Impact

( 279 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Some hopeful science fiction fans such as yours truly have begun to see Preston as the possible successor to the recently deceased Michael Crichton… Some novels you want to savor, some you want to read so quickly that you can scarcely keep yourself from tearing pages as you move forward. Preston's entertaining accomplishments tend toward the latter."
--Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio

"What this book needs is a mind eraser, one that sweeps it from your mind so that you can pick it up and read it again, new and fresh.  Yeah, it's that good.  People who enjoy a good dose of action, well-explained science and brilliant science fiction will find themselves spellbound with [Impact].  But once you read it, too bad.  It would be nice to forget it, and then read it again."
--Lincoln Journal Star

“Impact is out of this world. Simply put, Douglas Preston has crossed over into a new frontier of thriller. It is a fireball of astronomic proportion that will leave you gasping for air! So buckle up, turn off the phone, and don’t forget to breathe.”
Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Apostle

“Douglas Preston’s wildly creative novels expertly blend real science and heart-stopping thrills. He is, quite simply, the new and improved Michael Crichton.”
Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Keepsake

“A brilliantly executed thriller—exciting, fascinating, and thought-provoking. The kind of book you want to savor—and when dawn comes you realize that it has taken off like a rocket and swept you through the night. Wild and wonderful reading fun! A highly original and yet eerily plausible premise.”
Whitley Strieber, New York Times bestselling author of Critical Mass

“Brilliant . . . full of huge ideas, but intensely human, too, and intensely suspenseful.”
Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels

“Preston will have his readers checking the sky for falling objects. Impact delivers one . . . and then some!”
Sandra Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Smash Cut: A Novel

“One of our best writers and entertainers is back, so make sure that your seat belts are securely fastened and your tray tables are stowed, because—no surprise—Douglas Preston pulls it off yet again: another fast-paced, action-packed, mind-bending adventure. You’ll be sorry when the flight is over and your imagination returns you to the real world.”
William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Constitution

Publishers Weekly
Near the start of this solid thriller from bestseller Preston, the U.S. president's science adviser asks former CIA operative Wyman Ford, last seen in 2008's Blasphemy, to look into the sudden appearance of radioactive gemstones, in particular to identify the precise location of their origin in Cambodia. Meanwhile, college dropout and frustrated astronomer Abbey Straw, who believes she witnessed a meteor's fall, embarks on a search of small islands near her Maine home to locate pieces of the meteorite to sell on eBay. In California, soon-to-be murdered professor Jason Freeman sends Mark Corso, a Mars mission technician at the National Propulsion Facility, a classified hard drive with evidence of gamma rays emanating from the red planet. The three story lines end up neatly intersecting, though the final payoff doesn't do justice to the engaging setup. Preston refrains from inserting the scientific minilectures of which the late Michael Crichton was so fond. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Wyman Ford, hero of Tyrannosaur Canyon and Blasphemy, returns in Preston's latest thriller, where the stakes involve not only the salvation of the world but also the solar system. A young woman in Maine sees a meteorite streak through the sky and decides to find the crater. A scientist working on Mars data finds something so startling that he is murdered to keep the information secret. And Ford heads to Cambodia to investigate the source of a new gemstone on the market that has radioactive properties. When he arrives, he realizes that the mine is an exit hole. How can a meteorite travel through the earth? VERDICT Preston has done it again. The thriller elements mix well with the science aspects of the story, and the author makes even the hard-to-grasp concepts easy to understand. Most readers will consume this in one sitting; not to be missed.—Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765356970
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Series: Wyman Ford Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 207,885
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston is the co-author with Lincoln Child of the celebrated Pendergast series of novels, including such best-selling titles as Fever Dream, The Book of the Dead, The Wheel of Darkness, and Relic, which became a number one box office hit movie. His solo novels include the New York Times bestsellers Blasphemy, The Codex, and Tyrannosaur Canyon. His most recent nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is being made into a film starring George Clooney. Preston is an expert long-distance horseman, a member of the elite Long Riders Guild, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He has travelled to remote parts of the world as an archaeological correspondent for The New Yorker. He also worked as an editor and writer at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University. Preston is the Co-president of International Thriller Writers, and serves on the Governing Council of the Authors Guild.

Biography

Douglas Preston was born in 1956 in Cambridge, MA, was raised in nearby Wellesley (where, by his own admission, he and his brothers were the scourge of the neighborhood!), and graduated from Pomona College in California with a degree in English literature.

Preston's first job was as a writer for the American Museum of Natural History in New York -- an eight year stint that led to the publication of his first book, Dinosaurs in the Attic and introduced him to his future writing partner, Lincoln Child, then working as an editor at St. Martin's Press. The two men bonded, as they worked closely together on the book. As the project neared completion, Preston treated Child to a private midnight tour of the museum, an excursion that proved fateful. As Preston tells it, "...in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to [me] and said: 'This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!'" Their first collaborative effort, Relic, would not be published until 1995, by which time Preston had picked up stakes and moved to Santa Fe to pursue a full-time writing career.

