Pandemic (The Extinction Files, #1)
A deadly outbreak in Kenya. A conspiracy beyond imagination. And a race to save humanity in its darkest hour. From A.G. Riddle, the worldwide bestselling author of The Atlantis Gene and Departure, comes a novel that will change everything you think you know about pandemics. * * * A hundred miles north of Alaska, an American Coast Guard vessel discovers a sunken submarine at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. It has no national identification and doesn't match the records of any known vessel. Deep within, researchers find evidence of a scientific experiment that will alter our very understanding of the human race. In Atlanta, Dr. Peyton Shaw is awakened by the phone call she has dreaded for years. As the CDC's leading epidemiologist, she's among the first responders to outbreaks around the world. It's a lonely and dangerous job, but it's her life—and she's good at it. This time, she may have met her match. In Kenya, an Ebola-like pathogen has infected two Americans. One lies at death's door. With the clock ticking, Peyton assembles her team and joins personnel from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the WHO. What they find in the remote village is beyond their worst fears. As she traces the origin of the pathogen, Peyton begins to believe that there is more to this outbreak—that it may be merely the opening act in a conspiracy with far reaching consequences. In Berlin, Desmond Hughes awakens in a hotel room with no memory of how he got there or who he is. On the floor, he finds a dead security guard from an international pharmaceutical company. His only clue leads him to Peyton Shaw—a woman who seems to know him, but refuses to tell him how. With the police searching the city for him, Desmond desperately tries to piece together what happened to him. To his shock and horror, he learns that he may be involved in causing the outbreak—and could hold the only key to stopping it. As the pathogen spreads around the world, Peyton and Desmond race to unravel the conspiracy behind the pandemic—and uncover secrets some want to keep buried. ABOUT PANDEMIC PANDEMIC is A.G. Riddle's first new novel in almost two and a half years. The product of extensive research, PANDEMIC takes readers inside the CDC and WHO response to a deadly outbreak. It features the real-life science and history blended with fiction that readers have come to know and love in Riddle's past novels. PANDEMIC is the first novel in a new series: The Extinction Files.

Pandemic (The Extinction Files, #1) Details

TitlePandemic (The Extinction Files, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 5th, 2017
PublisherRiddle Inc.
Rating
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Thriller, Apocalyptic, Post Apocalyptic

Pandemic (The Extinction Files, #1) Review

  • Vannetta Chapman
    January 1, 1970
    I loved, loved, loved the first 3/4 of this book.(sigh)The last quarter was quite complicated, overly complicated. The plot seemed a stretch, there were SCORES of coincidences that I still can't explain, and I just wanted it to be over. But that first 3/4 was excellent!Note: Some language.
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  • Felipe Macia
    January 1, 1970
    Do you like books where the author doesn't even know what he's getting at? Do you like books probably written by the author's understudy after skimming his first book for a semblance of his style? Do you like books without character continuity? And do you enjoy a good eye-roll while reading...? If so, this is the book for you!I really wanted to like this. i enjoyed the Atlantis series as a fun and easy to read trilogy, with a cool sci fi element, not a mindbender like The Three Body Problem (if Do you like books where the author doesn't even know what he's getting at? Do you like books probably written by the author's understudy after skimming his first book for a semblance of his style? Do you like books without character continuity? And do you enjoy a good eye-roll while reading...? If so, this is the book for you!I really wanted to like this. i enjoyed the Atlantis series as a fun and easy to read trilogy, with a cool sci fi element, not a mindbender like The Three Body Problem (if you want a good read, read those). but silly and fun, and Departure was fun and what not. both kept my attention and were exciting...this one though ... i just thought SOMETHING interesting was coming... i kept waiting for anything exciting. even the action was ridiculous and stale. maybe a tie in to why we are even reading this story... half way in you are willing to accept some of the action as mere fun easy storytelling... anything to take you aware from the romantic nonsense that makes no sense and doesnt work... "are you a male? and are you a female? are you in proximity to one another? BOOM ROMANCE!!! oh you dont believe it... ok... umm, next paragragh "and i thats when i knew ive ALWAYS loved her"... hmm thatll convince 'em".... 700 pages later my eyes hurt from rolling them so much. the wild jumps to conclusion, the ridiculous coincidences... i get this is supposed to be a series, but even books in series' have some semblance of closure even though there are loose ends to be tied up in the subsequent books. (again, just go read the Three Body Trilogy) this one? nope! no answers. the whole "Looking Glass" contraption... it felt like 600 pages in, the author didnt even know what the hell he was getting it. vague allusions to something "greater than ourselves" - maybe if i write a few more pages ill figure out what hell this thing is and i can tell the reader - and that "only this ONE PERSON currently narrating can save the world", well until the next person who is narrating gets to the end of their chapter... with zero evidence and random statements that "tie it all together" - "and then it was all perfectly clear exactly what i needed to do, and that i was the only person in the world that could do it". SAD!not only is this book, for what it is, entirely too long and scattered, it seems he just took his research from The Atlantis books and made another story, similar (plague, evil corps trying to take over