On the lookout for my next review-victim, I was rummaging through my Kindle library yesterday, and to my delight, found The Origin Mystery Series by A.G. Riddle. Memories flooded in and I thought “YiHAA! A brilliant series that is still more or less unknown and by a new fresh author! My review will probably be the first one out there!”
My happiness, and as it turned out, my delusions, was immense.
I’ll give you a couple of minutes now to finish your laughing and getting up from the floor. For those few as clueless as myself I can inform you that one quick Google search revealed that not only have Mr. Riddle sold over a million copies of his books in the US alone, he has also landed several promising TV deals. To my defense I must point out that I bought the first book way back in…..uh…..2013 when it was still a novel self-published via Amazon Digital Services. Not much of a defense I know, but its all I got.
The first book in the series, The Atlantis Gene, was published in 2013 and as already mention, it was self-published. I love Amazons self-publishing system but you can’t hide that fact that it has produced a lot of garbage. Therefore it is doubly rewarding when you find works that exceeds your expectations in a spectacular way. The Atlantis Gene is such a book.
Oh my, where to begin. Lets start at the beginning, almost literally as a matter of fact. Approximately 70 000 years ago humankind was on the brink of extinction but something or someone choose to save us. Why anyone would do such a stupid thing is beyond me, but there you have it, somehow we were saved and allowed to continue our devouring of the planet. As it turns out we were not just allowed to keep on living, something was done to us that drastically altered the evolutionary path we were on.
And now, all these generations later, things are starting to stir again. In Antarctica a mysterious structure is found, buried deep in the ice . Its obvious that it is man-made and that it has been there for thousands of years. At the same time, american scientist Dr. Kate Warner has found what she thinks is a cure for autism. Working out of a lab in Jakarta, Indonesia, she can hardly contain her enthusiasm, not realizing that instead of having discovered a cure that could help thousands she may en up releasing something that could kill billions.
As these events unfold a thousand year old plan is set into motion by an old organization called The Immari (not to be mixed with their dimwitted cousins The Illuminati). This group of unselfish humans has searched for ages after a method to send humanity further up along the evolutionary ladder, there is a catch however, that being the fact that appx. 99 % percent of the human population must die. But hey, omelet, eggs, breaking, you know the drill.
One man manages to catch a whiff that something is about to go seriously awry in the world, David Vale, a high ranking operative in a secret governmental organization working against terrorism on a world wide basis. But as he starts to investigate he soon realizes that his organization is infiltrated, and infiltrated bad. He barely escapes with his life before he can gather much information, one of the few clues he managed to catch was the name Kate Warner (you know, the autism researcher…..the one in Jakarta….come on, I wrote about her like two paragraphs ago!).
So off to Jakarta he goes, literally dodging bullets the whole way. He manages to meet up with Dr. Warner (you know, the autism res……..oh forget it!). Together they have to try to piece together the mysteries of the Atlantis gene, the structure in the Antarctica and the Immari before it’s too late. And too-late comes really early this year.
This is a good book that starts off a good series, as a matter of fact it is very very good.
Mr. Riddle writes believable about both science and technology, and where he takes both areas beyond what is known today, he does it in a way that feels realistic. Many SFF-writes have tried to mix those two genres with the thriller genre, but very few really succed. Well A.G. Riddles manages to do this, the series is really a thriller with suspense that can rival all the top plain thrillerists out there (what? Thrillerists is not a word?! Guess what, it is now).
The characterizations in the series is brilliant. You immediately get a feel for the main players, and it doesn’t take long before you feel you know them. This goes both for the good guys and the villains, and as in real life, the distinction between good and evil may not alway be as clear as it first seems.
All in all I have no problem understanding why Mr. Riddle has sold over a million copies of his novels, they are just that good.