“Utopia” is Lincoln Childīs first solo novel. His previous thrillers were written together with his co-author Douglas Preston.
Here he plunges into a gripping story amidst the grand steel and glass structures of Utopia, a gigantic amusement park in the American desert, the worldīs grandest, as he modestly maintains.The hero is computer specialist Andrew Warne, who designed the robots for Callisto, the science fiction world of the future. He has been summoned to the park by his former partner and lover Sarah Boatwright, who left him to become the manager of the new park. Andrew has taken his 12-year-old daughter Georgia with him to see the park (the novel is dedicated to Childīs daughter Veronica).
He learns with growing pain that something is wrong with his computer designs and he is asked to shut the system down before his robots run wild and injure visitors. Teresa Bonifacio, an Asian woman in Robotics, is assigned to help him with his sad task. Of course, they find out, that itīs not their robots, that run wild. Itīs John Doe, a dark, sophisticated bad guy, who has somehow got access to the computer system and threatens to blow up the place, if he doesnīt get the disk with all the electronic fine print.
At the beginning, this story sounds a lot more plausible than “Death Match”, Childīs second novel, but, though really gripping almost to the showdown, there are so many loose ends that are not taken up and leave the reader exhausted and disappointed at the same time. And Childīs obsession with the complicated running of a mass attraction like Utopia is not shared by this reader here.