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Publisher's Summary

A deadly outbreak in Kenya. A conspiracy beyond imagination. And a race to save humanity in its darkest hour.

From A. G. Riddle, the worldwide best-selling author of The Atlantis Gene and Departure, comes a novel that will change everything you think you know about pandemics.

A hundred miles north of Alaska, an American Coast Guard vessel discovers a sunken submarine at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. It has no national identification and doesn't match the records of any known vessel. Deep within, researchers find evidence of a scientific experiment that will alter our very understanding of the human race.

In Atlanta, Dr. Peyton Shaw is awakened by the phone call she has dreaded for years. As the CDC's leading epidemiologist, she's among the first responders to outbreaks around the world. It's a lonely and dangerous job, but it's her life - and she's good at it. This time she may have met her match. In Kenya, an Ebola-like pathogen has infected two Americans. One lies at death's door. With the clock ticking, Peyton assembles her team and joins personnel from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the WHO. What they find in the remote village is beyond their worst fears. As she traces the origin of the pathogen, Peyton begins to believe that there is more to this outbreak - that it may be merely the opening act in a conspiracy with far-reaching consequences.

In Berlin, Desmond Hughes awakens in a hotel room with no memory of how he got there or who he is. On the floor he finds a dead security guard from an international pharmaceutical company. His only clue leads him to Peyton Shaw - a woman who seems to know him but refuses to tell him how. With the police searching the city for him, Desmond desperately tries to piece together what happened to him. To his shock and horror, he learns that he may be involved in causing the outbreak - and could hold the only key to stopping it.

As the pathogen spreads around the world, Peyton and Desmond race to unravel the conspiracy behind the pandemic - and uncover secrets some want to keep buried.

©2017 A. G. Riddle (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,281
  • 4 Stars
    1,332
  • 3 Stars
    546
  • 2 Stars
    165
  • 1 Stars
    67

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,636
  • 4 Stars
    1,021
  • 3 Stars
    293
  • 2 Stars
    61
  • 1 Stars
    32

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,008
  • 4 Stars
    1,163
  • 3 Stars
    574
  • 2 Stars
    200
  • 1 Stars
    86
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Read this before buying, too much hype

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator was great. I have no complaints about him at all. The problem with this book is that there is literally an hour of plot and 17 hours of "character development". The premise is extremely interesting, but this isn't a case of bad execution, its a case of NO execution. This is a book where millions of people die of a virus, the world is attempted to be taken over by a secret organization, but the ONLY mention of the public and how they react is the hospital being messy. Seriously? I get that you need to leave some things for the next two books, but that doesn't mean you ONLY do character development in book one.

What was most disappointing about A. G. Riddle’s story?

That its missing a story, I get that its the first book in a trilogy, but we don't need to be beaten over the head with why the characters are the way they are. Character development is great, but in this case its taken way too far. For example one character had a troubled youth, and it effected his relationships etc... Well that is explained to us about 20 times and takes up probably 6-7 hours of the book. Its interesting the first time, but to make the same point over and over just distracts from the plot, we get hes messed up we get why, now PLEASE get back to the plot. On top of that there are important characters who are messed up primarily the main bad guy! (granted we are introduced to them towards the end of the book, but whose fault is that?)

All of the people raving about this book either haven't read it or are just fanboys because of his previous series, which I enjoyed but did suffer from some of the same issues. No where near as bad though.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Extremely disappointed, although I do believe this series will get better.

159 of 171 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring and not plausible.

struggled to finish. it was just kinda boring. Too much back - from- the - dead silly coincidences.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

a technology twist to a familiar plot

It was interesting most of the way through, then when the technology entered in, it got a bit unbelievable. The wrap up at the end is simplistic and pat. Even then, not everything is resolved so a sequel is required and guaranteed. And it's hard to decide how to feel about some of the people. It was hard to keep some of the characters clear; their names are even too similar--Elliott, Elim, Milam. Elliott started out in an important position and then lost it, so it was not clear why he was important to the story.

Mr. Ballerini does well of course, but the women's voices weren't always clear.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too hard to swallow

This is not the first A G Riddle book I have read - that was The Atlantis Gene - but it is likely to be the last. While I found The Atlantis Gene long, tedious and a bit boring, Pandemic is a mixture of interesting character development and an incredibly complicated plot. We are asked to believe that one of the characters set up such a complex set of hoops for himself to jump through that it was hard for me as a reader to follow them, but that the character was then able to get through those hoops successfully. I am willing to suspend belief up to a point, but this book passed that point as soon as the entire plot came into clarity as one of the main characters began to remember what was going on. I am sorry, but it would be just too much for me to swallow even if I believed that science could identify individual memories in a person’s brain and sequester them without doing the same to the neighboring memory. I would be more specific but I try to never include spoilers in my reviews.

