The Amber Project : The Variant Saga

  • by JN Chaney
  • Narrated by Alexander Edward Trefethen
  • Series: The Variant Saga
  • 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 2157, a mysterious gas known as Variant spreads across the globe, killing or mutating most organic life. The surviving humans take refuge in an underground city, determined to return home. But after generations of failures and botched attempts, hope is beginning to dwindle. That is, until a young scientist makes a unique discovery, and everything changes. Suddenly, there's reason to hope again, and it rests within a group of genetically engineered children that are both human and Variant. Terry is one of these children, modified and trained to endure the harsh conditions of a planet he cannot begin to understand. After years of preparation, Terry thinks he knows what to expect. But the reality is far stranger than anything he can imagine - and what he will become is far more dangerous.

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I was pleasantly surprised about this book

In the year 2157 a gas exterminates almost every living being on Earth, and the few humans who survived seek refuge in the underground, building a city and a political system aimed to the species survival and the genetic engineering  of new human beings, with the right modifications, to be able to survive on the surface and give a future to mankind.

Terry is one of these children, which enter the academy at age seven to not only receive an education, but also to get checked and see which ones of them could make it in the presence of the lethal gas.

The book is divided in two parts. The first part focus on the children's evolution at the academy and ends with an incident which triggers the second part, when they have to go to the surface and see if they could survive there.

The story is very well paced. I understand that some people did not enjoy the audio logs, but for me it was a great addition to the story, giving us some background and depth. The first part, when the children are still at Terry tries new techniques, I could not help but think about Ender and how he also innovated at the battle school, giving him the victory in many cases.

I spend much time thinking about the origin of the gas and the Jolt, the event which triggered the gas. You cannot just throw a mystery like that at me and be sure that I will not care about it. Where did that gas come from? What was it? I was worried that the author was going to leave us in the darkness, but Terry and his friends will discover what triggered it but not where it came from and what exactly is. The book ends with a cliffhanger that will makes us need to read the next book and maybe know where it came from, so I hope J.N. Chaney will have it ready soon.

Alexander Edward Trefethen's voice helps to bring the story to life, with very clear diction and an energetic narration,  changing his voice tone depending on the character. The audio production was very good too and listening to this book was a delight, being able to listen to it at a higher speed without losing intelligibility.

I was pleasantly surprised about this book, taking into account that it is his first published work. If you like dystopian books, this one is for you, it will not disappoint.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

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- AudioBook Reviewer "All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com"

Inventive and exciting

An inventive post-apocalyptic world where humans are confined to living underground because the air on the Earths surface contains a toxic element called Variant. Variant either kills you or metamorphoses you into a violent bloodthirsty monster. Society has arranged it's self into 3 political elements, the Mothers (females who's job it is to procreate), the Scientists and the Military. In order for humanity to continue to survive they have to find a means to be able to live on the Earths surface once again. The three factions spend years experimenting to try to produce offspring that would be able to breath Variant and survive unscathed. They manage to produce a group of children they hope will be their future, but it is here that the three factions aims start to diverge and the story truly begins. The duel storylines in this book are expertly interwoven. One telling a thrilling story of survival, friendship, betrayal and loss, while the other shows us the political and social maneuverings occurring between the different factions. It is a well written and complex story with appealing characters and an original plot. The narrator manages to do a great job with the multiple characters in this audiobook. He makes it easy to follow the flipping back and forth in time and place, leaving you in no doubt what is info from the past and what is the up to date happenings. It is an enjoyable book that captures your imagination and leaves you wondering what will happen in the next in the series. I received this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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- Rabid Reader

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-05-2015
  • Publisher: JN Chaney