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The Artifact | [Patrick Astre]

The Artifact

Deep within a heavily guarded compound of the Brookhaven National Laboratory lies the nation's most protected secret: an active alien artifact. Estimated at several millions of years old, impervious to all efforts to penetrate its secrets, the artifact taunts researchers with bursts of mysterious radiation that may be efforts at communication.
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Publisher's Summary

Deep within a heavily guarded compound of the Brookhaven National Laboratory lies the nation's most protected secret: an active alien artifact. Estimated at several millions of years old, impervious to all efforts to penetrate its secrets, the artifact taunts researchers with bursts of mysterious radiation that may be efforts at communication.

Now, after two researchers conducted unauthorized experiments on it, something has awakened inside, something as old as time, wielding incalculable power and an agenda of doom. While America's military struggles against an impossible power, only a 12-year-old crippled computer hacker and an aging police detective hold the key to the artifact. But they must overcome disbelieving authorities in a desperate race against time, with the very survival of humanity in the balance.

©2005 Patrick Astre; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner of the 2004 Salvo Press Mystery Novel of the Year Award

"Galactic intrigue combines with military science fiction in a tightly woven, intricate story with strong male and female characters....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (748 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (103 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (98 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 05-05-08
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 05-05-08 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
    Overall
    "B Movie in a book"

    Well... this book is hard to rate because it's like listening to a B movie. If you like B movies, you'd probably think this story deserves a 4, and if you don't like B movies, you'd probably give it a 2.

    It's not science fiction as I'd normally think of science fiction - it's more like an alien invasion type thing (think Independence Day but very low budget). The "reality" of the book is current day, not future, so, if the "alien" was from another country instead of another planet, this would be military fiction, not science fiction.

    For example, the author describes, in detail, the type of ammunition used, the weight capacities of helicopters, the nature of nuclear fusion, etc... which is good if you like that stuff, but it's not really science fiction, more like science fact (and no I have no idea how accurate the info is because I don't really do much research into how many rounds a specific weapon can hold - so it may not even be science fact).

    Lots of stereotypes: genius boy in a wheelchair, cop with disfunctional relationship, spinstery librarian... you name it, the stereotype is in here.

    The reader speaks well, the story is interesting and definitely finish-able and, while a bit predictable, it has a nice pace. Overall it is a decent listen.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HighYoyo Tucker, GA USA 08-17-06
    HighYoyo Tucker, GA USA 08-17-06 Listener Since 2004

    highyoyo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Needs a good editor"

    This seems more like a writing project on including as much description as possible in your work. This quickly becomes tiresome when it has nothing to do with moving the story along. It is particularly annoying when the details are also wrong. Anyone familiar with computer systems, science, or weapons systems will wince at the incorrect information. Character reactions also don't ring true and slow any momemtum the story might have achieved - one moment the world is about to end, yet there's time to enjoy a milkshake and a cup of coffee! The ending is also rather unsatisfying. The book desperately needs a good editor and fact checker.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boppie 08-14-06
    Boppie 08-14-06 Member Since 2003

    There's always something to read in my purse

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    "I wish I had read these reviews before..."

    wasting a credit on this book. I guess it could have been worse, but it would take a while to decide exactly how.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael D. Merrill Buffalo, NY USA 07-29-06
    Michael D. Merrill Buffalo, NY USA 07-29-06 Member Since 2001

    Dr. Iconoclast

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    15
    1
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    Overall
    "couldn't finish it"

    I couldn't listen to the whole thing. Yes, the plot is a little simple and the characters flat, but there were grammatical errors that I just couldn't handle. Do editors still exist?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Michele Buttram Tucson, USA 07-21-06
    R. Michele Buttram Tucson, USA 07-21-06 Member Since 2004

    mitchno

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Not worth wasting a credit"