Some of the book is quite interesting as we find out about the history of the individuals involved, but that takes up a small part of an incredibly long story which I would have found far more interesting if it had been subject to some decent editing. This might well have been a good 11 or 12 hour book, but 19 hours is just too long for this story and I lost interest about half way through. I almost gave up on it and moved to the next book in my wish list, but thought that if I waited long enough perhaps something worthwhile might show up. I was wrong and, as an added bonus, this is the first book in a series.

On the positive side, the narration was quite good with distinct voices, regional accents and an involved narrator. A pity the book was not up to the quality of the narrator.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very engaging book.

I wish it were a bit shorter and had less plot lines. Edoardo Ballerini is,as always,at his best with a great performance.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Creighton it is NOT

Someone said in a review "equal to Creighton" NOT EVEN CLOSE. The mistakes regarding routine medical treatment, science/biology in general are so annoying as to disrupt thee story entirely. For example the incorrect sequence using an AED, lack of understanding of consequences of smoke inhalation the list is endless. The action scenes were ok but really the whole storyline was poorly executed.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Extremely silly-as if written as a parody

No character development, incoherent plot, ridiculous coincidences--like a chain novel in which the authors of each successive chapter try to outdo the others in terms of trite dialogue and meaningless action ( "We had guns and missiles in the last chapter--now let's have guns, missiles, bombs, and a plane running out of gas!")

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

This book is an infomercial for Audible

What disappointed you about Pandemic?

The multiple references to Audible (and the Audible app) were just repulsive to me. I did not pay for an advertisement for Audible. This is just repulsive.

What was most disappointing about A. G. Riddle’s story?

The idea that an author would feel compelled to include multiple product placements in an audiobook is just deeply saddening.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The characters are great.... when they aren't talking about Audible.

Any additional comments?

It is obscene that Audbile is charging credits/money for this book. As a free book for potential subscribers, sure, why not, but I felt dirty and cheated listening to this corporate product. Shame.

37 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring and dragged out

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A story

Would you ever listen to anything by A. G. Riddle again?

Nope

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator was the only redeeming part

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment - there was so much hype about the book

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Please End. I ended it with 15 mins left!

80% of book excellent. Last 20% was impossible made possible way to much coincidental events. Ending so unbearable and unreachable i pulled the plug with 15 mins left.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • RoseyToesRose
  • 07-29-17

Loved it!

This was my first audio book experience, and I loved it! The storyline was great, with some really strong character. The narration was really impressive too, and I soon learnt to distinguish which character was which, by the tone of voice and accent use. I'm really looking forward to listening to the next book in the series.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. B. Connor
  • 12-05-17

Kept my interest

Was a bit worried that this story has been "done before". However lots to keep my interest, sub plots, back stories and great characters. Really enjoyed it. Thank you

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Salter
  • 04-28-18

Much Much More...

When I first chose to listen to Pandemic I was a little concerned that this was going to be another one of those 'virus outbreaks - followed by a race to find the cure' sort of stories. Wow, I was happlily proved wrong!
There is so much more to this story, as layer after layer is revealed, and the story twists and turns until the very end. The premise of the story could easily be straight out of a Bond story, however the book is much more complex, and to describe it as such just wouldn't do it justice.
This is highly recommended, and I'll certainly be listening to more from A.G. Riddle.
Top performance from Edoardo Ballerini too. First time I've listened to his narration, and I'd put him right up there with Audibles best.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • paul hadfeild
  • 06-25-18

not sure why this is a best seller just so obvious

It Started off ok but you soon start thinking hang on a minute weren't they infected a few chapters back why don't the main charictors seem to die .
By halfway through you just think oh ok so none of the main charictors die no matter what ,i can live with that but then the story just drivels on and on i think they should have cut a third of the book out and kept it sharp and snappy about controlling a virus, but then i suppose it had to lay the ground work for other books with james bond bad guys and secret enemy bases as well as flying all over the world in what feels like minutes .
There are sombre good bits in the plot .
I don't read allot of fiction but there is much better than this .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • S. Ascough
  • 06-08-18

Hilariously bad

This is a bad book. It felt like the author wrote a spy thriller, and a book about a pandemic, then thought to themselves "Why not?!" and mashed them awkwardly together. This does not work as a coherent story. People are able to take part in action sequences whilst suffering an Ebola like illness that kills in days. None of the logistics in the book work. I do not feel bad about returning this book, given that the author did not feel bad about cutting and pasting from other sources (seriously, the section on air bnb in Germany is lifted straight from a guide book. It made me genuinely laugh out loud).
The only points this book gets is for the narration, which was decent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paul D
  • 05-28-18

Awful comic book crud

I can find nothing positive to say about this boo.k. Basically it is just badly written. Wooden dialogue spoken by plastic comic book characters., with a breathy theatrical narration.
Much of the 'tale' is told through the cast narrating events to other members in long dialogues, tedious and lazy. Amazed that i stuck in thereb so long, under all the crud there is the hint of the possibility of an inteesting plot, but in the end - five hours still to go- I was losing the will to live.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mr TE KEYTE
  • 05-17-18

Good start but couldn't finish it

I enjoyed the start of the book detailing the response to the outbreak but then got completely lost in (and bored by) detailed back stories and implausible plot points. I didn't manage to finish. I thought the narrator did his best with poor material.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs R.
  • 04-06-18

Tedious

Got to more than halfway, just realised I was wasting my life. Sad, because it had so much promise but was so unnecessarily drawn out to tedium

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Ahern
  • 02-25-18

Too complex with too many impossible coincidences.