the world but in their own precious conscious are saving humanity, origins of mankind, a scientist and one "super guy with lots of skills"), but not as good. SPOILERS AHEAD (although there are no spoilers bc nothing happens in this book) the allusion to the Gibraltar Trading Company, i thought was a cute nod to his previous books... no, given what we learn at the end with the human bones, its clear this one trick pony only wants to talk about this one specific tidbit of knowledge he learned a few years back. ANOTHER SPOILER - Peyton learns, in the span of like a day or 3, that everyone in her family has lied to her, they are not dead, and have been leading mystery lives without her included, are potentially evil maniacal earth killing monsters, or perhaps martyrs who abandoned her for her own good. Regardless, she doesn't know what the f is going on... yet... feels compelled to blindly trust any nonsense spewed from her "dead" dad, and her "dead" brother, and her mom who "wont tell her whats going on bc, THERES NO TIME" and bc the author doesnt know whats going on, and Peyton quote: "just won't budge another inch unless you tell her what this is about!! im serious this time, I wont budge and ill die here in this building unless u tell me right now mom and dead dad and dead brother and weird mystery lady who loves my evil dead brother. not another inch." Mom Says "this is bigger than you. not now. when youre ready ill tell you." Peyton: "okie dokie karaoke!! works for me!! Lets go Family!" #vomAs much as he tried to dive deep in to each character and build a narrative as to why they are, they sadly all fall very very flat. The reader just "doesnt care" about any of them, not to mention the more you read... the sillier it all is. One last comment, which the editors should have noticed... it seems they pushed him too hard to get this book out so didnt bother with edits or narrative review in the last third. We start the book with chapters, and section of chapters, that have distinguishable narrative points of view. ie - now you're reading from X's perspective. now you're reading from Y's perspective. very clear who is "talking"... at the end, you have multiple points of view and perspectives within the same page, no separation, paragraph to paragraph. makes no sense. not to mention just mentioning random characters that have not been introduced before as we know who the f they are talking about...oh ya... this is global pandemic spreading across the world, and for the most part the situation is changing on an hour by hour basis... but no mention as to flying times, and the total loss of a day from flying from UK to Australia then to wherever than to the Moon... boopadeeboop we're there! done ranting. skip this one.
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  • Matthieu
    January 1, 1970
    Is it a joke?The beginning was excellent. We wonder what's happening and how they are going to fight against the flu (not a major spoiler). But little by little the book moves to high fantasy.Ok, the flu is bio terrorism... why not. First problem.... a doctor in Kenya who calculates temperatures in Fahrenheit... So ridiculous... So US centered.Now the bug bad guys...Unilimited moneyA 2000 years conspiracyA conspiracy so large that they penetrate all countriesA hidden island with a huge research Is it a joke?The beginning was excellent. We wonder what's happening and how they are going to fight against the flu (not a major spoiler). But little by little the book moves to high fantasy.Ok, the flu is bio terrorism... why not. First problem.... a doctor in Kenya who calculates temperatures in Fahrenheit... So ridiculous... So US centered.Now the bug bad guys...Unilimited moneyA 2000 years conspiracyA conspiracy so large that they penetrate all countriesA hidden island with a huge research labA nuclear (!!!) submarine owned by the conspiracy. In the 60'. Yeahhhhhh, come on!Heroes moving in a Red Cross plane (!) from Easter Africa to Shetlands then deep in Russia. I was not aware that the Red Cross had planes with a B52 range.And obviously anglo saxon countries fight back, but not France nor Greece...and obviously the big bad government can't do anything intelligent save cutting communications and internet and giving power to an unlimited supply of moronsI'm willing to accept suspension of disbelief... But that!Worst book of the year.
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  • Lily Malone
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at about 60%.Sorry, I can't do anymore... I am so tired of the extended chapter after chapter flashbacks for all characters. I'm enjoying the current storyline enough to give 2 stars - the Pandemic - the various flights/treatments/rescues etc. The opening was great with Desmond in the hotel room etc. That part of the story has great pace and action. But chasing through the complicated flashback memories (and they're loooonnnnggg) to find the secret to this 'labyrinth' etc, that's done it for DNF at about 60%.Sorry, I can't do anymore... I am so tired of the extended chapter after chapter flashbacks for all characters. I'm enjoying the current storyline enough to give 2 stars - the Pandemic - the various flights/treatments/rescues etc. The opening was great with Desmond in the hotel room etc. That part of the story has great pace and action. But chasing through the complicated flashback memories (and they're loooonnnnggg) to find the secret to this 'labyrinth' etc, that's done it for me. I'm skimming all that just to get back to the current-day action.I can't go on... too many books waiting to be read.Good luck Peyton & Des. Hope you save the world!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    "You know what would be great? We have two strong female protagonists and one smart, rich, and strong male. Now let's have them fight and argue over him at critical points in the plot when they should be focusing on the fact that a WORLDWIDE PLAGUE HAS KILLED LITERALLY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND THEYRE SUPPOSED TO BE STOPPING IT. Yes, this is perfect. Oh, and let's give him amnesia and he only remembers being in love with one of the women."
