“The ancestors are out there…you have to believe me.”
From acclaimed author Scott Sigler—New York Times best-selling creator of Infected and Contagious—comes a tale of genetic experimentation’s worst nightmare come true.
Every five minutes, a transplant candidate dies while waiting for a heart, a liver, a kidney. Imagine a technology that could provide those life-saving transplant organs for a nominal fee...and imagine what a company would do to get a monopoly on that technology.
On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, P. J. Colding leads a group of geneticists who have discovered this holy grail of medicine. By reverse-engineering the genomes of thousands of mammals, Colding's team has dialed back the evolutionary clock to re-create humankind’s common ancestor. The method? Illegal. The result? A computer-engineered living creature, an animal whose organs can be implanted in any person, and with no chance of transplant rejection.
There's just one problem: these ancestors are not the docile herd animals that Colding's team envisioned. Instead, Colding’s work has given birth to something big, something evil.
With these killer creatures on the prowl, Colding and the woman he loves must fight to survive — even as government agents close in to shut the project down, and the deep-pocketed company backing this research proves to have its own cold-blooded agenda.
As the creators become the prey in the ultimate battle for survival, Scott Sigler takes listeners on the ultimate thrill-ride—and offers a chilling cautionary account of what can happen when hubris, greed, and madness drive scientific experimentation past the brink of reason.
©2010 Scott Sigler (P)2010 Random House
“A tremendously entertaining horror novel…the premise is thought-provoking; Sigler populates the novel with a lively cast of characters (unlike many thrillers, the heroes are as interesting as the villains), and the action is virtually nonstop—and, at times, quite graphic. If you combined Michael Crichton’s scientific exploration with Matthew Reilly’s lightning-fast pace and colorful characters, you might get something that feels like this book, which, incidentally, would make a great movie.” (Booklist)
I made it through 8 hours of this 15 hour audiobook (53% of the way through). I was disliking it so much that I sped the audio narration up to 2x to get it over with faster when my husband reminded me of my resolution in December to stop wasting time on books I don't like. It's really hard for me to dnf a book I paid a $14.95 Audible credit for, but here we are. So what's so bad about it? It's a combination of mediocre to bad writing, slow-moving plot (when it's supposed to be a thriller) and offensive content. I can take one or two of these, but all three makes a read miserable.
The writing is simplistic, stilted, and awkward. It sounded to me like a very young person's first attempt at writing a serious book.
It's supposed to be an action-packed thriller plot, but nothing ever strikes as thrilling or urgent when reading it. I think the writing impacts this. It's not that the events themselves don't sound thrilling (the government blowing up a location because of a manmade disease, a group of scientists hiring a jet and running to a remote location in an attempt to finish their experiment), it's just that they simply don't come across as thrilling in the moment. They come across as boring.
Finally, the offensive content. I almost stopped reading early on, because of this content, but I told myself perhaps it's just this one character who is problematic, and it's ok for a book to have problematic characters. The thing is, though, the problematic statements start spreading across all characters. Three that stuck out to me.
While describing a woman in a high political office, "She could have been his daughter if he'd ever had sex with a black woman." This is a really freaking weird way to mention that a high-powered woman is black. Seriously.
There is a bisexual character who is incapable of monogamy (it is described in the book as her bisexuality means she is incapable of monogamy, not that she is a poly bisexual, thus implying that no bisexuals could be monogamous). This character cheats on another scientist (with a woman...because obviously she can't be happy if she doesn't have both penis and vagina), the man dumps her, she proceeds to attempt to bring a halt to the project by blowing up a building and trying to steal data with an axe. This same character is also repeatedly referred to as an "old woman." She is in her 40s. When one of the male characters speaks about her later, he calls her almost every known slur for women in less than 30 seconds of the audiobook. It was painful to listen to.
One of the female characters, a jet pilot who is a veteran, sleeps with one of the male characters and then cannot get over that he slept with her once and left. She is repeatedly described as using "unexpected feminine gestures," and it is implied that wanting more than a one-night stand with someone is a female thing.
One of the male characters who is supposed to be read as a useless buffoon spends his freetime writing vampire romance novels because he hopes they will sell. It is clearly implied that romance novels are a waste of time and don't require any intelligence to write.
