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Although this is a pretty exciting and interesting story, there are several problems that get in the way of interest. First, there are the myriad chapter jumps from character to character and from time to time with no clues. It is very confusing trying to figure out if a given chapter is happening now or some time in the past. And there is a LOT of past here, more than 50 years of it, and we have to keep those pasts straight for so many people. Stalingrad, Australia, Oklahoma, Germany, Spain, the North Atlantic. Now, last year, 5 years ago, 50 years ago, a billion years ago. I lost my place in the book once when my phone kept playing after I had put it down. It took me over half an hour, and a lot of relistening to figure out where I had been. THAT is a confusing story.
This has sort of mixed up genres. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. This one started out (in book 1) as a biological pandemic which then turned out to be a Lex Luther bioterrorism theme but now there's Virtual Reality and computer-controlled everything. This current volume takes it even further into VR and super computers. It's already confusing trying to figure out how their computer programs can do what they say they can, and then you have to understand how the Neanderthal cave paintings fit in (?), and then it just keeps getting weirder. Something is hidden in the human genome and it is supposed to answer the deepest questions of Man's existence. What's that question again? And where in the story, or Lin Shaw's genetic research, was this answered? Not much is answered because the question isn't clear. Most of the themes have been dealt with anyway in Star Trek in far less time and with less confusion.
It's a bit sci-fi. Our hero has hidden his memory in some computer somewhere? He has to find it to save the world.
It's a bit romance. Two women love him. Unless one just shrugs it off, there are only two ways for that to resolve, either one dies, or one has her heart broken. Take your pick.
The people cleverly change from being good guys to being bad guys or visy-versy. Who's hiding something? Who can you trust? You'll start with the eye rolling.
There are some good action scenes, but even they are confusing chronologically.
The last conversation of the story is the most confusing of all. It's supposed to be all high-brow intellectual philosophical and just ends stultifying: Let's not call the highest peak of our world by the name we use, let's be sly and use the name of the first surveyor-general of India and call it..... wait for it......Mt. Everest. Yeah, that'll obfuscate things.
Even though the story can keep you entertained, it is not satisfying because there's not a real moral, or a real conclusion. It's just kind of woo-woo, aren't we mysteriously esoteric!
Mr. Ballerini does well with all the voices except Lin Shaw's. She has to be 50-60 years old, but sounds like her daughter's sister.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I really wanted to like Genome, but A.G. Riddle has disappointed me again. The first book in the series, Pandemic, set things up well, but the wrap up was implausible at best, contrived at its worst.
The only redeeming factor is that the Kindle version is part of my Amazon Unlimited subscription and the audio book was a $2 add-on. Was it worth $2 and 10 hours? I'm still on the fence there.