twists were. These did not make it bad by any means, but super confusing and unbelievable (in a few cases it kind of led to some plot holes, too.)Despite any minor complaints I might have, I can easily recommend this book to someone who likes a good techno-thriller. Also, if you do like Crichton's other works, you really can't go wrong here.


February 25, 2021

In the vast, hot, sparse dry deserts of Nevada a miracle occurs...but not for the good. Back in Silicon Valley , in California, everything seems the same, cutthroat as usual, business is business, the weak fall, and the vicious prevail until another stronger one arrives...Jack Forman is unemployed, he lost his job six months ago, finding corruption can have hazardous consequences , companies are not happy with whistle blowers . A longtime inactive in this competitive place, is a disaster, a man with three children and an ambitious wife Julia, she has a job, is desperate . Jack becomes a househusband, not planned, but someone had to take care of the little kids, they are not angels, his wife much too busy at work. Technology is king in this prosperous valley, all is possible, dangerous experiments...are acceptable for going forward , making big money the goal. Which brings the narrative back to Nevada, a major problem is needed to be solved and Jack is the only person with the knowledge to do it. Oddly rehired by his old company, .Media Tronics, and sent to a secret site across the state border as a consultant for his wife's firm, Xymos , with a hush-hush Pentagon contract. A surprisingly development for the computer programmer... swirling, whirling tiny transparent tornadoes, like dust devils, he views outside the lonely plant, full of deadly bacteria and particles, they are alive, bold, brutal, and reproducing... Constantly changing shapes, beautiful colors, expanding and contracting, fading in high winds, but always reassembling in the burning heat in the daylights calm sun, still people start to die. Growing stronger daily, more intelligent and eerily forming solid images of humans, copies of the workers here. Especially Ricky, in charge of the Silver State's complex, and Jack's friend, however, it becomes apparent he is hiding something important . Jack feels uneasy and has a right to be so. The creatures want to come inside the building, why ? Julia is coming from the valley but he doesn't trust her anymore. Jack and a few friends must travel in the desert's night air and find the dust creatures unknown nest, destroy or be destroyed by them, that is the fact. Venturing down a slippery slope into the darkness of a cave, with menacing things below requires big courage, not many have...A great high- tech thriller, for the modern reader, as only Michael Crichton writes them, so well.