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  • Zach Sheffler
    January 1, 1970
    This book has something of an identity crisis. The first two-thirds chronicles the apocalypse unfolding over the course of a week. The last third reads like a pretty good Dan Brown book. Now, both of these things are fine. I like ice cream, and I like onions. But I don't like onions on my ice cream so much.I read this at an incredibly leisurely pace, partly because the book was good, but not so excellent that I couldn't put it down. In retrospect, I think that helped my perception because the to This book has something of an identity crisis. The first two-thirds chronicles the apocalypse unfolding over the course of a week. The last third reads like a pretty good Dan Brown book. Now, both of these things are fine. I like ice cream, and I like onions. But I don't like onions on my ice cream so much.I read this at an incredibly leisurely pace, partly because the book was good, but not so excellent that I couldn't put it down. In retrospect, I think that helped my perception because the tonal shift was less jarring.So, prospective reader, should you read this? Eh, maybe. I'm probably not going to read Genome when it releases, but I'm also not angry at myself for reading this book instead of something else. I wouldn't say the back nine of the book is terrible as so many other reviewers do, but I would warn that it strains credulity more than a little. (The reviewer hastens to add that complaining about that in a book about an unstoppable super-pandemic is kind of rich, though)Now, if you've read the book or are going to skip it, I'll now gripe about my pet peeves for the next 2,000 words: (view spoiler)[There are a couple tropes that this book hits on that irritate me to the point of yelling into a reviewer that nobody but me several years down the road are going to notice. In no particular order:The whole world revolves around the cast for some reason - The fact that Orson and William knew each other was tossed out fairly blithely and had no downstream effects whatsoever. This would have been a funny easter egg if not for the fact that all of the major players were densely interconnected for some reason. Every "shocking" moment was the revelation that a villain was actually a hero's family tie in some way.The mega-conspiracy - Thousands of people managed to keep an island secret while still procuring - among other things - missile-defense systems, some absurd amount of computing power, military-grade weapons, and submarines? North Korea can't build most of that shit and they don't even have to try and hide it.Omnipotent narrator, except when it's inconvenient - Look, I'm not a creative writing teacher, nor do (or will) I write books myself. But it drives me crazy when authors give unfettered access into someone's mind for 95% of the time, but then withhold some key bit of information to ratchet up suspense. This isn't Red Rising-level, but still, come on. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Jen | Jen Talks Audiobooks
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a sucker for "plague kills the world" books and this was just what I was craving. Tons of adventure, engaging characters, a fast pace and a plague that kills the world! Couldn't ask for more from a good p/a. This one sped along and I just didn't want to put it down. The narration by Eduardo Ballerini is spectacular. His command of accents is impressive.
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  • Yvonne
    January 1, 1970
    This book was equal parts exciting and boring as all get out.I wouldn't have felt lost at all if this had been trimmed by 150+ pages. I still want to find out what happens, but not sure I want to do that much "skimming".
  • Jeff Bottrell
    January 1, 1970
    I love pandemic stories. That Steven Soderbergh movie Contagion that came out a few years ago? I loved that movie. There's something about worldwide panic with brave scientists racing to help prevent global catastrophe that puts a big grin on my face. So regardless of the trashy aroma around A.G. Riddle and his work, I picked this audiobook up on the cheap, thinking, "How can I go wrong? Pandemic premises garner two stars just for starters." And things began promisingly. We had Kenya. We had bat I love pandemic stories. That Steven Soderbergh movie Contagion that came out a few years ago? I loved that movie. There's something about worldwide panic with brave scientists racing to help prevent global catastrophe that puts a big grin on my face. So regardless of the trashy aroma around A.G. Riddle and his work, I picked this audiobook up on the cheap, thinking, "How can I go wrong? Pandemic premises garner two stars just for starters." And things began promisingly. We had Kenya. We had bats. We had brave rural doctors overwhelmed with cases. We had brave CDC doctors rushing to help. We had a mysterious illness with a high lethality. But then, much like the patients in this story who seem fine at first (just a slight cold) but after a few days start bleeding out the ears, this book begins to head over the cliff into willful inanity. Be warned that the disease combatting that thrills me so peters out midway through the novel and gets replaced with romance - "Will the boy I used to care so much for (who happens to have lost all memory of our relationship) finally realize his love for me? I mean, like, after he remembers me?" Just as an aside, the character of Peyton, who supposedly is this fantastic and heroic leader of the CDC at story's beginning, devolves into this mush-mouthed adolescent - something I hate HATE relating to female characters in the hands of male authors. Believe it or not, Mr. Riddle, women aren't incessantly stewing over their relationship status in the middle of global crises. And then by the end of the story, we have something akin to "This Is Your Life!" with one ridiculous unearned revelation after another turning the whole thing into a soap opera with Bobby stepping out of the shower and surprising Pam (Dallas reference). It becomes quite comical. It makes the plot to Book of Henry seem reasonable. In fact, I think the only way I was able to make it through this story was the excellent voice of Edoardo Ballerini, who bravely tackles all this nonsense with unerring aplomb. I love his "NPR Noah Adams" voice and remember fondly how wonderful he has been with previous books like "Speaks the Nightbird," whose sequels I have waiting to listen to some day. Edoardo, they damn well better have paid you double your rate for this one.