I found it just annoying in the end. Constantly going back in history to create excessively detailed back stories for new characters that appeared from nowhere. Really quite predictable in lots of ways. It ended up being a a battle of wills. Me against the book. I didn't enjoy it, I endured it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Krzysztof
  • 07-27-17

What to do with you?

This book is similar to previous Atlantis trilogy - in both the plot and characters creation. With is both good and bad - to mine personal opinion I enjoy the story - not so much characters - creation is better than previous A.G R books but still need some improvement :). Some said in review that it not feel plausible - and sadly I have to agree with that - to minie opinion that does not mean that you can't have fun reading it - I sure did. If you liked previous A.G. R. book (as I did) you should liked this one - but is in the same level (overall) as Atlantis trilogy - you will not get disappointment but I would keep expectation as I said on the same level as Atlantis books. IMHO i would expect more form this author -since i liked his previous creations - and this is why i gave 4 stars instead of 5.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jack
  • 07-06-17

Horrible Australian accent and a tenuous drawn out story

If you've got a book with many many Australian characters, hire a narrator who can do an Australian accent. Every time an Australian character started speaking I cringed and it (among other things) eventually made me stop listening.

The story is very drawn out and all over the place. I agree with many other comments that it's about 10hours too long and has many story lines that are unnecessary.

A really shame I got about 8 hours in and wanted to give up, gave it until 13 hours and then really did give up.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christine
  • 07-02-17

Narrator needs to work on his Aussie accent.

A great story and I enjoyed the plot thoroughly. However the narration, particularly the Australian characters, was atrocious. If you are going to produce a book with many Aussie characters, please employ a narrator who can do an authentic accent. I cringed every time he attempted to speak in an 'Aussie' voice. It almost made me give up and miss out on a great story.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ben Jones
  • 11-07-17

good story, horrendous Australian accent

imagine a new Zealand accent mixed with a drunk angry constipated south African, and that is their idea of the Aussie accent. I am not usually bothered by bad accents, but this was incredibly bad. The rest of the performance was great, but there were way too many Aussies. I recommend you get the Kindle and read it rather than subject yourself to this accent.
In his defence, the Aussie accent is difficult, but seriously, get an Aussie to verify it before you subject the world to it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 06-27-17

Enjoyed but ...

I enjoyed the aspects of the book directly relating to the pandemic, how it spread, how dealt with etc.

There was need for the back story to how it all happened but I felt that went into a lot of unnecessary detail and became a bit tedious.

A good read overall but I skipped sections without losing any important elements of the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-30-17

all over the place!

lost track of what was going on from chapter 99. too many people, too many coincidences without explanation, new characters jump in suddenly. why were there random missiles and planes to fly all over the world? bad Aussie accent.. not going for the next book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • G. Hamilton
  • 09-16-17

Potential not reached

Some aspects were interesting but overall it was a cliché secret-agent-with-amnesia genre book. Pandemics are fascinating in themselves and the done to death overplot detracted from the book's potential.

The narrator had a good voice to listen and expressed well. It has to be a difficult choice when the characters are international - to do the accents or not. The narrator chose to do them, but didn't do them at all well, and this was winceworthy. It's probably necessary to get someone from country to model those parts or not do them, rather than guessing at them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Soraya
  • 07-27-17

Great story! Not so such a great performance

Amazingly detailed, scientific and futuristic as usual from A.G Riddle.
Another original and amazing plot.

The only thing that kinda got me was the performance.
Some of the characters are Australian.
I can appreciate the American narrator trying to get into the characters, but him putting on the accent was sooooo cringeworthy and horrible.
I almost couldn't do it for a while in the beginning.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Booklover
  • 07-25-17

Excellent page turner

The author is adept in depicting human nature and interaction while taking us through some significant science and multiple dramas (including flashbacks to the past).

My main gripe is the shocking 'Australian'. Sounds South African/a bit British Cockney at best!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julia Grivas
  • 07-03-18

Awesome

Great book, narrated very well, glad I didn't listen to the negative reviews! looking forward to the next installment 😁

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 07-02-18

Wow

Fantastic such a thrill ride was not expecting half of what happened in the book highly recommended read.