The Andromeda Evolution: Crichton’s Andromeda Strain sequel, terrifying sequel, has arrived as Daniel H. Wilson finished the late author’s manuscript with the support of the Michael Crichton’s family.
And this begs the question: just how many more Michael Crichton unfinished manuscripts are waiting to be finished in future collaborations?
Wilson, a robotics engineer, is best known for his use of literary wit and technology and is most famous for his ridiculous thriller “Robopcalypse,” so he was an apt choice for collaborating on the late author Chrighton’s sequel to his pandemic-driven novel.
The following review will contain **SPOILERS** for both The Andromeda Strain and The Andromeda Evolution.
The Andromeda Strain, as millions of fans know, describes the panicked efforts to stop the spread of an alien microparticle that first instantly coagulates human blood or induces the harrowing suicide of dozens to only then mutate to dissolve plastics in the upper atmosphere.
Here is the story synopsis, and the review continues below it.
In 1967, an extraterrestrial microbe came crashing down to Earth and nearly ended the human race. Accidental exposure to the particle—designated The Andromeda Strain—killed every resident of the town of Piedmont, Arizona, save for an elderly man and an infant boy. Over the next five days, a team of top scientists assigned to Project Wildfire worked valiantly to save the world from an epidemic of unimaginable proportions. In the moments before a catastrophic nuclear detonation, they succeeded.
In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued. And the world thought it was safe…
Deep inside Fairchild Air Force Base, Project Eternal Vigilance has continued to watch and wait for the Andromeda Strain to reappear. On the verge of being shut down, the project has registered no activity—until now. A Brazilian terrain-mapping drone has detected a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the tell-tale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle.
Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat. If the Wildfire team can’t reach the quarantine zone, enter the anomaly, and figure out how to stop it, this new Andromeda Evolution will annihilate all life as we know it.
Fifty years later, a mutated strain has dropped in Earth’s atmosphere while a special team of observers maintain Project Eternal Vigilance.
When The Andromeda Evolution opens, a drone spots a metallic-looking shape growing up out of the Amazon jungle, “the whole of it gleaming like a beetle’s waxy shell in the rising midday sun.”
Situated along the equator, this giant structure is located far from any development, deep in an area inhabited only by tribes who have never made contact with modern civilization.
Mass spectrometry data taken by military satellites indicates that the quickly swelling mutation is “an almost exact match to the Andromeda strain.”
A nuclear strike is debated but considered too problematic to be enacted as a “solution.”
A nuclear explosion would feed the anomaly that lives off energy…provoking the declaration:
“We are facing an unknown enemy who is staging an attack over the gulf of a hundred-thousand years and across our solar system and likely the cosmos.
“This is war.”
Humanity’s hope falls on Project Wildfire’s shoulders.
Consisting of a few scientists, the elite Wildfire team tries to keep the planet from being infected while persisting through the perilous jungle landscape that they find they are dangerously ill-equipped to face.
The jungle proves to be an ominous setting with death and misery lurking around every suspenseful corner. Wilson’s background in robotics is illustrated throughout the novel as technological gizmos play a crucial role in the plot.
Crichton would be proud of the culminated novel. His typical style of literary pacing is amplified in this suspenseful rollercoaster – an exponential increase of suspense carries through until the novel’s conclusion.
Near future technology and innovation are present and most appreciating to read.
The Andromeda Evolution is a must-read sequel for The Andromeda Strain fans and the science fiction community.
The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)
“IThe Andromeda Evolution: Crichton’s Andromeda Strain Sequel” was written by Peter Maisano.