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3.9 283
by Douglas Preston

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In Douglas Preston's Impact, 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


In Douglas Preston's Impact, 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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Wyman Ford Series , #3
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt


By Douglas Preston

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2009 Splendide Mendax, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-6784-6



The trick would be to slip in the side door and get the box up the back stairs without making a sound. The house was two hundred years old and you could hardly take a step without a flurry of creaks and groans. Abbey Straw eased the back door shut and tiptoed across the carpeted hallway to the landing. She could hear her father puttering around the kitchen, Red Sox game low on the radio.

Her arms hugging the box, she set her foot on the first step, eased down her weight, then the next step, and the next. She skipped the fourth step — it shrieked like a banshee — and put her weight on the fifth, the sixth, the seventh. ... And just as she thought she was home free, the step let out a crack like a gunshot, followed by a long, dying groan.


"Abbey, what's in the box?"

Her father stood in the doorway of the kitchen, still wearing his orange rubber boots, his checked shirt stained with diesel fuel and lobster bait. His windburned brow was creased with suspicion.

"A telescope."

"A telescope? How much did it cost?"

"I bought it with my own money."

"Great," he said, his gravelly voice tense, "if you never want to go back to college and stay a waitress the rest of your life, blow your paycheck on telescopes."

"Maybe I want to be an astronomer."

"Do you know how much I spent on your college education?"

She turned and continued up the stairs. "You mention it only five times a day."

"When are you going to pull yourself together?"

She slammed the door and stood for a moment in her tiny bedroom, breathing hard. With one arm she swept the bedcover free of stuffed animals, set the box down on the bed. She flopped on the bed next to the box. Why had she been adopted by white people in Maine, the whitest state in the union, in a town where everyone was white? Hadn't there been a black hedge-fund manager somewhere looking for kids? "And where do you come from?" people would ask her, as if she'd recently arrived from Harlem — or Kenya.

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. Her father was moving about the kitchen, washing the dishes that she was supposed to have washed that morning. The game was still on, turned up, Dave Goucher's obnoxious voice barking out of the cheap radio. By the sound of her father's occasional swearing she figured it must be a Sox–Yankees game. Good, he'd be distracted. She crept down the stairs, stepping gingerly, trying not to creak the old pine boards, slipped past the open kitchen door and in a moment was out and into the street.

Balancing the tripod over her shoulder, she darted past the Anchor Inn toward the town wharf. The harbor was as calm as a millpond, a great sheet of black water stretching to the dim silhouette of Louds Island, the boats lined up by the tide like white ghosts. The peppercan buoy marking the channel at the mouth of the narrow harbor blinked its light, blink, blink, blink. Above, the heavens swirled with phosphorescence.

She angled across the parking lot, past the lobster co-op, and headed onto the wharf. The strong smell of herring bait and seaweed drifted on the damp night air from a stack of old lobster traps at one end of the pier. The lobster joint hadn't opened yet for the summer season and the outdoor picnic tables were still turned up and chained to the railings. Back up the hill she could see the lights of the town and the steeple of the Methodist Church, a black spire against the Milky Way.

"Hey." Jackie stepped out of the shadows, the red glow of a joint bobbing in the dark. "What's that?"

"A telescope." Abbey took the joint and inhaled sharply, with a crackle of burning seeds. She exhaled and handed it back.

"A telescope?" asked Jackie. "What for?"

"What else is there to do around here but look at the stars?"

Jackie grunted. "How much was it?"

"Seven hundred bucks. Got it on eBay, a Celestron six-inch Cassegrain, automatic tracking, a camera and everything."

A low whistle. "You must be getting some good tips over at the Landing."

"They love me over there. I couldn't get bigger tips if I was giving out blow jobs."

Jackie burst out laughing, wheezing smoke and coughing. She passed the joint back and Abbey took another long hit.

"Randy's getting out of Maine State," said Jackie, lowering her voice.

"Oh God. Randy can sit on a lobster buoy and rotate five times."

Jackie muffled a laugh.

"What a night," Abbey said, staring at the immense bowl of stars. "Let's take some pictures."

"In the dark?"

Abbey looked over to see if she was kidding, but there was no wry smile on those lips. She felt a wave of affection for her dim, lovable friend. "Believe it or not," Abbey said, "telescopes work better in the dark."