July 23, 2017

“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past, and so might be wrong in the future. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds—and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.”Michael Crichton seems to have a bee in his bonnet about misuse or abuse of technology. Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Next etc. are all cautionary tales about this theme. Prey explores the development and possible (probable?) misuse of nanotechnology. While it is a cautionary tale it is, first and foremost, a blockbusting sci-fi thriller. This is what Crichton (RIP) did, he wrote popular best-selling novels, mostly with a scientific theme. Prey is about the development of an imaging technology for the military using nanotechnology to create molecular cameras that work together in swarm formations to take photos behind enemy lines. These cameras are hard to destroy as they are made up of billions of minuscule nanoparticles. The development of this imaging system leads to the scientists combining the nanoparticles with bacteria in order to give them a biological imperative to work together toward a set goal. Unfortunately, once these wee machines become critters they start to have their own ideas of what they want to do. The novel is narrated in the first person by the protagonist Jack Forman. The first few chapters are mostly about Jack’s disintegrating marriage with bits of science expositions thrown in the mix. Jack is “between jobs” and is looking after his three kids while his wife works as an executive at a company called Xymos where they are developing the nano imaging system. Then his wife starts acting strange, their domestic strife begins to escalate, and a potential nano-apocalypse arises.There is definitely too much soap opera in the first third of the novel for my taste, Crichton should have kept the domestic scenes down to a perfunctory level; he is no Thomas Hardy. Having said that, the build up toward the nanotechnology crisis is quite good. I like how odd little things start happening at Jack’s house, an MP3 player suddenly malfunctioning, one of the kids develop an inexplicable illness which clears up equally inexplicably. I have to say the child characters are awfully written and irritating, fortunately, they are not featured much in the narrative. Jack Forman is a frustratingly terrible protagonist, it seems to take such a long time for the penny to drop for him, that something very weird is going on. He keeps noticing odd things then dismissing them through some idiotic rationalization. While he is the character that drives the narrative forward he also holds it back. I was rooting for the nano-things to put him out of his misery.The best thing about Prey for me is the science expositions, they are very well written and accessible. Unlike hard sci-fi authors like Greg Egan or Stephen Baxter Crichton aimed his science writing at the layman and this is probably the secret of his huge commercial success. I actually learned something about “agent-based computing”, how this programming leads to the nanoparticles developing an “emergent behavior” where the particles work together to solve problems even though individually these particles are brainless little things, together they form a “distributed intelligence” which enables them to plan and reason. What the constantly evolving nanoparticles are eventually able to do after they are fused to bacteria is fascinating.In spite of its flaws I enjoyed Prey tremendously, it is an exciting read that also manages to be educational. Learning through fiction is the most pleasant way to pick up knowledge. I look forward to reading more Crichton soon. Notes:• Most of Crichton’s books are sci-fi but tend to be marketed as general fiction. To catch the fools who disdain sci-fi yet want to read it, I suppose. As far as I know, none of his books are set in the future or an alien planet. Sphere as aliens in it though.• It is odd when Crichton is in the middle of narrating the character’s domestic strife and suddenly slips in and out of science infodump mode.• As an SF author he not a patch on the likes of Clarke and Asimov but he probably has a wider mainstream readership.• Prey was optioned for a movie adaptation years ago, so far nothing. If done well, it would make a pretty great movie, I think. Quotes:“Within fifty to a hundred years, a new class of organisms is likely to emerge. These organisms will be artificial in the sense that they will originally be designed by humans. However, they will reproduce, and will “evolve” into something other than their original form; they will be “alive” under any reasonable definition of the word.”“Sometime in the twenty-first century, our self-deluded recklessness will collide with our growing technological power. One area where this will occur is in the meeting point of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and computer technology. What all three have in common is the ability to release self-replicating entities into the environment.”“They didn’t understand what they were doing. I’m afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race.”“They reconfigured the nanoparticles to add solar power and memory. They rewrote the particle program to include a genetic algorithm. And they released the particles to reproduce and evolve, and see if the swarm could learn to survive on its own.”“We think our bodies are solid, but that’s only because we can’t see what is going on at the cellular level.”“Obstinate egotism that is a hallmark of human interaction with the environment.”


October 11, 2019

Prey, Michael CrichtonPrey is a novel by Michael Crichton, first published in November 2002. The novel is narrated by the protagonist Jack Forman, an unemployed software programmer who used to work for a company called Media Tronics but was fired and blackballed for discovering an internal scandal. As a result, he is forced to take the role of a house husband while his wife Julia serves as a high ranking executive at a nanorobotics company called Xymos. Julia claims that she is working on a new piece of revolutionary imaging technology with her company, which takes up most of her time and makes her grow distant to Jack and her family. He starts believing that during her long hours away from home she is having an affair and becomes watchful of her changes. ...; In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nano particles -- micro-robots -- has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour. Every attempt to destroy it has failed. And we are the prey. عنوانها: ش‍ک‍ار؛ طعمه؛ نویسنده: م‍ای‍ک‍ل‌ ک‍رای‍ت‍ون‌؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز یازدهم ماه اکتبر سال 2004 میلادیعنوان: ش‍ک‍ار؛ نویسنده: م‍ای‍ک‍ل‌ ک‍رای‍ت‍ون‌؛ م‍ت‍رج‍م‌: ن‍ازی‍لا داوری‌دول‍ت‌آب‍ادی‌؛ اص‍ف‍ه‍ان‌: ن‍ش‍ر ب‍ی‍ت‌‏‫، 1382؛ در 448 ص؛ شابک: 9649324577؛ موضوع: داستانهای علمی تخیلی از نویسندگان ‬ ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21 معنوان: طع‍م‍ه‌؛ ن‍وی‍س‍ن‍ده‌: م‍ای‍ک‍ل‌ ک‍رای‍تون‌؛ م‍ت‍رج‍م‌: ق‍اس‍م‌ ک‍ی‍ان‍ی‌‌م‍ق‍دم‌؛ مشهد: ام‍ی‍د م‍ه‍ر‏‫‏، 1383؛ در 432 ص؛ شابک: ایکس - 964860519؛ چاپ دیگر: سبزوار: یوبان‏‫‬، 1395؛ در 432 ص؛ شابک: 9786008349013؛در بیابان «نوادا» یک آزمایشگاه تحقیقاتی بزرگ منفجر شده است. ابری از نانو ذره‌ ها- ریزروبوت‌ها- از آزمایشگاه گریخته اند. این ابر خود مختار است، و قدرت تولید مثل دارد، هوشمند است و به تجربه یاد می‌گیرد. عملا یک موجود زنده است. این موجود به عنوان شکارچی برنامه‌ نویسی شده است. به سرعت تکامل می‌یابد، و با گذشت هر ساعت، مرگبارتر می‌شود. هر تلاشی برای نابودی آن با شکست مواجه شده است. و ما طعمه‌ ی این شکارچی هستیم. نقل نمونه از متن: «آنها نمیفهمیدند که چه کاری دارند انجام میدهند. متأسفانه باید بگویم این جمله بر روی سنگ قبر نسل بشر نوشته خواهد شد.»؛ «ما یکی از سه گونه ای بر روی سیاره مان هستیم، که میتواند ادعای خودآگاهی، داشته باشد؛ با اینحال، خودفریبی، میتواند خصوصیت مهمتری برای گونه ی ما باشد.»؛ «تمام دانش روانشناسی، یک مشکل دارد: هیچکس نمیتواند آن را در مورد خود به کار گیرد. مردم میتوانند در مورد نقصهای دوست، همسر و بچه ی خود به شکل شگفت انگیزی هوشیار و دقیق باشند؛ اما کوچکترین دانشی در مورد خود ندارند.»؛ پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی


