Crichton was great up to Jurassic Park, then he began his downslide. Prey was silly, State of Fear stupid, Next was ok but nothing special...
Best books I've read from him are Kongo, Sphere and Andromeda Strain. Andromeda was also an awesome movie.
When the swarm stared trying to "death kiss" that's when Prey got stupid. State of Fear was not much more than straight preaching by Crichton, but I agreed with it. Next was a hodge-podge that barely connected.