"Right. That was stupid." Jackie knocked on her own head. "Hello?"

They walked out to the end of the pier. Abbey set up the tripod, making sure it was anchored on the wood planking. She could see Orion hanging low in the sky and aimed the telescope in that direction. Using the computer starfinder attached to the telescope, she punched in a preset location. With a whirring of worm-gears, the telescope slewed around to point at a patch at the bottom of Orion's sword.

"What're we going to look at?"

"The Andromeda Galaxy."

Abbey peered into the eyepiece and the galaxy sprang into view, a glowing maelstrom of five hundred billion stars. She felt her throat constricting with the thought of the immensity of it, and her own smallness.

"Lemme see," said Jackie, sweeping back her long, unruly hair.

Abbey stepped back and silently offered her the eyepiece. Jackie fitted her eye to it. "How far away is it?"

"Two and a quarter million light-years."

Jackie stared for a while in silence, then stood up. "Think there's life out there?"

"Of course."

Abbey adjusted the telescope, zooming out, increasing its field of view, until most of Orion's sword was visible. Andromeda had shrunk into a little fuzz-ball. She pressed the cable release and heard the faint click as the shutter opened. It would be a twenty-minute time exposure.

A faint breeze came from the ocean, clanking the rigging of a fishing boat, and all the boats in the harbor swung in unison. It felt like the first breath of a storm, despite the dead calm. An invisible loon called from the water and was answered by another one, far away.

"Time for another doobie." Jackie began rolling a joint, licked it, and put it in her mouth. A click and flare of the lighter illuminated her face, her pale, freckled skin, green Irish eyes, and black hair.

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 away over the ocean distances into silence.

Behind her, up in the town, dogs began barking hysterically.

"What the fuck?" Jackie said.

Abbey could see the whole town coming out of their houses and gathering in the streets. "Get rid of the pot," she hissed.

The road up the hill was filling with people, jabbering away, voices raised in excitement and alarm. They began moving down toward the piers, flashlights flickering, arms pointing skyward. This was the biggest thing that had happened in Round Pond, Maine, since a stray cannonball went through the roof of the Congregational Church in the War of 1812.

Suddenly Abbey remembered her telescope. The shutter was open and still taking a picture. With a trembling hand she found the shutter release and clicked it off. A moment later the image popped up on the telescope's small LCD screen.

"Oh my God." The thing had streaked through the center of the image, a brilliant slash of white among a scattering of stars.

"It ruined your picture," said Jackie, peering over her shoulder.

"Are you kidding? It made the picture!"


The next morning, Abbey shoved through the door of the Cupboard Café with a stack of newspapers under her arm. The cheerful log-cabin diner with its checkered curtains and marble tables was almost empty, but she found Jackie sitting in her usual place in the corner, drinking coffee. A damp morning fog pressed against the windowpanes.

She hustled over and slapped The New York Times down on the table, exposing the front-page article below the fold.

Meteor Lights up Maine Coast

Portland, Maine — At 9:44 p.m. a large meteor streaked across the skies of Maine, creating one of the most brilliant meteor displays seen over New England in decades. Witnesses from as far as Boston and Nova Scotia reported seeing the spectacular fireball. Residents of Midcoast Maine heard sonic booms.

Data from a meteoroid tracking system at the University of Maine, Orono, indicated that the meteor was several times brighter than the full moon and may have weighed as much as fifty tons when it entered the Earth's atmosphere. The single track reported by witnesses suggests the meteorite was of the iron-nickel type, as those are the least likely to break up in flight, rather than the more common stony-iron or chondritic type. Its speed, tracking scientists estimated, was 48 kilometers per second or about 100,000 miles per hour — thirty times faster than a typical rifle bullet.

Dr. Stephen Chickering, professor of planetary geology at Boston University, said: "This isn't a typical fireball. It's the brightest and biggest meteor seen on the East Coast in decades. The trajectory took it out to sea, where it landed in the ocean."

He also explained that its journey through the atmosphere would have vaporized most of its mass. The final object that struck the ocean, he said, probably weighed less than a hundred pounds.

Abbey broke off and grinned at Jackie. "You read that? It landed in the ocean. That's what all the papers are saying." She settled back and crossed her arms, enjoying Jackie's wondering look.

