Next | Teen Ink

Next MAG

By Anonymous

     We can always rely on Michael Crichton to deliver fast-paced, thought-provoking novels about the progression of science and technology. Next is a science-gone-too-far novel (a la Jurassic Park) with myriad storylines that weave seamlessly together as the plot thickens.

The cover instantly grabbed my attention with a primate trapped in a cage evocative of a bar code. Thankfully, this is not all Next has to offer. In one of its storylines, a woman and her child are pursued across the country because they possess valuable genetic coding. Another plot follows a transgenic primate (having both human and primate genes) that is raised as a child and attends school. Another man blames his pedophiliac crimes on a gene that forces him to take risks.

Although these plots may sound far-fetched, disturbing and fascinating questions are raised: Can one’s genes be the property of someone else? Will it be possible to create functioning transgenic beings? How far will gene studies go and could these events realistically happen?

Blending horror with humor, and fact with fiction, Next is an entertaining roller-coaster ride. Although it may help if you have some background knowledge of human biology, Crichton does a terrific job breaking down heavy scientific ideas into layman’s terms. He offers proof to back up his extraordinary claims. Alternating with gripping storylines are enjoyable news articles with headlines like “Neanderthal Man: Too Cautious to Survive?” or “Cavemen Preferred Blondes.”

The novel ends with Crichton’s reflections on five conclusions for how to stop a genetic catastrophe. He successfully showcases the crazy, ruthless world of genetics. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science-tinged, fast-paced novels.

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This article has 1 comment.

on May. 29 2010 at 9:28 pm
Electricity PLATINUM, Bradenton, Florida
30 articles 0 photos 271 comments
I read your review, so I read the book. I was thrilling, I loved it!