“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 relisten to books that I like. Some, several times.
Yes. Same crazy guy.
Anyone can get Sigler’s books for free via his podcast but I buy them here in their complete form. One, because I don’t want to wait for the next episode and two, because I want to give him money so he will continue to write. I like that he reads his own work. He reads with a lot of energy and passion. Definitely not a “polished actor” and I like it. I do not like it when he kills off a character that he has made me care about. And yet I continue to listen to his stuff. The jerk.
I love this kind of story. The characters were all well-written and quite interesting, and the story itself was quite interesting with plenty of action and a good dose of science. I agree that it would make a great movie - I'd love to see what the ancestors actually look like!
I'm sorry to have to write a bad review for this book. I'm an avid fan of Scott Sigler, and loved Contagious and Infected so much that not only did I buy the audiobooks...not only did I buy hard copies of both books...but I also bought multiple additional hard copies to give out as presents.
In the rewrite of Ancestor, however, Sigler falls into a trap that so many "maturing" authors do after they get an enthusiastic audience. They overwrite.
Simply put, this is a book about monsters, and you don't get to see (hear) the monsters in action until four fifths of the way through the novel. The exposition, while filled with interesting and almost believable science (I'm a biotech journalist), just doesn't carry the length. It could have and should have been covered in half the number of pages.
And, even the monster action is a little lack luster here for Sigler--whose novelty in writing interesting and compelling creatures is part of what so many love about his work (Sigler writes the creatures like many authors over the years have written wolf packs).
Admittedly, part of this experience is tainted by the fact that we've heard this story before. But, seriously, throwing in a few glowing ruby dongs references (as amusing as that is) doesn't validate overblowing your own work.
I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have 5 grown children, play ukuele exercise, and read.
I originally bought the audible version of this book. I did not care for the author's reading voice. I did not know that he has a podcast with THOUSANDS of fans. I know because I heard from all of them when I originally published a negative review. I decided to READ the book because it kept getting 5 star ratings. The BOOK is terrific. I sat down on the couch and didn't move until I finished it. I highly recommend this book, but check out the authori's reading style before you buy the audible version. He is all over the Internet, so check him out first! I am now a huge fan.
Great story. Enjoyed it almost as much as Infected and Contageous (which I read in paperback). Unfortunately, Mr. Siglar narrates this himself, and I personally couldn't take his characters seriously because of the way he gave them funny accents and over-the-top delivery of their dialogue.
If you read this Mr. Sigler, please let somone else narrate your next novel, and I'll gladly buy it!
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.
Scott Sigler is my favorite author but I still rate him hard if I don't like something. Well Scott knocked this one out of the park!!!!! This book is one of my favorite books that he has done so far. The science is awesome. The way he builds these characters is better. The action and suspense reaches even higher. And the overall story telling of this book is just fabulous!!! Well done Scott, I can't wait to hear your next book which ever it may be.
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.
Fast pace and characters.
Love, love, love Clayton!
Yes, I love all his books. No favorites.
Scott Sigler is awesome for getting away from reality. Scott you are th only one who can read your books. I love your voices.
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.
"Scott Sigler = best modern horror writer"
Scott Sigler narrates his own books which in some writers case would be a bad thing, but scott puts effort into his "performance" every character gets a different voice, all of which are pretty decent actually, his female voices are below the rest but he is fully aware of this and tries his best. Surprisingly it actually makes the book come to life.
its a blend of Jurassic park( the book) and the film Dog Solders, in other words the story kicks major behind.
This is my favorite Scott sigler performance, his later books improve his female voices but this one is the best story
"On an Island where man plays god,Mankind is about to become an endangered species"
"BUY IT! BUY IT! BUY IT!"
I'm Scott Sigler's new biggest fan, it's sci-fi, horror, real life. He's influenced by Stephen King and it shows but he's completely go his own voice and style. I absolutely love it and am eagerly awaiting the next book. I love the fact the author narrates them. The characters are real and likeable, the action is fast paced, it's gripping. The science is sound without getting confusing (for those of us who aren't too clued up). It's great, just buy it! No wait, it's a sequel, just buy everything he has written that you can get your hands on.
A slow start but a gripping last half. Another great listen by Scott Sigler. Recommended.
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