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  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: medical procedures, plague, murder, shitty parenting, gun violence, death of a parent, death of a sibling, bushfire, fire and burns, explosions, I think there was other stuff but it's late and I'm tired and my list is on a post-it note upstairs I'll edit this list later okay bye.3.5 stars. I saw this at Dymocks in the city several weeks ago and was like "OMG YES GIVE IT TO MEEEEEEEE" because I'm trash for medical thriller-y things. HOWEVER. It was $35.00 at Dymocks so hahahahah Trigger warnings: medical procedures, plague, murder, shitty parenting, gun violence, death of a parent, death of a sibling, bushfire, fire and burns, explosions, I think there was other stuff but it's late and I'm tired and my list is on a post-it note upstairs I'll edit this list later okay bye.3.5 stars. I saw this at Dymocks in the city several weeks ago and was like "OMG YES GIVE IT TO MEEEEEEEE" because I'm trash for medical thriller-y things. HOWEVER. It was $35.00 at Dymocks so hahahahahahahaha nope. Thankfully, the Kindle edition was like $6, so...good thing I didn't spend $35? I was hooked in the early stages of this. It was cutting between a plague breaking out in Kenya, a guy who wakes up in Berlin with amnesia next to a dead body, and a woman who works for the CDC prepping her team to head to Kenya. And it was great. But the more the story went on - and at 677 pages, it just. kept. going. on - the more it became an Evil Secret Society book and less a medical thriller. Which was a letdown for me. Soooooooo basically I'm really glad I didn't pay $35 for it. Will I be reading the sequel? Eh. If it's also less than $10 on Kindle, maybe?? But at this stage, I'm pretty happy to leave it as a standalone.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    This book was AMAZING. I did find some parts near the beginning a little boring. But I am glad I stuck with it!
  • AudioBookReviewer
    January 1, 1970
    My original Pandemic audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.Pandemic is the first book in A. G. Riddle’s new Extinction Flies series of books.  The author is best known for his previous works involving The Origin Mystery series (Atlantis Gene); a series I own but have not yet listened too.  I found this book difficult to review because it really depends on your expectations of books belonging to this genre.  Hopefully this review helps you to better decide if this is My original Pandemic audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.Pandemic is the first book in A. G. Riddle’s new Extinction Flies series of books.  The author is best known for his previous works involving The Origin Mystery series (Atlantis Gene); a series I own but have not yet listened too.  I found this book difficult to review because it really depends on your expectations of books belonging to this genre.  Hopefully this review helps you to better decide if this is the right book for you or not.  It is a rather long book, so this review may be longer also.I will say, I enjoyed the book’s narration performed by Edoardo Ballerini and for a book of this size there were very few audio related issues; discussed later in the review.  If mystery and suspense is a genre you gravitate towards, and if you are a person who enjoys deeply-written stories having complex characters, multiple plot lines, and numerous flash-backs, I believe you will find this story hits all these qualities.  Being it is the first book in the series, it is understandable that this book is used to setup the background details on an unraveling bigger story.  As a stand-alone book, it is enjoyable if not somewhat long.  However, I believe all the details the author sets up in this book will only enhance what is to follow in the rest of the series.Many reviewers have complained that this book could have been half its size and still told the same story.  Let me say that in a generation where microwave or instant gratification literature is mandated, I think the author did a much better job of allowing the reader to marinate or stew on the text by making the book as large and ambitious as this one is.  Because this book is only the first in a series, I would not recommend it for those who do not like waiting for the next to come out, this is the only one currently available on Audible at the time of this review.  This book ends with a rather large cliffhanger, so if you do not like that in a series, wait before grabbing it until more are released.Let me say the book is big, and I mean 696 pages (or nearly 19 hours of audio) big.  Could the book have been smaller and still told the same story, in some ways yes; but we do not know the author’s intentions and how the events in this book potentially affect all future books.  It is not a quick read, or a book for those who are seeking a light thriller to compete in a single setting.  Not at all.  This book is complex in its development of both plot and characters.  It is how a story is to be told, and not just something thrown together for a quick dollar.  It makes me think of the difference between a fast-food hamburger compared to a filet minion.  If you are simply looking to eat only hamburgers, this book is not for you.  Instead, if you like richer and finer stories, you may want to give this one a try.  I found it interesting to see how all over the place other reviews are on this book.  You either love it or hate it, it seems.  Sometimes that is a good thing and shows that this book resonates with some readers but not others.  I liked that the author both opens and closes the book with scenes of intense action and drama.  The whole book is not all action, as some may desire, but there is a good amount keeping the story flowing.I want to say that this genre of book (world pandemics) is not my preferred one, but I found that I enjoy the complexity and believability because much of what is covered in the book is something that could happen; even today.  The book contained a fair amount of action, intrigue, and fear that kept me listening to the end.  As the book progresses, you begin to see how the characters and their involvement all converge giving you the “Ah ha” moment.  I liked the descriptive nature of the author’s writing along with what seems to be rather solid research of many topics.  The book includes computers, hacking, nanotechnology, viruses, genetics, pharmaceuticals, travel to distance word locations, and by the end; piles of dead bodies.   For a few of the more technical/computer aspects, I would have liked to seen the author provide more detail.  For many, you will also get a few laughs while listening by the author’s inclusion of “vintage” technology; Circuit City, Computer Shopper Magazine, and GeoCities.  The nostalgia alone kept me laughing and wanting more.Pandemics can be complex, difficult and scary events which I’m not sure the book did enough to express.  The focus was mostly on the main characters and not as much on the world and its reaction to his devastating and earth-shattering event.  There were a few instances where rioting and body counts were mentioned, but often theses seemed to be less emphasized as I would have liked.  I cared about the story’s characters, but I also wanted to care for all those who were suffering not directly involved with the main event itself.  