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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.
167 of 188 people found this review helpful
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.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
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.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
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
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
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.