Finally, this is the last thing that happened and just sent me over the edge. One of the male characters wants to sleep with one of the female characters. She's not into him. He later watches her with surveillance software while she's sleeping and calls her a "fucking dyke" because she doesn't want to sleep with him and states that he's going to make her have sex with him--essentially implying that he's going to rape her to fix her. Obviously this is problematic on many levels.
Ultimately, I can't recommend this to anyone. Even if you personally don't find the content I mentioned above offensive, the fact remains that the writing is poor and the plot not thrilling, defeating the whole point of a thriller.
Who in the world told the author reading his own work was a good idea? Listening to this was like when I was a small child and my father read to me. I guess there is a good reason why writers are paid to write and readers are paid to read. It wasn't just the awful, flat delivery but the production value was low. There were numerous long pauses where there shouldn't have been and many occasions you could tell it was the end of a sentence or a new paragraph but this guy plowed right through the period. I was under the understanding that I had purchased a professional book but this was pure amateur hour. That said the book wasn't bad and i may enjoy reading some more of his work but I'll have to read those since he also narrates most of those. What a joke.
The book might have been a 3 star book if I had read the physical copy. But I instead paid money to listen to the author butcher his own work. Every character was either yelling or speaking with what is apparently the only attempt at a foreign accent the author can do - a surfer Asian? Even the German guy sounded Asian. And the Canadians all sounded like 12 year old skaters. Add in the fact that almost nothing happens until the last 3 hours of the audio book and I was in agony. I could see how a good reader could have bumped this up to a 3.5 rating easily, but alas, it was not so.
Audiobook = 3 stars (having listened to the podcast, likely 5 stars if you haven't podcasted). Podcast = 5 stars, albiet much, much shorter duration.
I LOVE the original Sigler podcast, although its not as good as Earthcore. I dragged my feet purchasing the audiobook. There is clearly more depth of story, more back story, and no bump music between chapters. However, there are significant changes in the way some of the main characters interact - I had a lot of difficulty with this and it detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Sigler is his own best narrator regardless of which version you patron. If you haven't heard the podcast, then by all means PURCHASE THIS TITLE. If you fell in love with the podcast, then buyer beware.
Love the horror genre but read all kinds of stuff! I'm 40 something, a wife, mom and Project Manager for a large Construction Company.
All Scott Sigler books are riveting! He is even more demented than Stephen King. Full of surprises and never disappointing. What a ride!
I have listened to his Infected Series and all of the performances are great. At first it's a little strange to hear him do the females, but then you get used to it and even enjoy it!
The whole thing was disturbing, does that count?
Check out his Infected series too, freaky good stuff.
Mr. Sigler is a delightfully twisted man who brings entertainment as well as horror. I would recomend any of his books! Check out The Rookie or Infected! It seems Sigler has cut his teeth on old school authors, and it's nice to see him taking up the mantle. No, I mean he has shed today's "man-gina" popular "soft" horror...and strives to produce the real thing. Nicely done...again!
rage against the machine
This novel starts off rather slow as you are introduced to one of the main characters is going through a psychotic episode; only to find herself as an iatrical part of a research team. I have listened to the other two titles available by Scott Sigler and found that this novel was more sedate in comparison the pace was ¾ of the others. Over all I did enjoy this novel as well; it is filled with intrigue and kept me interested.
I don't understand the high reviews for this book. Sure it's fast pace and the author uses science to tell his story. But, come on, it's awlful dialogue filled with cliche after cliche. In my opinion the author needs to slow down on what he's trying to tell and come up with real original dialogue and narrative.
Scott Sigler's story starts out promising but fails to deliver. Although the premises is intriguing, it quickly disintegrates into extremely short segments that fail to adhere together. Too much bouncing around between characters and scenes leaves the reader feeling like he's watching 30 movies at once where the channel changes every minute.
I understand that switching back and forth between characters and scenes is supposed to help build the plot, but I thought it destroyed my ability to grow attached to any of the characters and care about what happened to them. I needed to spend more sustained time with them to want to keep reading about them.
In the end, I quit listening about half-way through the book, and being a die-hard reader, I NEVER do that unless I'm really disappointed.
The Good Sound Guy
man made monsters
When the C5 crashes.
As the author he brings the right emotion into it.
I laughed where appropriate and was upset when innocent islanders were eaten.
If you like this, read everything else by Scott.
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