The book showed how information sharing and communication with the public can be difficult in a time like these.  Too much sharing of information could cause riots where not enough sharing permits the virus to spread.  Again, a very complicated and sensitive topic for such events.  I will say that the book always has you questioning what can and will be done next.As stated earlier, the characters are complex and the author does a good job of telling their backstories using flashbacks, etc.  We really see who and what molded them into the people they became and why they were so focused or involved with the outbreak.  It may come as no surprise that most of these characters had experienced hard lives growing up.  Not only is there good dialogue and interaction, the book includes some light romance; including one scene that parents and younger readers may want to be aware of.  The scene is not used in a salacious way, but simply to show two of the characters growing closer in their focused goals.  You will be able to see how one’s priorities and desires change due to the virus occurrence.  I did want to also address a few who complained that the author placed references in the book to Audible, etc.  I myself did not see these as a blatant advertisement (which they may have been) as some suggested, but more meta for those who are listening to the book using Audible; I found it more humorous than anything else.Edoardo Ballerini is not new to audiobook narration with over one-hundred and fifty other titles available (at the time of this review) on Audible; I have listened to a few of his other works.  The narrator did an excellent job narrating the multiple characters, accents, and genders.  Not once did I have an issue with his voicing of any of the characters.  Overall the audio was clean and professionally done.  I will continue to find other books by this narrator for future audiobooks.  Just as a side note, the book’s publisher is Audible Studios.  I mention this as I was a bit surprised to hear about ten places where the book’s audio appeared patched or plugged.  This may have been because the book was still being edited while the audiobook was in the production process.  I found the patches noticeable, but not enough to prevent someone from listening to the book.  Just be aware that you will know they are their when you listen.  Again, with this being a rather large book, one assumes a few audio plugs or other hiccups may be expected.For younger readers or parents, let me say the author does an exception job of telling a story without having to throw in vulgar language.  I can say that I do not remember one vulgar word used while listening to the book; however, in a book this size, I may have missed one or two.  I can say the book contains far fewer uses of vulgar language than other books in the genre.  As mentioned above, there is a slight romantic scene with light sexual topics covered.  Nothing that would rank the book more than a PG-13 movie.So, would I recommend this book?  I would to people who want a deep experience focused on the main plot and characters with little in the way of bigger picture.  I enjoyed the book, the technology, and the pace and will listen to the rest in the series when they become available.  If you are one who likes quick and concise stories, this book is not for you.Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the way this one started.....mystery, amnesia, murder, illness. If that wasn't enough, it goes on to kidnapping, terrorism, tragic upbringings, miraculous survivals, imprisonment, and so very much more. I love a subplot or even a few, but this was completely overdone. It also felt like a character parade. I listened to the audio and there were no audible markers to note a change of a first person POV or of a different time period. It was hard to keep all the stories and the characters st I liked the way this one started.....mystery, amnesia, murder, illness. If that wasn't enough, it goes on to kidnapping, terrorism, tragic upbringings, miraculous survivals, imprisonment, and so very much more. I love a subplot or even a few, but this was completely overdone. It also felt like a character parade. I listened to the audio and there were no audible markers to note a change of a first person POV or of a different time period. It was hard to keep all the stories and the characters straight. This wasn't my favorite. So 2 stars.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed this! Packed with intrigue, action and good characters, some of whom are given time to look back on their past in sections that I particularly liked. A long book but the pages flew through the fingers. A few too many coincidences but I'm very pleased to say that, although this is book 1 of a series, it didn't end on a cliffhanger. Worryingly, I caught a cold when I read this... Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I give 3.5 stars to this very complex and circuitous story. It took me eighteen (18) days to read this book and that is about twelve (12) days to long for any book. The problem was not so much with the story as a whole, but that there just seemed to be almost to much going on. There were wars, conspiracies, secret societies, romance, intrigue, and a host of other things. The characters were all good and I was happy to get to know them. I became very invested in the bulk of the characters, and th I give 3.5 stars to this very complex and circuitous story. It took me eighteen (18) days to read this book and that is about twelve (12) days to long for any book. The problem was not so much with the story as a whole, but that there just seemed to be almost to much going on. There were wars, conspiracies, secret societies, romance, intrigue, and a host of other things. The characters were all good and I was happy to get to know them. I became very invested in the bulk of the characters, and there were quite a few of them. It was kind of hard keeping track sometimes though because there are so many twists in relation to the characters and the situations which change on a dime.A mysterious outbreak starts to spread across Kenya and the CDC and WHO respond but are unprepared for what they find. A submarine with no identification markings is found sunken one hundred miles north of Alaska with evidence of scientific experiments having been performed there. Dr. Peyton Shaw is deployed to Kenya from the CDC to help trace the pathogen, as she does she starts to believe the outbreak may be a part of a larger plan. Desmond Hughes wakes up in a Berlin Hotel with a dead man and no memory of who he is, but a clue leads him to Peyton Shaw who knows him but will not tell him how. All this and more.While I liked the book there were a few things that made me a little crazy. While I appreciate the fact that the book was well researched I don't think every bit of that research needed to go into this one book, particularly since it is the beginning of a series. The thing was 137 chapters long, I hate having to go through that many when some are only a paragraph long. Though it may only be me, I do not think Disco music was around in 1965, even in Hong Kong. The thing that I did like a lot was that things tied up well for all the round about that went on. I would recommend this but warn you to be prepared for a lot of information. If you like medical thrillers this may work for you.
