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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, March 2014 - I recognized The Atlantis Gene from the Kindle bestsellers list, and was delighted to learn that it was coming to audio. A.G. Riddle has written a thrilling and unusual story about the history of human origins, which seamlessly blends in Nazis, aliens, religion, autism, evolution, and Atlantis. I found this to be incredibly accessible, exciting, and original listen – A.G. Riddle is definitely an author to try if you like Dan Brown or Michael Crichton. Narrator Stephen bel Davies helped ensured I was hooked right away, and can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next book in the The Origin Mystery series. —Sarah, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

The greatest mystery of all time...the history of human origins...will be revealed.

Seventy thousand years ago, the human race almost went extinct. We survived, but no one knows how.

Until now.

The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.

The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they've hidden the truth about human evolution. They've also searched for an ancient enemy - a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.

Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep in an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, and something is guarding it. As the Immari rush to execute their plan, a brilliant geneticist makes a discovery that could change everything.

Dr. Kate Warner moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to escape her past. She hasn't recovered from what happened to her, but she has made an incredible breakthrough: a cure for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more dangerous - for her and the entire human race. Her work could be the key to the next stage of human evolution. In the hands of the Immari, it would mean the end of humanity as we know it.

Agent David Vale has spent 10 years trying to stop the Immari. Now he's out of time. His informant is dead. His organization has been infiltrated. His enemy is hunting him. But when David receives a coded message related to the Immari attack, he risks everything to save the one person that can help him solve it: Dr. Kate Warner.

Together, Kate and David must race to unravel a global conspiracy and learn the truth about the Atlantis Gene...and human origins. Their journey takes them to the far corners of the globe and into the secrets of their pasts. The Immari are close on their heels and will stop at nothing to obtain Kate's research and force the next stage of human evolution - even if it means killing 99.9% of the world's population. David and Kate can stop them...if they can trust each other. And stay alive.

©2013 A.G. Riddle (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

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Pretty bad, but not the worst I've ever read

I'm afraid this review might go a bit negative, so I want to begin by saying, I didn't hate it. That being said, there are many glaring flaws that are difficult to overlook.

First, I imagine writing about the past is bothersome and time consuming. You would have to know what technologies were available in different years. This book covers over 100 years, but the author made the past and present sound the same. It was particularly obvious in the parts about the journal. A personal journal written 100 years ago is going to sound much more formal than one written today. But these had a more conversational tone, as is found in modern writing.

The characters are inconsistent and confusing. Other reviewers (on Amazon) have described them as cardboard cut-outs. They do not progress or grow in any way throughout the book. And the love story...ugh. It was as if he just threw that in there because he felt like that's what people expect.

I realize that it's already a rather long book, but I feel that the author could have taken a little more time with developing the plot and characters. People will stick to a long book if it's good.

There were also parts that were clearly taken straight out of Wikipedia. Just cut and paste. Not even reworded. (Explanation of Toba Catastrophe, for example.)

This book felt like someone trying to tell you about a really good dream they had. "I found myself in this building I'd never been in. There were people there that I didn't know. They asked me to follow them. I did, but I don't remember why. Then I was flying over the Grand Canyon because I needed to go rescue my Grandma from the alligator people." Yep. That's almost exactly what this book was like.

On a more positive note, I really do admire this guy for following his dream of being a writer, and self-publishing his books.

The ideas in the book could have been interesting if the writing hadn't been so amateurish. I'm giving the book three stars because, in the end, I was mildly entertained. And I hate giving one star when you can clearly tell that the author has risked everything to follow a dream.

163 of 182 people found this review helpful

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  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 03-30-14

What made me download this?

I usually trust reviewers...and this book is certainly receiving the reviews it deserves (for the most part). So I can't imagine what made me download it! Was it a recommended audible book? It seems impossible...Alas, download I did. And it was terrible. At one point, I actually double-checked that I had not downloaded Book II by mistake (soooooo much time had gone by with no clear clue as to what the 'mystery' was about or what was really going on...or what could remotely connect all these widely disparate characters and events). I guess the 'promise' of that mystery must have been tempting (so the author gets one star for that), but after an hour or so on the SECOND downloaded half, I just stopped caring. Wish one of the other reviewers had a 'spoiler' and would tell me what (if anything) ended up happening. Did they all die? Did the world end? Meh. Will attempt to get my credit back on this one.

93 of 108 people found this review helpful

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Dear Author: Ever heard the saying Less is More?

