Monday, February 25, 2008

Book Review: Quantico

I got this book for Dad when Greg Bear was in town last summer. Alas, in the confusion I didn't get the signature made out to Dad.

Before I get into the book let me remind you why Greg was in town. Greg Bear is one of the bigger names in hard science fiction today. He's got the PhDs and all that good stuff. His technology is credible. So when the Department of Homeland Security's technology division wanted some science fiction authors to come in and tell them what they might be missing and what they should be developing Greg Bear made the list. And since he was in town Reiters bookstore had him sign some books.

"Quantico" takes place in the near future. Not long from now 9-11 has a sequel on 10-4. Security and terrorism becomes the focus of just about everyone everywhere. Anti-terrorist tech makes some great leaps. But since they're having trouble fighting the terrorists and cut a few corners legal-wise the FBI is fighting for it's life.

A truckload of empty cartridges for obsolete inkjet printers is found overturned along a highway next to a dead cop.
A fanatical uber-christian terrorist and his family are discovered in their back woods cabin and monitored by the FBI.
The guy responsible for the anthrax mailings turns out to be a mad social recluse living at a deserted vineyard. He's now working on a version of anthrax that kills only Jews and glows green and red in the late stages. He's doing this at the motivation of a man with eyes two different colors.
Some people from Quantico are investigating the first two which may lead them to the third.

The book starts kinda slow. Lots of descriptions intermixed with more interesting conversation. But after page 50 things start to pick up. There's raids, powerful and creative explosives, interesting and feasible anti-terrorist tech, black-ops organizations, and all mixed in with an agency quickly going under.

There's a lot that I'm not telling you. That's only because much of the fun in the book is the story unfolding bit by bit.

This book is for the person who watches CSI, The Unit, and similar investigative shows. Not really my thing but I really did get the book for Dad.

I'm still gonna recommend the author Greg Bear if not this specific book. He's a good writer who can present most subjects in an interesting manner.

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