"Okay," said Jackie, "I can see you've got something on your mind."

Abbey lowered her voice. "We're going to be rich."

Jackie rolled her eyes theatrically. "I've heard that before."

"This time I'm not kidding." Abbey looked around. She slid a piece of paper out of her pocket and unfolded it on the table.

"What's that?"

"It's the data printout of GoMOOS Weather Buoy 44032, between 4:40 and 5:40 GMT. That's the instrument buoy out beyond Weber Sunken Ledge."

Jackie stared at it, crunching her freckled brow. "I know it."

"Look at the wave heights. Dead calm. No change."


"A hundred-pound meteorite slams into the ocean at a hundred thousand miles an hour and doesn't make waves?"

Jackie shrugged. "So if it didn't land in the ocean, where did it land?"

Abbey leaned forward, clasped her hands, her voice dropping to a hiss, her face flushing with triumph. "On an island."


"So, we borrow my father's boat, search those islands, and get that meteorite."

"Borrow? You mean steal. Your father would never let you borrow his boat."

"Borrow, steal, expropriate, whatever."

Jackie's face darkened. "Please, not another wild-goose chase. Remember when we went looking for Dixie Bull's treasure? And how we got in trouble digging in the Indian mounds?"

"We were just kids then."

"There are dozens of islands out there in Muscongus Bay, tens of thousands of acres to cover. You'd never search them all."

"We don't have to. Because I've got this." She pulled out the photograph of the meteor and laid it on top of a chart of Muscongus Bay. "With the photo, you can extrapolate a line to the horizon and then draw a second line from that point to where the photo was taken. The meteorite must have landed somewhere along that second line."

"I'll take your word for it."

Abbey pushed the chart toward her. "There's the line." Her finger stabbed a line she had penciled across the chart. "Look. It intersects just five islands."

The waitress approached with two enormous pecan sticky buns. Abbey quickly covered up the chart and photograph and sat back with a smile. "Hey, thanks."

When the waitress had gone, Abbey uncovered the chart. "That's it. The meteorite is on one of these islands." Her finger 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."

"When? Now?"

"We have to wait til the end of May, when my father'll be out of town."

Jackie crossed her arms. "What the hell we gonna do with a meteorite?"

"Sell it."

Jackie stared. "It's worth something?"

"Quarter million, half a million. That's all."

"You're shitting me."

Abbey shook her head. "I checked prices on eBay, talked to a meteorite dealer."

Jackie leaned back, a grin slowly spreading over her freckled face. "I'm in."



Dolores Muñoz climbed the stone steps to the professor's bungalow in Glendale, California, and rested a moment on the porch, her large bosom heaving, before inserting the key. The scrape of the key sounding in the lock, she knew, would trigger an explosion of yapping as Stamp, the professor's Jack Russell terrier, went berserk at her arrival. As soon as she opened the door the ball of fur would shoot out like a bullet, barking furiously, whirling about the tiny lawn as if to clear it of wild beasts and criminals. And then he would make his rounds, lifting his little leg on each sad bush and dead flower. Finally, his duty done, he would rush over, lie down in front of her, and roll on his back, paws folded, tongue hanging out, ready for his morning scratch.

Dolores Muñoz loved that dog.

With a faint smile of anticipation she inserted the key in the lock, giving it a little rattle and waiting for the eruption of excitement.


She paused, listening, and then turned the key, expecting joyful barking at any moment. Still it did not come. Puzzled, she stepped into a small entryway. The first thing she noticed was that the side-table drawer was open, envelopes scattered on the floor.

"Professor?" she called out, her voice hollow, and then, "Stamp?"

No answer. Lately the professor had been a later and later riser. He was one of those types who drank a lot of wine with dinner and snifters of brandy afterward and it had been getting worse, especially after he stopped going to work. And then there were the women. Dolores was no prude and she wouldn't have minded if it was the same girl. But it never was, and sometimes they were ten, twenty years younger than he was. Still, the professor was a fine, fit man in the prime of life who spoke excellent Spanish to her using the Usted form, which she appreciated.


Maybe they had gone out for a walk. She moved into the front hall and peered toward the living room, suddenly drawing in her breath. Papers and books were scattered over the floor, a lamp was overturned, and the far set of bookshelves had been swept free, the books lying in jumbled heaps below.


