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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 (745 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
 (227)
3 star
 (243)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (99 )
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 (95 )
5 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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  •  
    Richard A. Bamberg Colorado Springs, CO 06-13-07
    Richard A. Bamberg Colorado Springs, CO 06-13-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
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    207
    18
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    Overall
    "Mystery of the Year?"

    I must say that the "Salvo Mystery Winner of the Year" caught my attention and got me to listen to this book. The sample was okay and the narration was good. The writing, however, could have used a good editor, a fact checker, and a plot that didn't have a wheelchair bound child being the only person on earth who could defeat the alien menace. How clich?d.

    Really, except for constantly foreshadowing every event, every death, every plot point with author intrusion. It wasn't too bad.

    Unless you think about the improbability of an alien menace needed to wait a billion years for man to develop nuclear energy to perform a mission which it could have just as easily done by drawing energy from the local star.

    Okay to listen to if you are bored and can't find anything to prick your interest, but don't look for a great story.


    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlene Oceanside, CA, USA 04-09-08
    Charlene Oceanside, CA, USA 04-09-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Species"

    About 5 or 6 chapters in I realized this is just a bad version of Species, as if that movie wasn't bad enough. I never finished, don't waste your money or credits.

    The author substitutes gore for substance and the plot is thoroughly unoriginal and predictable.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peekay427 california, USA 06-26-06
    peekay427 california, USA 06-26-06 Member Since 2004

    peekay427

    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
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    12
    7
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    1
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    Overall
    "awful all around"

    I was interested enough in the idea of this story to download it. Unfortunately I was never able to get into it. The writing, in my opinion, was awful, like a first draft of a high school students science fiction story. The narration was so choppy and badly read that it would have made even the best book difficult to listen to. I personally don't think that this is worth reading or listening to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Umstott 03-05-09
    M. Umstott 03-05-09 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
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    145
    12
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    0
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    Overall
    "Quite bad actually"

    I was thinking that I might have enjoyed this book before puberty.. but then I realized I was reading things like "Childhood's End" back then. So I probably would have recognized it even at that age for the tripe that it is. Might be fun for people who both skipped all of their science classes and have never read a good science fiction novel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Williams Maryland 04-13-08
    Barry Williams Maryland 04-13-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    17
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Pulp"

    If you're into pulp science fiction, this is definitely the book for you. With cardboard cutout police detectives and FBI agents, plenty of mad scientists and secretive goings on to please any fan of grade B Hollywood movies, lots of spectacular special effects and a most improbable hero, I expect to see the screen play appearing soon at a multiplex near me. Patrick Astre's novel has few new twists to intrigue even the diehard fan of the body-snatching-alien-invaders genre. And lest I give away too much of his thin plot, I can only say that the climax of the story is based much more on fantasy than science. (Independence Day?)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George J. Bottarini Cedar Grove, NJ USA 09-06-07
    George J. Bottarini Cedar Grove, NJ USA 09-06-07 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "The Artifact - OUtstanding"

    I just started listening to audio books this year and this was a Great audiobook. It kept my interest with the plot turns and twists. The character Mikey was engrossing and believable. The plot built on itself chapter after chapter. The naration was also great and easy to listen to.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-02-06
    10-02-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    284
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    "Bring the crackers...."

    Because the book has enough cheese. An alien probe, millions of years older than our civilization is waiting patiently for us to develop nuclear energy so it can charge itself up. I guess the nuclear furnace of our sun (or any star for that matter) just wasn't good enough. Almost as ingenious as a star faring race in desperate need of water. This author has no clue whatsoever. Add a crippled genius to the mix and the worst ending I think I have ever read , and you have the ingredients of a short career in scifi.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erika Emerald Hills , CA, USA 10-29-09
    Erika Emerald Hills , CA, USA 10-29-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Mediocre"

    This book showed great promise, but too often it went for cliche after cliche. It was terribly predictable and the ending was straight from a Hollywood movie. Is Patrick Astre a screenwriter by chance?
    The production and narrator were fine. It was just the plot was completely unsophisticated; there were starts and stops in the plot that didn't make sense (yes, I know about ending a chapter with a cliffhanger; I'm not talking about that); repetition and time sequences that were a little off; and 2-dimensional stereotypes for characters.
    I have read good science fiction and this isn't it. Life is short; don't waste your time!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Stateline, NV, United States 04-01-08
    Suzanne Stateline, NV, United States 04-01-08 Member Since 2010

    Suzanne

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
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    83
    13
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    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    "OK Sci Fi"

    This is my idea of a good sci fi read. I didn't see the twists coming and they kept coming. The consistency of the "facts" as determined by the author was refreshing. I wasn't distracted from the story line by criticising flaws. One issue I had with this book was trouble really getting close to or identifying the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Weed, CA, USA 05-10-07
    Nancy Weed, CA, USA 05-10-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
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    Overall
    "old-fashioned science fiction"

    Except for the use of the s-word, this is a great story for 12 year olds. For adults, it is a little too formulaic, and is vague on some concepts. For example "radiation types never before known to man" and "atomic particles never before known to man"--rather than the more modern tendency to evoke a more specific explanation. There was a mention of "sentient atomic particles" which is a more interesting idea that could have been developed further.

    A kid-pleasing aspect was how adults refuse multiple times to listen to the 12 year old until it's almost too late, but for me it was a little irritating.

    The good guys won and true love won out at the end--another part of the Azimovian formula.

    In spite of this, I did listen to the end, but fast forwarded through a number of spots.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • P. D. Smith
    Huddersfield, UK
    8/28/07
    Overall
    "Average"

    This book was quite good, but I can't say I was thrilled by it. The story was exciting in bits, but seemed to drag in others.

    One thing that annoyed me was the unnecessary details the author went into - 'so and so went to the Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 web browser' - do we really need to know the exact version of web browser in use?

    The narrator was reasonable, but had some strange pronunciations for things, which could get annoying if you're annoyed by that sort of thing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Henrik
    OdenseDenmark
    12/24/09
    Overall
    "Not that interesting story"

    Lost interest halfway through the book. Story is nothing but one loooong hunt for the beast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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