Norman Johnson, a middle-aged psychologist, is called by the U.S.A Navy on a plane crash rescue mission in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But a routine rescue mission soon turns out to be a very unusual one, as heís being told, once aboard, that other than a plane, what lies on the oceanís bottom is in fact a 50 km wide alien space-ship...
Aware of what heís facing, Norman begins to curse himself and the moment he agreed to write that extra terrestrial encounters report back in 1979,the one that brought him to this trouble (a report that someone, for some reason, remembered now) and the worse thing was, he just did it for the money.
As the team, leaded by the navyís squad and composed by Ted, an enthusiastic planetarian-geologist, Beth, a beautiful-assertive zoologist, Harry, a cynical-intelligent logician and Norman himself is being settled at their new "home" on the oceanís bottom, they are soon to find out another surprise... in the shape of a huge, perfect silvered ball.
From that point on, things are only turning worse. Their environment begins to change slowly, affecting the outside world but also themselves in the most unpleasant way. That so-called under-sea rescue mission now becomes a self-rescue one...
Michael Crichton, a sci-fi thrillers writer and a script writer, known for his other great creations such as "Jurassic Park", "Kongo" and many more, succeeds in creating a lasting tension and exciting scientific terms at the plot, therefore making it feel realistic.
The dialogs are very sharp and the characters are very well developed, although the focus is clearly on Normanís character, as the way things occur is described throughout his eyes. Once you start reading it, thereís no way back. Although many sci-fi writers have describes those sorts of concepts before and after, in my opinion it is a work well done. I would rate it as a 4.