Book Review – The Atlantis Gene by A. G. Riddle

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TITLE:  The Atlantis Gene; Book 1 of The Origin Mystery series

AUTHOR:  A. G. Riddle

GOODREADS’ AVG. RATING:  3.65 out of 5 stars; 9,719 ratings




70,000 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 may not survive this time.


The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they have hidden the truth about human evolution. And they’ve 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 has discovered a mysterious structure buried deep in an iceberg. It’s been there for thousands of years, and it isn’t man made. The Immari think they know what it is, but they aren’t taking any chances. The time has come to execute their master plan: humanity must evolve or perish. In a lab in Indonesia, a brilliant geneticist may have just discovered the key to their plan.

Four years ago, Dr. Kate Warner left California for Jakarta, Indonesia to escape her past. She hasn’t recovered from what happened to her, but she has made an incredible discovery: a cure for autism. Or so she thinks. What she’s found is actually far more dangerous. Her research could rewrite human history and unleash the next stage of human evolution. In the hands of the Immari, it would mean the end of humanity as we know it.

One man has seen pieces of the Immari conspiracy: Agent David Vale. But he’s out of time to stop it. His informant is dead. His organization has been infiltrated. His enemy is hunting him. But when he receives a cryptic code from an anonymous source, he risks everything to save the only person that can solve it: Dr. Kate Warner.

Now 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 find the Atlantis Gene 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.

—— About ——
THE ATLANTIS GENE is a thought-provoking techno-thriller about global genetic experiments, ancient conspiracies, and the mysteries of human evolution. Its complex characters and historical and scientific details will stay with you long after you finish. This sci-fi adventure is the first book in A.G. Riddle’s Origin Mystery Series.

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I happened to come across this book on Amazon a week or two ago upon finishing Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. I was looking for a novel of a different genre, something which was outside of the realm of young adult fiction. I wanted mystery and adventure without the stereotypical detective mystery novel archetype; with that in mind, the search began for a new book or series to read which is how I came upon The Atlantis Gene.

The synopsis did an excellent job of pulling me into this novel, the entire idea of human evolution and existence is a topic which has been debated for a number of years and still is today. There are a number of theories and a novel which embodied a theory and created an entire world around the concept intrigued me. I am not as up to date on my evolutionary science or genetics as I would like, yet I didn’t feel as if I was lost among jargon nor did I find myself unable to understand the science. These are crucial points of focus for any author planning to write a plot with a scientific focus, you must ensure that your audience will be able to follow and understand if they are not a scientist! I believe that Riddle did an excellent job of ensuring that the readers would understand the novel regardless of their level of familiarity with advanced sciences.

I did have some issues with the novel though, however, my issues stemmed from the tempo of the story rather than the content. I felt that the novel did a great job of following a reasonable pattern, namely: introduction, encountering a problem, expanding of understanding the problem, climax, resolution of problem, and conclusion. However, I felt as if the tempo of the novel slowed down greatly as it was building towards the climax, then once we reached the climax it felt as if it was a rush to the end. I have great difficulty pinning the characteristics which made the building portion of the novel feel so slow. I mean, this section was filled with action, adventure, and out running the enemy! However, it felt as if a great number of pages (and thus a lot of time) was spent on David and Kate’s escape that once we reached the face-off with Immari…it felt as if the majority of the scenes were rushed, as if the author had reached some predetermined page limit and had to fit these scenes in the novel within a certain number of pages without going over. In addition, there were multiple point of view switches which would only last for a page or two in those final chapters which made it incredibly choppy, lending to the feeling of a rushed and broken up tempo. Knowing that this is Riddle’s first published novel, I am going to hope that this issue stemmed from a writer who is still learning their craft and that it is something which has been improved upon in the next two novels in the trilogy.

TL;DR REVIEW: 3.5 out of 5 stars.  Content and story wise, I greatly enjoyed reading Riddle’s debut novel, but the tempo issues were incredibly difficult for me to overlook and did make the reading more difficult.  I would suggest this trilogy of books to anyone who is interested in sci-fi novels which focus on where humanity came from and where it is going.  I look forward to finishing Riddle’s debut trilogy!

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