STORY (suspense) - If you read the summary of the story, you can see where it might be quite good...but it's just okay. There's just too many characters, too many time lines, too many subplots. ENOUGH! It's fairly long (15:44) and there's a lot to think about and keep straight. For the first 11 or 12 hours I was entertained, but then it just seemed to drag on and I stopped caring. I will give the author an A for imagination, but that's about all this book has going for it.

PERFORMANCE - Meh, he does okay. He doesn't do a very good job distinguishing characters, but it's not too much of a problem. Sometimes he drops his voice at the end of the line he's reading like the sentence is over, then he realizes there's more and tacks the rest on halfheartedly. All in all, the performance neither adds nor detracts from the book.

OVERALL - (Actual rating 2.5) No sex, minimal cursing. This is not an easy listen and you will have to pay close attention. The story isn't finished by the end of the book, so you will need to hear Book 2 to see how it ends. Personally, I don't care.

73 of 86 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 06-01-17

A Thrill-Ride That Captures Minds and Hearts Alike

4.5 out of 5 stars

I've had this book on my "to be read" pile for a long time. I picked this up a couple years ago before I was really into audiobooks and even though I was enjoying it -- it just felt like it was dragging on so I stopped around 20-30% through. I picked this up the other day and I'm really glad that I gave it another chance. I knew that thousands of people loved Riddle and this series, so I wanted to give it another shot. I completely understand why now.

For people out there who aren't sure why people listen to audiobooks -- this is a great example. It was a book that I was enjoying, but for some reason, I couldn't find the "right" time to read it. Or it wasn't hitting me with the right pacing. I put the audiobook on and all of a sudden it's 1 AM30 and I should have been in bed hours ago.

It's pretty obvious that The Atlantis Gene is leading up to something. There is a great story arc that is almost completed by the end of the book -- but Riddle left it open. Normally this bothers me a bit, but I've had this series on my radar for some time and I'm not disappointed at all by a 15+ hour book.

The mixture of history and future in this book was fascinating to me. I don't want to give too much away (I know, the book is 3+ years old at this point) but I'm amazed at how many different genres that Riddle was able to intermix into this story without it feeling boring or overbearing. There really is a little bit for everyone in this. There's some mystery, adventure, thriller, technothriller, history, sci-fi, and medical thriller.

I'm extremely glad that I gave this a second chance. I picked it up because I cannot wait for Riddle's newest book: Pandemic (I pre-ordered it). I hope that he puts as much thought into that as he did into this book.

Overall, an enjoyable book with lots of twists and turns. A book with something for everyone to enjoy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully Horrible

The plot makes no sense. There are Nazis. There is time travel. There are people escaping on hot air balloons with the bottom painted like the sky and the top painted like the forest so drones can't see them. There are bad guys who make deals and don't double cross. There's a love story between two the the flattest characters ever. There's a plague.
Stuff like the hot air balloons makes it almost worthwhile.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 03-29-14

Erich von Danken Meets Tom Clancy

What did you like best about The Atlantis Gene? What did you like least?

The story is fairly original, though the writing and genre are both fairly generic. The characters are bland, the writing style seems amateurish, and the relationships between the characters feel forced.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes. It's the perfect vehicle for a summer block buster. It has everything that that type of movie needs: shooting, explosions, a love story, and religious undertones. In fact, it would make a better block buster than it does a book. As a novel it is derivative in it's writing style and seems more like a paint-by-numbers spy novel than original piece of work. Though as I stated above, the idea of the story is pretty original, it is just the characters, dialogue, and action that are sub-par.

Any additional comments?

If you don't have anything better to read, you like Tom Clancy books, and are interested in Ancient Aliens, check this book out. It won't blow you away, but is an OK way to pass the time.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • marc
  • Sunninghill, South Africa
  • 07-02-14

A Riddle

AG Riddle takes you on quite a journey! The multiple threaded plot twists and turns to a point where I thought it was quiet a riddle! One must really follow the characters carefully which I enjoyed. It kept me engaged and he really makes you want to believe in his take on the whole Atlantis theory. It's an ambitious plot. The pace was well executed and picks up as the story line starts to come together leading to a crescendo. (Considering this is a trilogy).
At first I thought that I was going to battle with Stephen Bel Davies's voice. He sounded almost too pronounced. This however faded and he actually does a damn good job! There was a number of accents to cover and he had to switch between them quickly at times. I think I heard him falter slightly once.

