Friday, January 8, 2010


Impact by Douglas Preston
hardcover, 364 pages
Forge, 2009 (released Jan. 5, 2010)
ISBN-13: 9780765317681
science fiction thriller
very highly recommended

Wyman Ford is tapped for a secret expedition to Cambodia... to locate the source of strangely beautiful gemstones that do not appear to be of this world.
A brilliant meteor lights up the Maine coast... and two young women borrow a boat and set out for a distant island to find the impact crater.
A scientist at the National Propulsion Facility discovers an inexplicable source of gamma rays in the outer Solar System. He is found decapitated, the data missing.
High resolution NASA images reveal an unnatural feature hidden in the depths of a crater on Mars... and it appears to have been activated.
Sixty hours and counting.
My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Impact, the new novel by Douglas Preston. It is an engaging thriller with science fiction elements. Impact is well written with great characterization and full of enough suspense to compel me to keep reading in order to find out what happens next. Wyman Ford is back, but it's okay if this is your first introduction to him. Impact is a complete story on it's own. I also enjoyed the characters of Abbey and her friend, Jackie, even as I shook my head over some of their actions. Belief is stretched a bit when Ford has 20 year old Abbey help him, but they made a great team. You can whip through the short chapters pretty quickly, following several storylines and the dangers Ford and Abbey face while trying to unravel what the meteorite really was. It's exciting when all the storylines come together at the end at the dramatic conclusion. This is a great thrill ride and the perfect way to spend a cold, miserable day!
Very Highly Recommended


The trick would be to slip in the side door and get the box up the back stairs without making a sound. opening

She rolled over in bed, gazing at the box. Sliding out her cell phone, she dialed. "Jackie?" she whispered. "Meet me down at the wharf at nine. I got a surprise."
Fifteen minutes later, cradling the telescope, Abbey cracked the bedroom door and listened. pg. 14

Abbey saw the sudden light before she saw the thing itself. It came from behind the church, the harbor instantly as bright as day; it streaked across the sky in utter silence, like a ghost, and then an immense sonic boom shook the pier, followed by a blast-furnace roar as the thing blazed over the ocean at incredible speed, disappearing behind Louds Island. There was a final flash of light followed by a cannonade of thunder, rolling over the ocean distances into silence. pg. 16

"....The meteorite is on one of those islands." Her fingers thumped on each one in turn as she named it: "Louds, Marsh, Ripp, Egg Rock, and Shark. We could search them in less than a week." pg. 20

"It's simple: go in, find the mine, get out. Do absolutely nothing. Don't touch the mine. We're still analyzing those gemstones - they might be extremely important."
"I have no interest in going back to Cambodia," said Ford, his hand resting on the doorknob." pg. 26-27

For a crazy moment Corso thought maybe Freeman wasn't dead after all, that the old reprobate had gone to Mexico or something, but then he noted the cancellation date, which was ten days old, and the Media Mail stamp on the box. Ten days... Freeman had mailed the package two days before his murder and it had been in transit ever since. pg. 30

Before he got rid of the drive, he'd just take a quick look at it - see what the hell Freeman was talking about. pg 33

(On a side note it seems that some of the ratings at Amazon are from people who are trying to "punish" Preston because they can't get the book on their Kindle's right away. Get a gripe, people. Don't publish bad ratings because you are having a temper tantrum. Having the book immediately available on the Kindle is not a right. It is also not fair to give a book bad ratings based on factors outside of the actual contents of the book. There also may be some people who seem to be determined to punish Preston because he's a successful author.)

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