Ancestor takes place in the same world as the Infected/Contagious/Pandemic stories. This story exist during the 5 year gap between Contagious and Pandemic. A few of the characters from that trilogy show up in Ancestor as well. Specifically, this book introduces Tim Feeley who plays a major role in Pandemic.
However, the Tim Feeley character in Ancestor and the Tim Feeley character in Pandemic share little more than a name. Apparently, the stress of the events in Ancestor changed Tim from a foul mouthed angry drunk to a brilliant young scientist who prefers Hawaiian shirts and a surfer dude vocabulary. The two characters couldn't be more different.
The story seems to spend the first two thirds of the book foreshadowing the last third. And the foreshadowing is fairly heavy handed. You pretty much know essentially how this will turn out. The only question is exactly who will live or die. Also, the story ends with a teaser which suggest that the Ancestors will mate and reproduce. But when the book Pandemic occurs it seems that Black Manitou Island is once again a safe research station where nothing odd is happening. The only reference to Black Manitou Island and the Ancestors in Pandemic is that Tim doesn't want to work there again. (that's the new surfer dude/brilliant scientist/Navy doctor Tim, not the old foul mouthed/drunken/never shot a gun Tim)
The performance was odd. The book is read by the author. I think Scott did a better job with Infected and Contagious. But when I heard Phil Gigante read Pandemic the performance was vastly better. The performance in Ancestor seemed to be a step backwards from Pandemic with a bit too many angry growls as voices for too many characters.
If you're a fan of Scott Sigler, and in spite of how this review may sound, I really am a fan, then I think you'll enjoy Ancestor. But the book has it's flaws and there are certainly some performance issues.
I really wanted to like this book. But there were way too many times when various characters would ask "What do you mean by that?" of "That can't possibly be" when presented with a perfectly valid explanation. Perhaps Verdon was trying to make sure the audience understood the story so far, but the characters seemed far too stupid to be believable.
And then there's the plot holes. When the bad guy is finally knocked unconscious the two protagonist start to argue about how they subdued the bad guy. But meanwhile, the bad guy is still laying there with a gun in his hand and a house about to explode. There's no sense of urgency to reduce the danger of the situation. "Oh, he's knocked out, we'll be fine." And when they start asking important questions like "why did he escalate so quickly" they just shrug it off with no real answer.
Let's add in the character stereotypes. The brash, foul mouthed detective; the angry lead Sargent who's so abusive that I can't believe he would ever be promoted to that position with that attitude; the gay bed and breakfast owner who has a Wizard of Oz fascination and is more angry about the robbery of his replica ruby slippers than the fact that a murderer may have stayed at his place.
I know this was Verdon's first book and I hope they get better. But there were far too many places where I found myself saying "Really!? That's how you're going to write this?"
When you find the answer to the first "I'm thinking of a number" puzzle you'll think "Really?" And that scam never got anyone's attention? Unbelievable.
It's a great idea and I really wanted it to work. But I don't think I'll spend another of my valuable credits on another Verdon book.
The sound is very tinny and poor quality.
The reading was a bit flat compared to his other readings.
Not really applicable
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