June 03, 2012

If someone recommended to me a book about shape-shifting creatures who feed on human flesh to spawn and have a central mothership nest in the middle of a desert, I think I would have never, ever picked up that book and recommended Twilight to that person in return, out of sheer spite. Yes, and I think I would have picked Twilight over this kind of book in a heartbeat.Well, what do ya know, those would have been the most horrible mistakes that I could have ever committed in my life. Well, never judge a book by it's cover, or blurb, seriously.If you have noticed, most of my books in my shelves consist mainly of the romance and young adult genre. I'm sure some people out there have labelled me as sappy and shallow by now. But wait! I'll prove you wrong. I've finally read a Michael Crichton book. Ha! I AM WELL-READ, DEEPLY INTELLECTUAL AND SCIENTIFICALLY KNOWLEDGABLE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA....!Yeah, I'm exaggerating here, and having finished a Michael Crichton book from first page to last should not be the (only) benchmark to judge whether people are just shallow-minded or not. But reading a Michael Crichton book is anything but easy. It's mind-boggling. It's like reading an entire Encyclopedia and learning how to see the interdisciplinarity between the many scientific fields out there. Wow. From computer programming to distributive intelligence to emergent behavior to parasitism and symbiosis to microbiology. A-freaking-mazing. Crichton seems to have an inspirations-overload and regurgitated his entire bachelor and postgraduate Science degrees (Ok, I don't really know the educational background of Crichton, but if he didn't graduate from Science in reality, you definitely would have a hard time convincing me otherwise.) in one entire book without making the storyline seem haphazard. The plot actually makes a lot of sense. I would love to have Crichton as my Science teacher.Hailed as a typical Michael Crichton classic, Prey is a book about a group of white-collar scientists and engineers embarking on an ambitious project only to have things turn awry and ultimately out of their control when they come to realize their so-called project seems to have a mind of its own and turns against the researchers. The brilliance of the book lies in the usage of scientific facts to corroborate the plot so that readers will be convinced of the plot's reality. It's like a forboding prelude to the scientific problems mankind will face in the near future. I bet Crichton's first book ever as a kid in the sixties or seventies (I'm just guessing and am probably wrong; I don't even know his age) is about environmental pollution and climate change. Crichton's book has an unnerving portent for technology-caused calamities which I can only prey - oops! I meant pray will not come true.I'm so proud of myself; I can now spout big words like microbrewery, self-organization, lithotrophic base and assembler design (Ok, with a very ambiguous understanding about what each of the words mean)! This book is not for lazyheads. Merely to comprehend the basic idea of how the predators (not the dinosaurs from Jurrasic Park, but the predators in Prey - Ok, that sounds really weird - and sorry, I cannot be more specific about what the predators are or I'll be giving the most shocking part of the book away; think bees crossed with zombies - Ok, that must have seemed even weirder) came into existence requires readers' full attention to the scientific facts weaved throughout the story. I know most of the reviews for this book on Goodreads are quite negative, but as a student who hasn't gone to college yet, my advantage is that I don't have to suspend any disbeliefs (I don't have any to suspend, sadly) to find the book a believable read. This book makes me want to embark on a science-related career to see firsthand the miracles of science and the coolest technologies that can be invented; yet the book makes me hesitant to study science in fear of having the pleasure of reading sci-fi books lost to me forever. Ironic.Prey is not merely for nerds. There are plenty of action and suspense throughout the book for everyone and anyone (Ok, maybe just anyone who loves action and science) to enjoy. This book is not for the faint-hearted! Before I end this review, I would like to leave readers with a few words of caution: beware of human-eating shape-shifting pee-in-your-pants-inducing predators! According to Crichton, yes, the existence of such creatures seems frighteningly possible and vivid in the near future with the advancement of science. No, I am not talking about the vampires from Twilight, *wink wink. Unless Crichton starts a new book about how vampires can actually exist from the viewpoint of science, I will never believe in the existence of Twilight vampires. God, I would LURRRRVE to see Crichton try.

