In 1969, Michael Crichton published a techno-thriller entitled The Andromeda Strain. The novel, which became a worldwide hit, featured an alien virus which behaved in unexpected ways and threatened the existence of life itself on Planet Earth. If you loved Crichton’s Jurassic Park, Timeline, or Sphere, then you would appreciate this one. It was fast-paced, scientific, and smart.
Exactly 50 years later, the Andromeda virus is back and more terrifying than ever! If anyone is equipped to write in the shadow of Michael Crichton, it is Daniel H. Wilson – a younger author who has a PhD in Robotics and happens to be a New York Times bestselling author. Sometimes sequels can be a disappointment, but The Andromeda Evolution delivers on every front – it will keep your white knuckles gripping the edge of your seat, the team of experts who embark on this harrowing adventure will feel like old friends, and the conclusion will end this thrill ride in a satisfying way. You will lose sleep at night until the book is finished, but it’s worth the trip!
Now why exactly, you might ask, did you choose to read a book about a deadly virus threatening to wipe out all life on Earth during a global pandemic? (My kids asked me the same question – they thought Dad had really gone bonkers this time.) I actually found this book to be the perfect escape from my quarantine woes… it was smart, full of scientific facts, and thrilling. It gripped my attention and refused to let go, and took me on a wild journey across the globe and beyond. But I also think this book offers some valuable lessons for readers during the 2020 crisis. Here are a few takeaways:
Change is Inevitable
“The future is coming faster than most people realize.” – Michael Crichton
Most people just want things to stay the same, but that never happens. As we grow older, we have to face the reality that change is inevitable… life will shift in massive ways, and the only way to survive is to adjust to your new normal and move on. Holding onto the past isn’t beneficial, and the sooner we embrace the fact that our future will bring dramatic change the faster we’ll be ready for that future.
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” – Proverbs 27:1
Leadership Is Not a Solo Sport
“Presidents and generals and all the important people in position to make the most important decisions are, by and large, the least equipped for making them.” – Michael Crichton
Young people often dream of being in charge, but once we gain positions of leadership we soon realize that no one could have prepared us for all of the impossible situations and difficult decisions we would have to make on a daily basis! As a young leader, I’ve quickly learned that no matter how experienced or educated a person is, no one person can possibly have the answers to every question or be an expert in every field. We need to learn how to surround ourselves by capable people and listen to their expertise in order to succeed.
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14
Your Greatest Challenge is Yourself
“Of all the ways you can limit yourself, your own self-definition is the most powerful.” – Michael Crichton
We all see ourselves as the hero of our own story, with outside influences and situations threatening us. However, the inner battle raging within our own hearts and minds is where victory is often won…or lost. Your life experiences or lack of resources aren’t your greatest limitation… your own doubt and fear is. Trust the God who put you together and leap forward to make a lasting impact… who knows how far you might go?
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
Truth is an Invaluable Treasure
“We understand what’s happening now…that’s the important thing, that we understand.” – Michael Crichton
Life will be filled with ups and downs, and we’ll be exposed to all sorts of ideas and philosophies during our time. But what is the truth? This is the question that lies deep within the core of our hearts, and answering this question will define our lives. Never waste an opportunity to chase after truth, and once you find the truth – don’t forget to do something with it.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” – John 8:32
If you’re looking for a great quarantine read and are a die-hard Crichton fan, check out The Andromeda Evolution!
What About You?
What books have helped you survive this quarantine experience? Let us know so we can beef up our own reading lists!