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  • Babbs
    January 1, 1970
    This felt very much like a blend of The Bourne Identity, The Da Vinci Code, and Outbreak. An interesting take on a common book plot, with secret societies, missing memories, advanced technology, and of course a mysterious disease our main characters are attempting to cure. I'm slightly biased as the first scenes we are shown are of our main character, Desmond, in Berlin, and I chose this as a vacation read while in Berlin, not realizing some of the plot is set there. Nothing says vacation like a This felt very much like a blend of The Bourne Identity, The Da Vinci Code, and Outbreak. An interesting take on a common book plot, with secret societies, missing memories, advanced technology, and of course a mysterious disease our main characters are attempting to cure. I'm slightly biased as the first scenes we are shown are of our main character, Desmond, in Berlin, and I chose this as a vacation read while in Berlin, not realizing some of the plot is set there. Nothing says vacation like an end of the world story. There is obvious nods to other successful novels, including a brilliant badass waking up with no memories but somehow evading trained professionals. Unraveling what Desmond's role is in the current events, and helping him piece together his past was one of the more enjoyable portions of the book, and I wish it had a bit more focus on a specific theme instead of trying to be too many things at the same time. "We are the enemy we face. The human race is on borrowed time. We are far too uncivilized to possess the weapons we do." Our other main character is Dr. Peyton Shaw, a CDC physician who is in charge of a new disease outbreak in Kenya. Her character is likable, but also the stereotypical "smart and aloof" female lead. Most of her clinical actions are believable but her interactions with some of the other women are just irritating. Two strong (beautiful, because it only counts if both of them are hot) women bickering over a male in times of crisis is just so tired I can't even address it without rolling my eyes. Luckily this was a minimal insertion in an otherwise enjoyable story. Major plot events and the reaction of the general public were too tidy to be realistic, and the story began to fracture in the last 1/4 of the book. There were some inconsistencies with the disease progression, which might have been explained by the confusing timeline we experience when switching between characters. With all the slightly negative points I mentioned above, I still really enjoyed this book. It was the perfect equivalent of a "beach read" for a vacationing nerd. Having huge chunks of time stuck on planes and/or trains to read in large chunks also likely added to my enjoyment. Four stars is a little higher than I'll likely feel it deserves once the vacation induced euphoria wears off, but I'm going with it. For those that it's important to know in advance, you can read this novel as a standalone and get enough answers to be satisfied, but it does continue. I'm not planning on picking up the second book in the series any time soon, but I liked it enough to continue eventually.
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  • Jules (Never enough time to read)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the beginning of the book and I would have loved it to continue down the medical thriller route, but it doesn't and towards the end it was more like an action packed sci-fi and I was a bit bored. It just wasn't quite my cup of tea.
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    A decades old abandoned submarine is boarded under the arctic sea. A man with amnesia wakes in a hotel in Berlin to find a body nearby. An medical clinic in Africa confronts its first case of a strange multi-symptom disease. A doctor is called by the CDC to travel to Africa to determine the nature of the new outbreak.These are some of the chopped opening scenes to the first book of a new thriller series by A. G. Riddle. Like any good modern thriller it keeps to brief chapters and small scenes, s A decades old abandoned submarine is boarded under the arctic sea. A man with amnesia wakes in a hotel in Berlin to find a body nearby. An medical clinic in Africa confronts its first case of a strange multi-symptom disease. A doctor is called by the CDC to travel to Africa to determine the nature of the new outbreak.These are some of the chopped opening scenes to the first book of a new thriller series by A. G. Riddle. Like any good modern thriller it keeps to brief chapters and small scenes, sweeping back and forth in time and location. The book is mostly well-written and the plot works well as it gradually peels away the identity of Desmond Hughes, follows the investigation of epidemiologist Peyton Shaw, with whom Hughes has some kind of relationship, and ultimately exposes a pandemic which appears in multiple areas simultaneously and may be an act of terrorism.Some of the stories within the book are compelling: a courageous African doctor risking his life to save others, Desmond's expanding memories of being the sole survivor of his Australian family and being sent off to his tough abusive uncle in Oklahoma.The main problem with the general plot is that as it becomes clear who the bad guys are, what they want, and the execution of the plot it becomes such a small and incestuous group that the reader rightfully feels like the rug has been pulled out from under. I'm happy to follow a weird plot in a thriller, most tend to stretch believability to near breaking in an effort to build an interesting plot-line. The reader follows along with a faith that all these different lines will all lead to a conspiracy that may be bizarre and on the edge of reality but not go over that edge. The "ahas" in this book run off the edge like lemmings in a fogbank. Family ties, one character come back from the dead with another out of nowhere, and several plot element dead ends make the reading put into this book irritating rather than satisfying. Other volumes are threatened in "The Extinction Files" series. This book has been selling well and I'm sure the next will be rushed out. Some people love this kind of book but I tend to resist reader abuse of the kind Riddle offered here and really have no interest in the next episode.