I downloaded book 2 but I took a break before starting. I've been waiting to have more time on hand so I can really tune in and listen.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Tad
  • Palatine, IL, United States
  • 03-25-14

Just to much dumb

I had such hopes for this book and kept reading it with the dream of that promise. It was not to be. The whole book is a series of unbelievable events and not the 'WOW that's unbelievable' but the 'that's ridiculous' kind. From the hero spy agency set up like a terror cell, to the arch villain in charge of a super secret billion dollar high tech organization who knows absolutely no science or engineering, to the head spy who's been in a country for years yet speaks none of the languages, to the super smart (as in highly highly educated) heroes who cant figure out a card reader. And those are just off the top of my head examples that aren't spoilers. The story is a fine regular suspension of disbelief conspiracy story that I normally don't have a problem with but when I'm saying just 'let it go' every ten minutes...well needless to say I found it to be a let down.

30 of 44 people found this review helpful

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never caught my attention

bland story and characters. I have never abandoned an audio book before but I just couldn't continue this one. I stopped about half way through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Don't Bother

I listened to "Pandemic" and it was so good I couldn't wait to start another book by Riddle. I thought I had hit the jackpot since this was a trilogy. Very rarely have I had to struggle to finish a book. First of all it took fully a third of the book just to try to figure out who were the bad guys and who were The good guys. Then, when you think you have it figured out, the good guys start doing bad things. Half the characters have two different names so you can never figure out who is who. The biggest dislike for me was that the protagonists are continually the victims. Just once you would like to see the good guys catch a break. There are no heroes here, just victims. Over and over, just when you think they may actually succeed at something they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Stephen Bel Davies does a pretty good job with the accents but he uses that same sing song voice whether he is describing a beautiful vista or flesh burning off someone's face. Sometimes you just want to say "are you listening to what you are reading? This is not a children's storybook, it is a tale of death and destruction." I would have returned this book but I kept figuring it would get better. It didn't.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ozzymandias
  • 06-02-14

Brilliantly written and developed story

This book is great. Where some authors stuff the middle of a story with boring filler, this book is different. It is a steady burner and the mystery is unveiled as it progresses. It is dramatic and dynamic a very entertaining listen. You'll find it hard to pause listening.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Brent
  • 04-22-15

Couldn't make it through

Any additional comments?

Story built on an interesting premise, but then everything from Nazis to aliens were thrown at it. That might still have been ok, but the characters are so flat and one dimensional, their responses so unbelievable, that I couldn't suspend disbelief long enough to get through the book. <br/><br/>I am no writer, but an avid reader and the quality of the writing here is way below what I expect.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Pj Marsh
  • 03-04-15

Promises much but?

What made the experience of listening to The Atlantis Gene the most enjoyable?

As a science fiction novel it promised much, but only just about delivered. The story was at times patchy and the characters at times barely believable. Overall it left me not thinking that I wanted to read the follow on's and was fairly pleased that I got to the end

What other book might you compare The Atlantis Gene to, and why?

I wouldn't want to compare this to any other book, other than to say it was a mish mash of so many stories, trying to convince the reader that we are not alone and that its just a matter of time unfortunately I don't want to spend the time finding out what happens next as this story was lumbering and almost pointless at times

What three words best describe Stephen Bel Davies’s performance?

Unconvincing, robotic, passionless

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No this is a long book, and not one that really held my interest

Any additional comments?

There really are just too many holes in the story for it to hold together the spoken word is sometimes not accurate to the written book and overall it struck me as a cheap novel!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben Millen
  • 01-29-15

Dull and uninspiring

recently listened to "the martian" the "wool" trilogy and "hollow world" all gripping well rounded stories that pull you in. i mention these so that if you have listened to any of these you'll know where I'm coming from. this story was dull, confusing at times and just didn't grab me at all. nothing new or interesting here. skip this and listen to any of the above if you haven't allready

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Ritchie
  • 12-04-14

Engaging story but does jump about a bit.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd recommend this book but the style of writing doesn't suit dipping in and out. There are lots of small chapters that bounce between characters and can make following the exact details a little tricky. But that is probably as much because I listen to 30-60mins at night before I got to sleep.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I enjoyed this story but some of the chapters were just to small and used to forward different story lines simultaneously. This meant that there were lots of pauses and 'Chapter xxx' being read out.

What aspect of Stephen Bel Davies’s performance might you have changed?

