Welcome to our genetic world.
Fast, furious, and out of control.
This is not the world of the future — it’s the world right now.
Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why an adult human being resembles a chimp fetus? And should that worry us? There’s a new genetic cure for drug addiction — is it worse than the disease?
We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps; a time when it’s possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars; test our spouses for genetic maladies and even frame someone for a genetic crime.
We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes …
Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions, and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.
The future is closer than you think. Get used to it. (Goodreads)
As the last official book by the late Michael Crichton Next has big shoes to fill, and does so well enough. Next boasts an interesting concept that is still relevant today and is well executed by its well-educated author. Its contents are not only smart but the way information is presented is smart as well. Most expositional information is presented through fake news reports which work well for this story’s concept. Additionally, the story is considerably realistic as well as plausible (though as time has passed some aspects have become less so due to changes in the law). This is definitely a book for fans of science fiction that poses a moral question, as well as those who are fascinated with genetics (considering a fair amount of the science in the book is considerably sound.)
The one aspect of this book that truly brought it down is the excessive amount of subplots. Some are large and we follow it throughout the entirety of the book while others are relatively short. When it comes down to it, though some of them reinforce the intent of the story, many were irrelevant and distract from the overarching plot. Not only were the subplots excessive but so was the complexity of the scientific concepts presented. For the average reader, the story may be hard to understand and may require multiple reads to fully comprehend. This only adds to the fact that the story itself is slow-moving.
Though I cannot call this a bad book, I found this book ultimately unenjoyable. Having a pre-existing understanding of concepts discussed in said book was definitely advantageous, but did nothing to make the book move any faster than a snail-like pace. This book failed to live up to my expectations as is, at best, mediocre addition to Crichton’s bibliography.