    I downloaded this without reading through the reviews, and I wish I had.
    The writing style is probably well-suited for a young teenager, but adult readers will probably find it a bit dull and unoriginal. The plot is predictable and not laid out well enough to create any sense of suspense - so much so that I kept reading because I could not believe that this novel had gotten any stars at all and that something new and interesting must be about to happen, but never panned out. The science behind this "science" fiction novel required a huge suspension of disbelief. Overall I felt cheated at the end of the novel, not believing that I had wasted an entire months credit in order to listen to it. If you really like B Sci-Fi then by all means read it, but otherwise spend your money or your credits on something else.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christian Gainesville, FL, USA 07-12-06
    Christian Gainesville, FL, USA 07-12-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Save your credit for another book"

    This book is not worth your time. The author artlessly bumbles along with a simple plot assembled from a few established science fiction devices (the sinister device that falls to earth, the physically disabled genius child, the alien presence that waits for eons beneath our feet, the alien disease that heals the victim and then mutates him). The story is very straightforward and you will correctly detect the coming of a convenient and simple ending. The exact manner of the ending will surprise you, but only because it is laughably ridiculous.

    The author's writing skills are like those of an above-average high school student, though he manages to carry the plot through 200 pages whereas the student might give up after writing only a few chapters. He has an addiction to bad simile; almost every paragraph contains a line where one thing is compared to another using the word "like." He compares many aspects of the alien’s attack to Satan or to hell, and he does it so much that it becomes boring ("like a scratch from the claw of Satan," "like the fires of hell," "like the anger of the devil himself," etc...). His writing is comically poor at times, as when a character is knocked to the ground "like a bat hitting wet sand."

    If a fourteen-year-old showed me this work, I would praise it and say that with lots of practice and a little instruction in college, he might become the next Michael Crichton (who is known for imaginative technical plots and mediocre writing).

    The narrator has a pleasant voice, but he drones along in the style of a documentary. I think he would do better to narrate an episode of VH1's Behind the Music. His character voices are mostly consistent, but they sound too similar to each other. His impersonation of the black characters is a little too close to mockery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis 06-26-06
    Dennis 06-26-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bit cartoonish"

    In the world of science fiction, I could find nothing new in this book. The plot was unsophisticated and the characters were undeveloped. It was worth the time to listen to it, but that's about all.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ER Doc MO 06-24-06
    ER Doc MO 06-24-06 Member Since 2005
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    "Lame!"

    I was excited about this read based on the publishers summary and the one review. Saddly disappointing. Written at about an eighth grade level and wrought with plot weakness. Save your money and time. I never write reviews but felt the need to spare others.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe North Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-04-12
    Joe North Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-04-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Great book, well read."
    If you could sum up The Artifact in three words, what would they be?

    suspense, drama, possible.


    What other book might you compare The Artifact to and why?

    Scott Sigler's "Infection", same type of space invasion.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The junkie killing up the the drug dealers and destroying the place


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    We have no idea what may be buried under our own backyard.


    Any additional comments?

    Patrick Astre took the space alien to a different place and for me it worked. I don't usually reread or re-listen to a book unless it is a great book. I've re-listened to a some of Dean Koontz's books like "Intensity" and a few of Steven Kings books like "DreamCatcher". I have re-listened to this book several times. This book ranks right up there and I would like to hear more from Patrick Astre and Patrick Cullen did a great job narrating this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Whittaker, MI, United States 01-11-12
    Douglas Whittaker, MI, United States 01-11-12 Member Since 2001
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    "Not good, and Not Science Fiction"
    What disappointed you about The Artifact?

    The plot was not believable and the writing relied on cliches and exaggeration. Everything described was over the top. How many times could he say


    What could Patrick Astre have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    If you are going to promote it as science fiction, it should have some science that justifies the action. In this case, the


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Artifact?

    I would have toned down the language and the repetition.


    Any additional comments?

    The description lists it as winning an award. It appears that the award is from the publisher, so is meaningless. Audible should not list this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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