"The Andromeda Evolution," Harper, by Daniel H. Wilson
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Michael Crichton's epic novel, "The Andromeda Strain," the author's estate commissioned Daniel H. Wilson to craft a sequel, "The Andromeda Evolution."
After the events of 50 years earlier, protocols were put in place to watch and prepare for the next time the microbe made an appearance. With the original team that battled the first visit of Andromeda having passed away, scientists aren't sure what to expect when the microbe finally does reappear, and it's doubtful that it will come back.
When a drone uncovers a strange anomaly in the Brazilian jungle, Project Wildfire is reactivated. It appears the virus has come back, and it's spreading rapidly. A small team consisting of experts, military personnel and the son of one of the original scientists proceeds to uncover the truth and stop the threat. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking rapidly, and if they don't neutralize it in five days, it may be the end of the world.
Wilson has crafted many books about problematic issues surrounding robotics and technology, so it's a bit strange that he is writing about the world of micro-organisms and viruses. But his scientific skills and background play perfectly into the narrative. He's able to convey complex scenarios and situations and make them understandable to the non-scientist, something the late Crichton had a gift for as well. Wilson's stellar cast of characters makes the story more than just a series of events but a tale that carries weight.
The structure of the novel reads as if the reader has been granted access to a top-secret file that provides an overview of the incident, which follows the exact layout of Crichton's classic novel. Wilson invokes the best of that story, and updates everything with terrific flair.