In addition to writing novels (The Codex, Tyrannosaur Canyon) and nonfiction books on the American Southwest (Cities of Gold, Ribbons of Time), Preston has collaborated with Lincoln Child on several post-Relic thrillers. While not strictly a series, the books share characters and events, and the stories all take place in the same universe. The authors refer to this phenomenon as "The Preston-Child Pangea."

Preston divides his time between New Mexico and Maine, while Child lives in New Jersey -- a situation that necessitates a lot of long-distance communication. But their partnership (facilitated by phone, fax, and email) is remarkably productive and thoroughly egalitarian: They shape their plots through a series of discussions; Child sends an outline of a set of chapters; Preston writes the first draft of those chapters, which is subsequently rewritten by Child; and in this way the novel is edited back and forth until both authors are happy. They attribute the relatively seamless surface of their books to the fact that "[a]ll four hands have found their way into practically every sentence, at one time or another."

In between, Preston remains busy. He is a regular contributor to magazines like National Geographic, The New Yorker, Natural History, Smithsonian, Harper's, and Travel & Leisure, and he continues with varied solo literary projects. Which is not to say his partnership with Lincoln Child is over. Fans of the bestselling Preston-Child thrillers can be assured there are bigger and better adventures to come.

Good To Know

Douglas Preston counts among his ancestors the poet Emily Dickinson, the newspaperman Horace Greeley, and the infamous murderer and opium addict Amasa Greenough.

His brother is Richard Preston, the bestselling author of The Hot Zone, The Cobra Event, The Wild Trees, and other novels and nonfiction narratives.

Preston is an expert horseman and a member of the Long Riders Guild.

He is also a National Geographic Society Fellow, has traveled extensively around the world, and contributes archaeological articles to many magazines.

In our interview, Preston shared some fun and fascinating personal anecdotes.

"My first job was washing dishes in the basement of a nursing home for $2.10 an hour, and I learned as much about the value of hard work there as I ever did later."

"I need to write in a small room -- the smaller the better. I can't write in a big room where someone might sneak up behind my back."

"My hobbies are mountain biking, horseback riding and packing, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, camping, cooking, and skiing."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 279 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(109)

4 Star

(82)

3 Star

(49)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(22)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 280 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What A Clunker

    This is the worst novel by a major author I have read in my adult life. The plot is ludicrous, but, even if it wasn't, the plotline is so clunky and the dialog so bad that even a B movie director couldn't fix it up. Sometimes a reader can suspend belief to go along with an author's fantasy, but here the suspension is simply the rules of literature.

    10 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    "Something Wicked, this way comes"

    Strangely beautiful, but, dangerous gemstones begin appearing from blackmarket sources. Two young women, one the daughter of a Lobster fisherman, her dad, a disgruntled fired employee from the National Propulsion Facility and a semi-retired CIA oprative empark of a race to discover the source of these gemstones, and find a mind blowing answer. The end is thoroughly satisfying as are most of Prestons storys. Though sorter than I like, this book has it all, the hook, the action, good character depth, and a rip roaring end. Get this one for a great weekend rhomp.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an engaging science fiction thriller

    College dropout turned waitress and amateur astronomer Abbey Straw believes she and her BFF Jackie saw a meteor crash near the Maine coast where she lives. The two young females agree to search the nearby barrier islands as Abbey using wave theory believes the meteor struck land. The plan is to sell the finds on E-Bay.

    Meanwhile the president's science adviser Stanton Lockwood III asks former CIA filed operative Wyman Ford to investigate the sudden flooding of radioactive gemstones in Cambodia. At about the same time Stanton makes his request that seems more like an order to Wyman,on the West Coast, just before he is murdered Professor Jason Freeman sends a classified file containing proof of abnormal gamma ray activity on Mars to mission technician Mark Corso of the National Propulsion Facility. Soon these three diverse scenarios converge with sixty hours to countdown impact.

    This is an engaging science fiction thriller that hooks the audience from the moment Wyman begins his inquiry and never slows down as California, Maine and Cambodia hook up. The story line is fast-paced as fans will welcome the return of Wyman (see Blasphemy), but in many ways the brilliant slacker with her naive innocence makes the tale fresh.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    Un-Impactful

    One word sums up this book "Disappointment". The story was not that original, the characters were not well defined and you did not get invested in them. The plot was all over the place and worst of all the ending was a huge letdown. I got this e-book awhile ago when the price was $4.00 less so please save your money when it is $13.00 now. This is one you defiantly should skip.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome Read That Leaves You Wanting More!