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  • Jrt6
    January 1, 1970
    Like some other reviewers have said I found the first two thirds of the book impossible to put down and by the end I was skipping paragraphs. The protagonist starts off with a Daniel Craig James Bond type character. Professional, reticent, and focused but by the end I felt like he was trying to be on Dr. Phil. The first part of the book goes to the extreme into how traumatic his childhood was and how that formed his personality and life but the remainder of the book he was anything other than a Like some other reviewers have said I found the first two thirds of the book impossible to put down and by the end I was skipping paragraphs. The protagonist starts off with a Daniel Craig James Bond type character. Professional, reticent, and focused but by the end I felt like he was trying to be on Dr. Phil. The first part of the book goes to the extreme into how traumatic his childhood was and how that formed his personality and life but the remainder of the book he was anything other than a hard person. Not the slightest bit of moral ambiguity or flexibility. The interpersonal relationships between characters were cliche and repetitive to the point I was surprised there wasn't an illustration of a guy beating a dead horse. Firearms and small unit tactics? If you've even played Rainbow Six you'll find the ones in the book so bad you'll want to throw it. A female character who is severely injured does things such as shoot three rifle armed spec ops types with her handgun from considerable distance. An eighty year old dude is room clearing and shwacking other commandos right and left.The book has an excellent premise and the first half shows the author know how to do write a concise and coherent thriller. I don't know if it was his desire to appeal to different types of readers and wanting to make for a longer book but the end is a repetitive complicated mess. I really didn't care about the plague anymore because I just wanted to finish the book i put too much time into reading.
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  • T
    January 1, 1970
    Thrilling first 3/4, then the story really fell apart. I put up with a lot of coincidences and time bending events, because the story was good. But really, who geocaches their memory during a viral apocalypse? And this amnesia game is done to save the world? I didn't buy into the romances either. And then there's nobody's dead, the evil villains are victims and really good guys, and the boyfriend to your childhood sitter, and he's also the brother to your girlfriend who has been waiting for year Thrilling first 3/4, then the story really fell apart. I put up with a lot of coincidences and time bending events, because the story was good. But really, who geocaches their memory during a viral apocalypse? And this amnesia game is done to save the world? I didn't buy into the romances either. And then there's nobody's dead, the evil villains are victims and really good guys, and the boyfriend to your childhood sitter, and he's also the brother to your girlfriend who has been waiting for years for your return. Ya, to complicated and unbelievable. But the first 3/4 , I really liked.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    This book was just okay. It started out great as I am fascinated by how epidemics and pandemics might breakout and the attempts to contain and/or cure it. At about the 1/3 way through mark, it fell apart with too many attempts at surprise, and became a bit "Hollywood" - like writing a script for a movie to keep the audience entertained. It is the first in a series and I will not be reading the others. 2.8 stars from me.
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  • Adaire
    January 1, 1970
    I have enjoyed other novels written by A.G. Riddle, and if I hadn't read the author's other books first, I would have rated this book higher (3). This book basically recycled the premise and ideas presented in the Atlantis series. Same concepts, different characters. While I'm sure some of the scientific and historical information provided in this book is necessary to follow the plot, I found myself skimming large portions of the book that provided a lot of scientific "blah, blah, blah." It took I have enjoyed other novels written by A.G. Riddle, and if I hadn't read the author's other books first, I would have rated this book higher (3). This book basically recycled the premise and ideas presented in the Atlantis series. Same concepts, different characters. While I'm sure some of the scientific and historical information provided in this book is necessary to follow the plot, I found myself skimming large portions of the book that provided a lot of scientific "blah, blah, blah." It took me quite a few chapters to get into this novel. The book is also WAY too long in my opinion.
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  • Jarek
    January 1, 1970
    Really nice:) The topic of pandemic brought me to this book and i think the author did a really good job in explaining and showing how the different organizations like CDC or WHO work in a crisis situation. Compelling characters and a good dose of action. I took away one star because for me it was a little bit longer then it should be. Overall cool read. 4 stars:)
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  • Jay Meunier
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best books I've ever read....Title says it all! Wow! A fantastic read from start to finish! I couldn't put it down once I started.
