This is a hard one to review, I'm going to spew a lot of words. I'm going to hide them behind spoiler tags so that my review will read better.
This is a fictional book about climate change. Specifically, it's a fictional book that purports climate change to be fictional as well.
My qualifications to have this opinion:(show spoiler)
So, I hated this book. I hated it, despite the fact that I really enjoy reading Crichton, and I thought the plot was somewhat interesting.
The reason I hated it was the characters. I haven't suffered through an author-proxy this insufferable since I read Atlas Shrugged (not reviewed here, but I wouldn't recommend.)
Crichton goes out of his way to smugly contradict environmentalism, climate science, etc. He has lots of footnotes. He points out studies where data has been fudged, where charts are skewed, and data points are cherry-picked. Then, he goes out of his way to present fudged, skewed, cherry-picked points of his own.
It would take me a long time to do a point-by-point takedown of Crichton's stuff, and it's not worth it for a work of fiction.
After getting through the text, I came away with the impression that Crichton was a crazy, flaming climate change denier. Then I read the endnotes. The opinion presented in the endnotes was well-reasoned, intelligent, skeptical, but not throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater anti-environmental. So I want to believe Michael Crichton. I think he's a smart guy, but I think this book was irresponsible. Anyone reading the book but not the endnotes would come away with a sense that environmentalism is a con and a conspiracy. I've met folks who believe that. They're wrong.
In the book, the environmental groups are being backed by a shadowy cabal who wants to destroy civilization because ??. It treats the ELF like some sort of shadow ninja conspiracy. (for a real good read on the real ELF, this series of articles is fascinating.)
As a read, though, it seemed to alternate between chapters of fun crichton action and didactic preachiness about how wrong climate change is. It got a little nauseating.
Now Crichton's skepticism isn't unfounded. I think we should take a hard look at our beliefs and make sure we're doing the right thing for the right reasons. This was unrelenting tin-foil hat stuff, though. Basically trying to say that nothing the environmental movement has ever done has helped. Even if you're skeptical of climate change, please don't believe that nonsense. Controlling pollution helps our world. Science is on our side and trying to make our world better. We can help the environment and the economy at the same time.
Anyway, you could say that nobody bases their opinions about climate change on a pulp novel, but -- come on, what are your opinions on velociraptors?
So, all this hand-waving goes to say-- don't read this book. Do yourself a favor.