The full horror of it sank in. The professor's car was in the driveway and he must be at home — why didn't he answer? And where was Stamp? Almost without thinking, her plump hand fumbled the cell phone out of her green housedress to dial 911. She stared at the keypad, unable to press in the numbers. Was this really the kind of thing she should get involved in? They would come and take down her name and address and check her out and the next thing she knew, she would be deported to El Salvador. Even if she called anonymously from her cell, they would still track her down as a witness to ... she refused to complete the thought.

A feeling of terror and uncertainty seized her. The professor could be upstairs, robbed, beaten, injured, maybe dying. And Stamp, what did they do to Stamp?

Panic took hold. She stared about wildly, breathing heavily, her large bosom heaving. She felt tears spring into her eyes. She had to do something, she had to call the police, she couldn't just walk out — what was she thinking? He might be hurt, dying. She had to at least look around, see if he needed help, try to figure out what to do.


Excerpted from Impact by Douglas Preston. Copyright © 2009 Splendide Mendax, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

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 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 traveled 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.

Brief Biography

Place of Birth:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
B.A., Pomona College, 1978

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Impact 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 283 reviews.
Grandpa More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
NandoFL More than 1 year ago
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.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
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.
am-10_gine More than 1 year ago
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.
TaylaurErin More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
LifeOutYonder More than 1 year ago
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
Mary O'Hara More than 1 year ago
Kept me reading it until finished.
Winston Ruggiero More than 1 year ago
Some part were hard to put down. Overall enjoyable plot however the ending was a bit of a letdown.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
jlgc More than 1 year ago
Impact, by Douglas Preston, is a science fiction story that starts with the death of a prominent scientist, a missing hard drive, and a meteorite crashing down off the coast of Maine and in Cambodia. Then, radioactive gem stones start appearing in the United States. The government sends a man, Wyland Ford, to Cambodia to investigate. What he finds is astounding. Meanwhile, in Maine, a young twenty-something and her friend borrows her dads fishing boat to go find the place where the meteor has landed. She was able to determine that it did not hit in the water but on one of the many islands off the coast. A hitman is on the trail of the missing hard drive and killing anyone who gets in the way. What hit the earth was not a meteor. As Ford investigates he comes across the two gals and they team up to work together. Their investigations attract the hitman. It’s a race against time to get the necessary information to the president and keep the girls safe. This is a fast paced story with lots of action. It’s a smart story, too. If you like spy thrillers steeped in science, this is a great story for you to read. It’s good for young adults as well as adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not Mr. Preston's best work but still fast paced, non-stop action and a satisfying read. Yes, some characters weren't well developed, based on some other reviews, but the book is still worth purchasing.
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting into this book, but about half way through, I couldn't put it down. Once the story got cranking, then things finally started clicking for me. I don't really feel like this book was the most fabulous out there, but I did enjoy it. The various story lines all wove together, making a really good ride.
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
Impact is the 3rd book in Douglas Preston's Wyman Ford series.  Preston has managed to find a way to balance several genres with this series – mostly thriller, but with a touch of science fiction and a bit of mystery – and it works. In Impact, Ford is sent by the President's science advisor to investigate a meteor strike in Cambodia.  Meanwhile, a college drop-out and her friend are looking for a meteorite that they believe struck an island off the coast of Maine.  Is there a connection?  Of course.  And, in California, scientists appear to uncovered something unusual with the Mars Rover project, but management does not want to hear about it – why? I thought that Impact has been the best book in the series to date – certainly the one that managed to grab me by the throat and hang on tightest and longest.  However, I did get somewhat annoyed at the author's habit of tossing out subplots that appear to dead-end with a tenuous (at best) connection to the main plot.  I found it more palatable when I looked at this novel as a collection of interlocking short stories with shared characters, all centered around a main theme which resolves itself in the last story. Oh, and the epilog provides a nice wrap-up, and a moral / message that hides between the lines. AND … Scott Sowers' interpretation on the audiobook version of this novel was superb!  His voice was calm and collected when appropriate, rapid and excited when some sort of action was occurring, and in general, an excellent example of what an audiobook narrator should provide. RATING: After a little internal debate, 5 stars.  This one is going to stick with me for awhile.
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This is splendidly written.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book best read in a long time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago