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Sphere: A Scary Underwater Mystery That Explores Isolation, Madness, and Warped Reality

Updated on September 26, 2016

Sphere by Micheal Crichton

Sphere by Michael Crichton Book Review

So since high school, I have been building up this library of books I love. So yes, I am one of those people with a giant overcrowded bookshelf of treasures in my home. And it occurred to me recently many of those books that I love so much, I read only once. So I’m diving back into my old book collection to rediscover some treasures. For this review, I’m reviewing Sphere by Michael Crichton.

So what is Sphere about? It begins with Norman a psychologist who has been called by the military to help with a plane crash. He expects to interview high strung victims, but instead he finds he is one of many scientists hired to investigate an underwater UFO. Despite the fact he has trouble believing this, he soon learns that he was hired because of a dumb project he did in college about contacting alien life. In his project, (that the military clearly took way too seriously) it was recommended first contact should be performed by a team of all scientist including an engineer, mathematician, astrophysicist, psychologist, and biologists. And that’s team the military built. They are soon send them to the depths into an underwater habitat where they can routinely investigate the ship.

In their investigation, they find the ship is American but very advance indicating it came from another time or even dimension. The ship’s purpose is unclear even though it seems they believe it did at one point travel to space and back. They then stumble across this strange metallic sphere. That at one point opens up and one of the scientist step inside. Hours later, he is retrieved and put into medical care in the habitat, but then things get strange. Bizarre life forms begin to appear outside the habitat. Things begin to defy logic. A storm on the surface traps them down under. And an odd entity known as Jerry starts communicating with them through the computer. Everything escalates as reality seems to warp. Paranoia, isolation, and madness also takes seed.

So the good? This is a scary little read. It’s downright creepy as it pushes the fear of the unknown to its limits. Also this is a great mystery. The whole point of this story is, what’s going on? The reader questions what is real and what isn’t. The effect of isolation and stress unhinges many of the characters enforcing the notion of insanity has much to play. It’s very tense and great. Detail is great. Pacing is wonderful. There is never a dull moment.

The bad? Not much other than two characters are very unlikable stereotypes. There is the short tempered black scientist Harry who is just waiting to blame something on racism. Then there’s a woman scientist Beth who is very similar to Harry, who is just waiting to blame things on sexism. They are defined by these traits alone and even though the author tried to justify their actions through backstory, they remained incredibly unlikable and very annoying.

Overall, this is a great read. Its scary thinking and a good mystery. Some of the characters are weak, but it is such a great ride, it’s a very small price to pay. I recommend it to everyone.

4 smoothies out of four.

A Scary Underwater Mystery That Explores Isolation, Madness, and Warped Reality

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