Your basic thriler / sci-fi story - nothing special but nevertheless enjoyable. Type of thing you would see as a made-for-TV movie on, say, the SciFi channel. Of course it has the mandatory final big confrontation with lots of explosions, death and destruction.
Having read every other book by this author, I was surprised and disappointed by the inanity of the plot, and the overall poor writing. What appalled me, however, was the use of stereotyping for all the characters. The Christians were murderous fanatics, the Native American were poor and mystical, the scientists were too intelligent to be practical and the government was inept. The book was one of the most mean-spirited and bigoted books I have ever listened. I could not finish the book.
I enjoyed this book. It is a steady paced story. The main character, familiar to me from a previous book by the same author, is a former CIA agent, a computer expert, and a former Catholic monk who has been hired to investigate a problem at a high energy physics project. Evangelical pastors, politicians, and reservation Navajos complicate the problems of scientists who encounter a strange being who might be God when they fire up their super high energy accelerator in order to investigate the beginnings of the universe. The narrator is adequate, except for the voice he uses for the scientist-leader of the project. Fans of this author won't be disappointed.
I'm not sure if its the actual writing or the narration of the book that I'm not enjoying. While I do enjoy the Inspector Pendergast novels written by Lincoln & Child, I am not finding this book as engrossing. The dialogue seems contrived. I do have to give him points for dumbing down some of the scientific aspects of the novel; I have absolutely no background in quantum physics but am able to follow what is going on quite easily.
The narrator is horrible. Awful. Very nasal voice, not much range for the differing characters. I will stay away from his readings in the future.
I didn't think this was a great book. A loose story line and the writing was poor. Not a bad read (listen) but also not worthy of being a best seller.
There are so many ways in which this book and the reading bothered me. I figured out the "whodunnit" way too early. I kept hoping I would be wrong and that there would be another twist, to no avail. The characters were one-dimensional and cliched, which could be offensive in some instances. It seemed at times that the reader had trouble keeping track of all the different voices and accents he was using and occasionally used the wrong one, which was jarring. And a couple of his voices were downright grating to listen to. All in all, I wish I'd stayed away from this one.
I usually enjoy books by Douglas Preston, but did not like this one at all. The story seemed very contrived and I wasn't convinced by any of the characters. On top of that, the narrator was down right annoying. His nasal voice was distracting throughout the reading. I hope Mr. Preston does better next time.
I found this book enjoyable and outright funny at times. The author does rely on some character stereotypes in the story, but remember the reason most stereotypes exist is because there is a bit of truth in them. I found the locations and characters particularly interesting in this book because I live and work 10 minutes from Pat Robertson's compound and my best friend taught English on the Navajo reservation in Ganado, AZ for 3 years.
A quick note: If you are the type that accepts a fundamental or literal interpretation of the lore and writings of any religion you won't enjoy this book, so don't bother with it. I've never been able to understand why "born again" types would fiddle with science fiction anyway- there's a lot of cookie-cutter fantasy out there tailored to that point of view that won't upset you with facts, logic, or reality.
Also important to mention that anyone calling this writer's point of view godless or atheist is dead wrong. I've always thought, for instance, that the mechanics of evolution were perhaps the best evidence in all of my scientific training that there might be a higher power involved in the running of the universe. If you understand that statement and why I find those that fight science on religious grounds to be so humor-inspiring, then you probably have the right mindset to enjoy this book.
Oh, and don't forget- Satan put fossils in the rocks to confuse us and test our faith. What fun!
I enjoy the pace and passion of this book. I agree with a few other reviewers that the characters are exaggerated for effect and could have been less stereotypical. However; this is entertainment, not a social commentary on the human condition. I have to give it a 5 as well to offset those who don't seem to get that. The over the top portrayal of the evangelist and real fears that the future is not covered in their "book" must hit to close to the bone for christo fascists. I can't believe someone actually thinks that scientist "try to disprove the bible". I think you have a twisted sense of your beliefs and absolutely no idea about real science. I bet these are the same people who think there is actually a debate with science and so called "intelligent design" and don't recognize that 0.01% of the fringe are being given 50% of the coverage by a sensationalist media. I am a scientist. Scientific method has everything to do with the physical world around us and nothing to do with the spiritual one. They are not mutually exclusive. Get over it and enjoy a good story.
Extreme Christians will be offended, but I thought the book was unique and exciting. I listened for many hours as a I wanted to know if the ending would have a twist. I guessed some, but not all of the outcome. All in all it was a great read