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    “Pandemic” a skilful blend of science and history that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, opens with the discovery of a sunken wreck that houses a scientific experiment that will “change man’s understanding of his existence”; an outbreak of an Ebola-like virus in Kenya where Peyton Shaw and her team are sent to trace its origin; and a man in Berlin whose searching for clues to his loss of memory.Packed with conspiracies, intrigue, secrets and romance, the action heats up w “Pandemic” a skilful blend of science and history that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, opens with the discovery of a sunken wreck that houses a scientific experiment that will “change man’s understanding of his existence”; an outbreak of an Ebola-like virus in Kenya where Peyton Shaw and her team are sent to trace its origin; and a man in Berlin whose searching for clues to his loss of memory.Packed with conspiracies, intrigue, secrets and romance, the action heats up when Peyton Shaw and one of her team who responded to the outbreak of the baffling disease at the hospital in Mandera are kidnapped after an attack by armed men, while in Berlin Desmond Hughes the founder of Icarus Capital an investment firm, searches for answers not only to his loss of memory but the dead man found in his hotel room, as well as his connection to the mysterious pathogen that’s killing thousands globally. Intensity and suspense quickly mount as the subplots weave together that have Shaw and Hughes accepting a dangerous mission to find a cure that a radical organization is using to blackmail the world into submitting to its authority. Twisting and turning the plot builds to a crescendo as Hughes resurrects memories from his past and Shaw discovers that members of her family may be implicated. Well-written and long in length with an intricate, well-researched plot, the story progresses smoothly to an explosive ending and a cliff-hanger that promises an exciting sequel.Bringing the story to life are complex, realistic and compelling characters like thirty-eight- year-old Dr. Peyton Shaw a work-oriented epidemiologist at the CDC who’s humble, compassionate and a trustworthy leader. His body scarred, shattered by loss, remorseful and filled with guilt, Desmond Hughes is a survivor who’s highly intelligent, resourceful and shrewd. Together Shaw and Hughes ignite a romance thought long forgotten, although he’s also drawn to Avery a headstrong, secretive and skilled combatant who neither trust but seems to know him.Darkly riveting as past and present collide and gripping in a struggle that has you wondering if humanity will survive, “Pandemic” is a thrill-ride that’s well worth taking.
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  • Zulfiya
    January 1, 1970
    Boy, what a bag of mixed feelings. The novel has an excellent premise with the outbreak of the epidemic as the foil for the complex plot, but somehow it came to a very mediocre and very convoluted resolution. I really like the premise. I always like good stories about public health ( for a couple of years in my professional career I worked in this field as a coordinator). I like stories about the end of the world - there is always some apocalyptic feeling in the air in our painfully fragile worl Boy, what a bag of mixed feelings. The novel has an excellent premise with the outbreak of the epidemic as the foil for the complex plot, but somehow it came to a very mediocre and very convoluted resolution. I really like the premise. I always like good stories about public health ( for a couple of years in my professional career I worked in this field as a coordinator). I like stories about the end of the world - there is always some apocalyptic feeling in the air in our painfully fragile world, and I do like stories about the ingenuity of the human mind that often offers hope at the time of adversity. This book promised this much and even more, especially by the insight into the past of its main characters and the "resurrected" and gradual memories of protagonists. The technical side of writing was good, too. Now, having said that, I feel that I have to tell the painful truth about the rest of the story. I liked the first two thirds of the novel, and then the coincidences were becoming weirder and weirder and less and less realistic, and all these uncanny coincidences led to the very confusing, complicated, and utterly unsatisfactory denouement. Plus, the author hinted at a new mystery that was even less probable than the whole new world order conspiracy plot. And that product placement ... Ouch. I am the first to say that I like Audible and I have been a loyal member since 2011, but still it was a jarring auditory experience.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Another DNF (50%). I’m not having much luck in book choices lately. This plot started out very strong, but lost me after the story progressed. There were way to many unnecessary POVs that didn’t add anything to the story. I was expecting a pandemic conspiracy story but was left with more of a Dan Brown unbelievable conspiracy story, rather than one based on science. I will say that the authors appears to have done a decent amount of research for this book, which added a certain something. In the Another DNF (50%). I’m not having much luck in book choices lately. This plot started out very strong, but lost me after the story progressed. There were way to many unnecessary POVs that didn’t add anything to the story. I was expecting a pandemic conspiracy story but was left with more of a Dan Brown unbelievable conspiracy story, rather than one based on science. I will say that the authors appears to have done a decent amount of research for this book, which added a certain something. In the end, I just couldn’t take anymore of the pages and pages of flashbacks and convoluted information.
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  • Rachel England-Brassy
    January 1, 1970
    A great premise and a good start that quickly devolved into a terrible Dan Brown-esque farce of convenient coincidences, ludicrous plot leaps and impossible time lines (UK to Australia with no time lags? It was like ‘travelling by map’ from The Muppets) (The Muppets btw are awesome).So... I’ll not be returning for the next round and as a final warning, if you’re a pedant for accents avoid, avoid, avoid the audio book.
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  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't really like the beginning of this book, and I wasn't convinced I was even going to be able to get through it all. Luckily it picked up and once it got started it really kept me interested. Even though there were a few lulls around the middle of the book that I found unnecessary and overly detailed (like the long history of the many investments of Desmond.I really didn't need to know all that. It could have been summed up in two sentences and I wouldn't have to be bored by it all. Also W I didn't really like the beginning of this book, and I wasn't convinced I was even going to be able to get through it all. Luckily it picked up and once it got started it really kept me interested. Even though there were a few lulls around the middle of the book that I found unnecessary and overly detailed (like the long history of the many investments of Desmond.I really didn't need to know all that. It could have been summed up in two sentences and I wouldn't have to be bored by it all. Also William's letter seemed overly wordy and detailed and once again not really necessary) I really did enjoy reading this. It kept me guessing and it kept me interested, so I will happily read the second book in the series.
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  • L
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this book. I tried. From almost the very beginning it was over the top, but the further into it I got, the more extreme it became. Until the end, at which point it became intolerable. I read a lot of fiction, across multiple genres. I willingly suspend disbelief. But in this case, it was impossible. Between the outlandish plot and the final piling up of coincidences, it was too much.
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