Teck Wu

May 06, 2022

Exciting and the science on emergent behaviour and self-reproduction of bots is so good and fairly plausible. Pretty dystopic thinking about it tbh. I enjoyed it!


June 29, 2022

This is my second Michael Crichton read (thank you Simone), and I absolutely could not put this book down! As is classic Michael Crichton style, this is a piece of speculative science fiction. We open to story from the perspective of our protagonist, Jack Forman, a biologist turned programmer raising a family in Silicon Valley. Jack is currently unemployed and is a stay-at-home-dad after being let go by his employer. We are then introduced to his wife, Julia, an ambitious executive at a biotechnology startup, focused on the development of molecular engineering to synthesize nanorobots. When we first meet Julia, Jack reflects on how her demeanor has become more aggressive and impatient, with her growing distant from her family due to her long hours at work. After Julia is in a car accident, Jack is approached by his prior employer to work as a consultant on his wife's project. He is flown out to the barren desert of Nevada, where an experiment has gone horribly wrong. The nanobots have escaped the lab, and having been programmed with a machine learning algorithm based on biological systems, they have become a nightmarish threat. These bots can not only self-sustain, but reproduce. And with their built-in ability to problem solve, they are learning how to become better hunters, quickly. THey have become predators, and we are the prey.In typical Crichton fashion, this story is filled with twists and turns, one can never quite tell who is on what side, creating a sense of uneasiness in each character interaction. While this book was a great page turner, and I did in fact greatly enjoy it, it was not perfect. As mentioned before, Jack tells us how his wife has changed, that she used to be a wonderful, loving wife and mother, something not currently demonstrated when she enters the story. However, I wished that we could have seen that transition from a wonderful family woman to the agitated, paranoid woman in the novel. Not that I believe Jack is a very unreliable narrator, but he is a man who has been unemployed for 6 months, in a time when being a stay-at-home-dad was not well received. This leads to insecurity on his end, which could lead to him potentially misinterpreting his wife's behavior. If we as the readers had watched his wife's transformation, I believe it would have helped the narrative.Additionally, the book seemed to reach a high point and stay there for a sizeable amount of time before the story quickly wrapped up in a mere matter of pages. I never felt a real sense of dread or suspense leading to the climax, as there was no clear buildup or high point. This is a similar issue I had with the Crichton novel I read prior.One last thing: I work with nanomaterials. My whole schtick since I became interested in engineering and chemistry was nanomaterial/nanoparticle synthesis. So the whole nanobots thing just seemed... highly unrealistic? As well as the synthesis process. Therefore, although this work is meant to be speculative sci-fi, it comes across as near fantasy, using the people's fear of the unknown and fear of new technology to create a suspenseful thriller. Except, the science just isn't sound. So for my fellow scientists, especially my nanoengineers, beware that you will have to suspend your disbelief to fully enjoy the novel.Overall, this was a fun vacation read and presented a compelling and unorthodox antagonist.