    The author once again creates a thriller, which gives us all a warning about what first contact with an alien race may be like. Rather than the usual science fiction first contact scenarios we are all used to, this poses quite the opposite. The author presents a scenario in which the colonial defenses left behind by another race threatens us humans as a society. I found the book to be a fast read, keeping me way past midnight, but I always found energy to keep on reading. I found the story reminiscent of hard sci fi of the likes of Jack McDevitt or Stephen Baxter, and was a reminder that we may not be as alone as would seem. The book could have used more science, and elaboration on the fermi paradox, but still overall, I think met the goals of the plot. The book does have strong language, dropping the "f-bomb" multiple times per page it seems, so I do not recommend the novel for any but mature readers, if parents have qualms about that. I would recommend reading this book for a book club, and then discussing it, as well as some research papers from Icarus on extraterrestrial intelligence in the galaxy. Should make for some interesting discussion topics.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Douglas Preston: Impact

    Although many of my favorite books by Douglas Preston are co-authored with Lincoln Child, his recent solo book, Impact, was surprisingly excellent. Using the main character Wyman Ford, also from some of his other non-related books, you travel across the world and back studying what appears to be a "strange" meteor. I am not often completely surprised by the twists in his books, but one in this book really hooked me and left me dumbfounded. Although somewhat far-fetched, his plot and the questions it brings up are exceedingly intriguing and leave you wondering what really might be "out there." This book is a good choice for those who like his writing style and scientific subject matter, and wont leave you disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Preswton is tiring...

    This is not your average Preston adventure.

    While the caracters are interesting, the story is too far fetched to have any credibility, needed to mantain interest.
    Overall...a bit disappointing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    Disappointed!

    I have read and enjoyed, over many years, almost all of the previous books by the author:thrilling, dramatic, mysterious, etc. However, this volume has very little of these characteristics. And...the book is riddled with coarse and profane language, which IMHO does absolutely nothing to enchance the characterization of its protagonists and antagonists. The author's writing style, for me, has dramatically changed for the worse, and this is categorically the last time I will purchase his books. Neither in the publisher's preview of this book, or data provided in the inside flap of the book contained any hint of the objectional dialogue found in this volume. Why not?!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2012

    UBER CREATIVE..THOUGHT PROVOKING..EXCELLENT!!!

    WOW! Preston did it all in this page turner. Entertains, makes you think, scares the reader with potential that's so realistic it could happen...or be happening as you read!! Conspiracy theory, ancient aliens, puzzles, maritime intrigue in the Maine islands..assassin, plotters, action supreme..just everything a thinking reader could possibly ask for and then some. I am a writer and a fan of books that have a variety of subject matter that twists around a plot and keep you guessing. Best book in a long time. I am a Preston fan for sure. Don't pass this one up! I hope he does more like this one. Life Beyond

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Great book

    Kept me reading it until finished.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Really?

    A little research might be in order here. Right at the beginning the author has an amature astronomer and her friend looking at the Andromeda galaxy at the tip of Orion's sword! Really? Since when was the Andromeda galaxy moved to the constellation of Orion. It used to be in the constellation of (are you ready for this?) Andromeda! I've just started this book and I hope the rest of the "facts" arn't as badly mangled as this one. This tends to spoil all subsequent credability of events. This author usually does a much better job in this regard and I have enjoyed many of his other books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Wow

    This is splendidly written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Impact

    Great book best read in a long time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Good page-turner

    Preston always manages to produce a good page-turner full of science that he makes understandable

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Do not buy it

    Terrible book. Great premise. Mysterious source of gamma rays from Mars is shooting pot shots at earth. Problem solved by marijuana smoking, booze drinking 20 year old drop out from Princeton with convoluted plot and unrealistic scenarios. One has to suffer through to see what happens at the end - a very stupid ending.

    This book is burnable.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Exciting

    My first Preston book. I really enjoyed the book. Character development was well planned and executed nicely. I feel the book was written with a follow-up in mind. Which I will read if so! Very exciting book.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Fairly captivating storyline. Good book.

    Some part were hard to put down. Overall enjoyable plot however the ending was a bit of a letdown.

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  • Posted May 29, 2011

    2nd book by this author

    This is the second book I have read by this author.Enjoyed them both.
    I've read some comparisons made between Michael Crichton and Preston.I'm
    not sure I'd rate him as high as Crichton, but he's very close behind.He
    writes the same type stories as Crichton,fiction stories based on scientific ideas but not necessarily what I would classify them as technically "Science Fiction".Preston takes a scientific idea and weaves an exciting and intriguing story with it.Good stuff.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining Story and a Decent Read

    The book is entertaining story and a decent read. It follows the stories of several people throughout the aftermaths of the incident, and you can't help but enjoy characters. If you enjoy Space, Science, and Earth Changing Events, coupled with the problems associated with human interaction then you'd love this book because the author has done a great job at making the book and story entertaining. Pick it up and enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Wow

    I have to admit, this was a little slow in the beginning, but the wait was worth it. SciFi fans and Action fans will love this one. Fast paced and worth it to the ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 280 Customer Reviews

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