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Airframe by Michael Crichton This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   If you are a fan of Michael Crichton, or you have read any of his books, and you are thinking of reading Airframe, you may want to think again. Airframe, Crichton's first book since The Lost World, doesn't exactly live up to his earlier books. It doesn't have his usual style of suspense to keep the reader interested. It starts off with a bang but then it gets involved with plot twist after pointless plot twist which just make the story more confusing. It is also very slow moving. It builds slowly and doesn't seem to add up to much.

At the beginning, Crichton presents the problem: an airplane making unexplainable dives, which lead to an accident in the sky, due to something being wrong with that particular line of planes. Although this doesn't sound very exciting, this part of the story is really quite interesting, and confusing. It is actually the only interesting part of the whole story. The rest of the books deals with a research team from the airline company trying to figure out what went wrong.

Halfway through the book, Crichton starts throwing curves. The first one is a rumor that the parts are actually going to Korea which could somehow affect the existence of the company in the future, but that is one of the many things the book doesn't explain very well. This element of the story pretty much overrides the original conflict and makes you wonder what happened to the original story. It is also very confusing.

Then Crichton introduces a news show called Newsline which, for lack of a story, wants to exploit the airline company by using the incident and several others they managed to dig up. Both of these plot twists make the story more confusing and less interesting. They also make the reader wonder if this is the same story they started reading when they first picked up the book.

Perhaps if the story moved quicker, it wouldn't have these problems. This, along with Crichton not explaining things well, makes it very confusing. Crichton seems too caught up with trying to explain his carefully researched knowledge of airplanes rather than telling the plot in an understandable way.

Airframe was an interesting idea that just doesn't work. In one sense, it is a very sophisticated and well-researched book. But on the other hand, it isn't very well thought out and gives the impression of something slapped together to meet a deadline.

But in reality, it doesn't live up to the expectations of previous Crichton books. In other words, don't make the same mistake I did and get sucked in because of the author's name and his history of writing really good books, like Sphere, and The Great Train Robbery. Not all of his books are going to be good. If you pick up this book because Michael Crichton's name is on the cover, it may be one of the most pointless books you ever read.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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