I was doing some Christmas shopping today at the local chain bookstore and ran across a new fictional work entitled "Utopia" by the author Lincoln Child. It had a steel coaster on the cover so it immediately grabbed my attention. It appears to be about a theme park set in the future operated by robots which go haywire (hmm West World anyone?). I'm just wondering if anyone has picked it up and started reading it, and if so how it is.
Here's a brief synopsis from Amazon:
"Despite its remote location in the Nevada desert, the Utopia theme park receives 65,000 visitors daily. They never dream their lives may be in any real danger. However, some of the self-programming robots are becoming erratic, so park administrators quietly bring the robots' brilliant creator from the East Coast to fix the problem before it gets any worse. Dr. Andrew Warne brings his daughter, for he doesn't believe there is anything wrong with his creations. But on the day of their arrival, a mysterious band of ruthless criminals infiltrates not only the park, but its computerized systems. The unknown terrorists appear to control everything, from the simplest robot to the most dangerous ride. And if their demands aren't met, thousands of innocent park-goers will be killed."
Very real... Makes you wonder if things like this could happen at real theme parks. I would denfitely reccomend this- the writing was so well thought out. There were also many suprising twists that could really happen. Anyone that likes theme parks and roller coasters should read it. 5/5 stars.
As a suspense novel, Utopia was okay with some decent plot twists. Its biggest problem is that the cliches pile up faster than the body count. Engineers and computer geeks should not drink anything while they read unless they really enjoy spraying through their noses.
It's not really derived from Westworld, more from Jurassic Park.
The cover of this book caught my eye in the libraray the other day. It shows a blue hued night shot of Kumba. I live in Aussie & presumably this is a different edition.
I'm a quarter of the way into it & is quite good. Like Amazon.com's single line review, it's shaping up to be 'Die Hard in a themepark!'
Utopia is situated inside a giant dome in a canyon outside of Las Vegas. It takes 70,000 peeps daily & divided into 4 themed areas. Callisto which is futuristic like Epcot. Gaslight something like the fog filled Victorian 1800's. Boardwalk like the seaside parks of old & features two woodies. Can't remember the 4th area, haven't had time to read & been doing so on & off. Annoying as have to go back a bit to recall what's been happening 'till then.
The one thing I like is the high tech trick mirrors. One example is scanning you in & reprojecting your image aged 20 years!! It is not like Westworld, the robots have been scaled off & they call in the programmer on the same day the park is seized by terrorists. I presume he gets to save the day.
They also have full-size 3D holographics. One of the coasters in Callisto is on a mobile platform like simulators, think Spiderman but way more advanced. You feel like you're on a coaster, not a dark ride, flying through space.
Like someone else said, if you love parks & coasters, this book will entertain you! And yes, has 'movie' written all over it.
Um, I read this novel at work as part of my job, and it never worked for me. It's set in the present day (more or less) and _every_ technical bit I knew anything about he reliably got wrong. For a "techno-thriller" this is not a good thing.