March 13, 2017

I chose this book for my science project and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I usually do not enjoy science books but I found this one very exciting and interesting. I would recommend it to all looking for a good science book to read.


November 14, 2015

Ok so did jack succeed or what?!??This was a very cloak and dagger type read. It was full of mysteries, and non-stop action! The lead character was a noble hero!! I don't think anyone could not root for him. But I am worried for the supporting characters... WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM!!! The story was a little far fetched. But idk maybe it's something that could happen, all this technology getting better and better, more and more complicated EVERYDAY!!!Kinda frightening when you think of it that way....


September 30, 2008

Like all Chrichton books, I really enjoyed this blend of modern technology, science, and fiction. It's an entertaining way to learn something new while enjoying a decent story. Yeah, it can be a slower read at times while you work thru the descriptive science, but I never felt that it distracted from the experience. Not as good as Jurassic Park, but a tad better than Sphere and much better than Congo, Timeline, & Eaters of the Dead.


March 10, 2019

One of the most entertaining books I've ever read.


September 10, 2017

I had heard about Prey since a few years, but got round to reading it only a few days back. The story is very interesting. A technology experiment - combining bio and nano tech brings out unexpected results (quite expectedly!) and a crisis of sorts. Jack is a person who has lost his job. His wife Julia works in a senior position at a company called Xymos. The company is reportedly on the verge of making a major breakthrough - nano miniature cameras which can be used for a wide range of purposes. Jack takes care of the kids and despite his best efforts finds it difficult to get a job, especially as his exit from the previous company had issues - though for no fault of his.Jack finds himself drawn to issues at Xymos - to rein in organisms which have gone out of control. There is tragedy, quite a bit of it and the book has good pace throughout.The books also brings out the dangers of technology - if we are not careful with it. Overall a good science fiction read.

Cody | CodysBookshelf

October 09, 2016

Prey is my very first Michael Crichton book. Before this book, the only experience I had with Crichton was the film adaptation of Jurassic Park, a movie I had never seen until my girlfriend urged me to watch it. I was intrigued by the movie and could definitely see why it's considered a classic in the world of cinema. A Crichton novel has to be even better, right? Oddly enough, I can't find the novel version of Jurassic Park without paying more than five bucks (sorry, but when I buy old books I want to get 'em cheaper than that) -- even more for the few hardcovers I've stumbled across online. Therefore, as a way of satisfying my Michael Crichton urge in the meantime, I decided to read Prey. Like Park (and several other Crichton titles), Prey is about science gone awry and causing terror in the lives of the scientists involved as well as their families, i.e. normal folks. The star of the show is Jack Forman, an unemployed software programmer who was fired for discovering an internet scandal. Now a stay-at-home dad, he is the husband of Julia, vice president at nano-robotics company Xymos. Julia begins spending more and more time at work, claiming she is working on something "revolutionary" and time-consuming. Jack is convinced she is cheating. It is not until he, too, gets hired on at Xymos as a consultant that he sees what Julia and her team has been up to and how big of a risk they are all facing. Going into this novel, I didn't think Crichton would pull off making nano-robots scary, but his creations are quite terrifying. A certain scene in a storage building (you know the one, and if you don't, you will when you read this book) had me on edge, flipping the pages as quickly as I could. There are brutal deaths aplenty here, as well as destruction and blood and vomit. Crichton never goes overboard, but he certainly tests his limits a few times. There isn't a whole lot more I can say without spoiling important parts of the book, and no one wants that. Crichton has written a pretty strong technothriller -- one that, despite being published in 2002, doesn't feel too dated or cheesy by any means. It feels very modern and like something that really could happen out west in a hidden laboratory. Sure, at times the science is a bit wonky and the characters aren't exactly fully-formed beings, but that's not what this story is about. Like the rest of Crichton's work (or so I assume based on the research I've done!), this is a cautionary tale, showing what can happen when humans try playing God. It's about action, not character work. The author mixes horror and sci-fi pretty well here, and I couldn't put it down. A full 4 stars.

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