Which isnít to say that there is no discussion on technology in Congo, but it isnít as prevalent like other Crichton books like Jurassic Park, Prey, or The Andromeda Strain. Instead of a focus on technology, Crichton focuses much more on the thriller of the techno-thriller genre he is known for.
The story is an interesting one, beginning with a companyís expedition into the Congo for special diamonds being brutally destroyed by some sort of animals. Determined to get the diamonds and find out what happened to the previous team, the project leader goes out to the Congo to discover the truth, along her way picking up a primatologist, his sign language using gorilla, and a great white hunter to help her get through the Congo. Once there, the group must survive many obstacles to secure the diamonds from a lost city in the jungle.
The biggest strength of this novel is the adventure and situations that Crichton has his characters go through; even before the group travels into the Congo they have to go through modern obstacles, mostly dealing with corporate warfare. Yet once they get into the jungles of the Congo, the obstacles become much more deadly, from natives and the environment to dangerous animals, such as hippos, and the guardians of the lost city. Another addition to the novel that makes it interesting is the different gadgets and technologies they bring with them into the jungle. Some of these include scanning systems and portable computers, along with jungle defense systems like an electric perimeter fence and turrets operated by lasers, as strange as that might sound.
One of the problems that a person might have with this novel is the lack of focus on any one technology throughout the story, focusing more on the adventure. There are still different technologies that get described in Congo, but not on the same level as his other works. Another problem this book has, like most of Crichtonís fiction novels, is that the characters do not get developed all that much beside what we are told from before the adventure gets underway, although the four main characters are different enough so that they all stand out from each other.
Overall, this novel is for people who want to read what more modern day adventure into Africa would look like, since Crichton seems to gotten that down pretty well, in exchange for less of a focus on technology.