Stephen was pretty good, clear understandable and gave a little personality to the characters.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

I think if this got a film adaptation then there would be a lot of story left out. It is practically a trilogy in it's own right never mind the next two books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • robert christmas
  • 06-16-15

Great book couldn't wait to

great book couldn't wait to get stuck into the next book in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • g.l.ward
  • 09-20-14

A book I had to put down

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

A better narration, I found the narrator very uninspired. The sentences and paragraphs were all read in a sort of monotone feel. No emphasis on the pace of the story or situation. <br/>Completely ruined the book for me, with this sort of reading I don't see anyone lasting more than 30 minutes at a time.

How could the performance have been better?

Getting a narrator who seems to be remotely interested in the story line.

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

The story seems to be quite an interesting one, but I think I will read the hardcopy of this.

Any additional comments?

It is a good cure for insomnia

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane McKay
  • 12-30-14

ABOMINABLE NARRATION, LUDICROUS STORY

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Pretty much everything. I have to trust that the science is good but I was not convinced. Silly 2 paragraph chapters clearly written as a TV series for some really obscure channel with 3.5 viewers,

If you’ve listened to books by A. G. Riddle before, how does this one compare?

No and I will avoid anything else written by this person

What didn’t you like about Stephen Bel Davies’s performance?

Flat, nasal delivery, no characterisation, poor pronunciation. Marbella? Per-lease. It's Spanish not Italian.

Was The Atlantis Gene worth the listening time?

Not really except, unlike books I have enjoyed I did not let it seep into valuable time and stuck to listening on public transport. On the plus side however the juvenile storyline was at least uncomplicated and the narration whilst dreary and flat was utterly clear.

Any additional comments?

I did make it to the end and somewhere in there is the germ of a potentially good sci-fi yarn. Shame it did not fulfil its potential

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Verner
  • 05-31-14

Global conspiracy, world domination contorted plot

If you could sum up The Atlantis Gene in three words, what would they be?

We're doomed. Perhaps.

Would you recommend The Atlantis Gene to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend this to anyone who likes science fiction that is set in the present and builds on past facts. The blending of future tech with present context is done well. However, while the overall premise is consistent the character events feel contorted and the coincidences sometime a stretch too far.

What about Stephen Bel Davies’s performance did you like?

His delivery conveys the urgency and tension effectively. This is particularly true in the action sequences.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Moved no, its not that sort of book. It is not particularly though provoking either just a good bit of sci-fi.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Roystoned
  • 09-17-16

Riviting read

Great story, intriguing thriller only let down by the lack of voice characterisations.
That aside this is a story that keeps you hooked on many levels. Well worth it if you want a book which delivers a different flavour of a thriller and sci fi blend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • K. N. Smith
  • 05-09-14

Wow Great story

Loved this book because it's such a great ride ! The story is very interesting and has everything from science, history and evolution to time and space travel. It's action all the way, your thrown in at the very beginning and keeps you weaving and guessing, a real page turner!! Great debut book Mr Riddle so please keep em coming!!!! Look forward to all and any you write in the future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tracey Williams
  • 10-24-14

Not getting the rest of the trilogy

I found that this was a great story but it did chop and change between places and times so much I often found myself lost. Not only that but some of the characters then changed names which left me wondering what was happening.
Basically the story was great though if it had have been written in an easier to follow manner.

I really have to say though that I didn't enjoy the reader. His voice was just annoying and he often mispronounced words. He also gave us the wrong voice for the wrong character a few times which was weird.

My son said he wouldn't want to listen to the rest of the trilogy so we won't be buying them as we listen to our audiobooks in the car on the way to work and school in the mornings and afternoons.

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  • Hugh
  • 09-02-14

Science Fiction. An interesting yarn

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not Really. I found the premise to be somewhat implausible. It raised some interesting concepts and the burgeoning World population increase is a concern.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Offered more explanation. It was somewhat Cryptic. There was an opportunity to develop the love interest but it fell flat.

Have you listened to any of Stephen Bel Davies’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No. I haven't but his performance wasn't the issue. The story was not conducive to a great performance.

Was The Atlantis Gene worth the listening time?

It was Ok but I don't think I will bother about the other books in the series. It didn't blow my skirt up.

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  • James
  • 07-23-14

Mixing sci-fi with religion :-(

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

I don't enjoy a story that mixes with religion the way this one has. I finished the first half of the recording but I couldn't bring myself to finish the book. I also didn't enjoy the narrator either, it could have been the way the story was written with quick scene changes and hard to identify characters

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

Probably not

What three words best describe Stephen Bel Davies’s performance?

Wasn't the worst

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

Has most wry and try's to keep you interested but if you are science minded your probably not going to like it

Any additional comments?

If you like books like the saga of the seven suns, the Martian event horizon, your probably not going to like this book