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Gene [Paperback]

Stel Pavlou
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jan 2005
Detective James North is called upon to deal with a young, mentally unstable man holding a child hostage at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. When he arrives, he is disturbed to discover that - although the bad guy is a complete stranger - he's been asking for North by name. The hostage situation goes wrong, and North finds himself injected with a substance that causes hallucinatory nightmares and flashes of memory that are not his own. He begins to hunt through New York for his attacker, a man he feels inexplicably compelled to kill - a man called Gene. As he does so, North unlocks the secret of his past, a past that stretches back over 3000 years. GENE is the story of forgotten Greek warrior Cyclades who fought and died in the Trojan Wars, and was fated by the gods to be reincarnated seven times. Locked in a cycle of battle with the Babylonian Magi Athanatos, Cyclades must once again strive to defeat him and thwart his quest to achieve immortality. Cyclades and Athanatos. North and Gene. But in this incarnation, neither man knows which is which, or why each of them has the instinctive need to kill the other.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (3 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743208595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743208598
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,020,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Highly successful and provocative. an intelligent, entertaining and damn exciting genre thriller. the natural heir to Michael Crichton." -- SFRevu

"Highly successful and provocative… an intelligent, entertaining and damn exciting genre thriller… the natural heir to Michael Crichton." -- SFRevu

"Intense and very addictive... a tantalising storyline that will grab your attention to the end." -- SHOTS: The Crime and Mystery Magazine

"SF that Greg Bear might have written." -- Emerald City

"Stel Pavlou is a real genre-bender... Gene is a powerful read." -- The Observer

"Stunningly compelling… a superb story full of vivid characters and an intricate storyline." -- The Eternal Night

"The world needs a Dan Brown who can write and we reckon Pavlou might just be that man." -- SFX Magazine

"The world needs a Dan Brown who can write and we reckon Pavlou might just be that man." -- SFX

About the Author

Stel Pavlou lives in Kent. He has worked in various jobs, received a degree in American Studies and written the script for the film THE 51ST STATE, starring Samuel L Jackson and Robert Carlyle.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new concept 14 Jan 2006
The author of the sterling first novel, Decipher, is back with a new concept that meshes ancient worlds with modern day New York.
A fight through the aeons has recommenced in downtown New York and the hunt is on.
Gene is the story of Detective James North whose investigation and subsequent chase across midtown of the New York Museum wrecking Gene leads to an explosive story of an ill-fated battle that has raged across our time, originating in the first battle between the Trojan Warrior Cyclades and the Babylonian Magi Athanatos after the latter caused the Trojan War and the death of Cyclades' wife.
After the opening chase where a thousand questions are raised and North finds himself on the receiving end of a needle with an unknown drug Pavlou weaves our story through New York in an attempt to understand who Gene and North really are and how Athanatos is seeking to discover the genetic reasons behind Cyclades reincarnation. Whilst Athanatos has developed an elixir to ensure his memories are passed to his children thus perpetuating himself it is prone to loss of knowledge through imperfect memory experience. Threading through the story are lots of flashbacks to Cyclades' run-ins with Athanatos through the ages, usually with the magus getting the upper hand and a substory of William Porter whose realisation that memory is passed from generation to generation through the male gives rise to a kind of reincarnation. His small assistance of North leads to an explosive showdown between Gene and North as the latter realises that the many other descendants of Cyclades are being murdered as Athanatos seeks to eliminate his enemy and retain only Gene to steal his secret of eternal life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Sci Fi 2 Feb 2006
Having read and enjoyed Decipher, I had to give Gene a try. I was not disappointed. As with Decipher, Stel Pavlou has written an exciting and complex tale that works both as Sci Fi and an action/adventure story. It is not necessary to know the history to enjoy the book and, as long as you read carefully, the turning and twisting tale is easy enough to follow. Perhaps not the easiest read going, but a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining one. I look forward to his third book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gene 1 Jun 2005
By A Customer
Whilst the storyline of Gene is different to that of Decipher, all of our family thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is well written, the author has you going from present day back to Ancient Greece and then back again smoothly and without any confusion. It is obvious from the details that Stel has certainly done a lot of research.
It is one of those books that you just can't put down until you finish it as you just have to know what happens next!
We shall certainly be recommending it to family and friends.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one novel this year... 10 Feb 2005
GENE is truly unique.
If the author's first novel, DECIPHER, was akin to the style of Michael Crichton, then his writing style in GENE is quite different; more comparable to Stephen King's later writings.
In any novel, the relationship between author and reader is one based on trust as the reader places his/her trust in the author to take him/her on a journey during which they will share new experiences, tap new emotions, and explore new horizons. And, maybe if they're very fortunate, it will leave them with a couple of new, thought-provoking questions, too.
GENE will do all that, and more, to, you if you'll let it.
The prose is exceptional, the research fastidious, the characters plausible, the dialogue crisp, and the symbolism powerful. It's subtle, but don't miss it because it enriches the panorama without being invasive.
However, GENE will take you to areas dramatic, dark and disturbing as it poses a challenge in the form of a single question, unique to the world of fiction: are our memories genetic? Stay with it, and it will also take you out of those disturbing environs - part of the trust relationship I mentioned earlier.
Above all, because the plotting is meticulous in its structure, it really is exquisite. It isn't purely linear, though it can be. It isn't purely flashback, though it can be. It isn't purely circular, though it can be. Or it can be a combination of all three. But there's another aspect to it that contributes to the uniqueness of GENE; after you've finished it, decide whether the story works better as told, front-to-back, or in reverse order.
GENE is truly unique.
Stel Pavlou hasn't just written a novel, he's directed it as a film-maker might.
GENE isn't brain-candy - in fact, as a friend of mine commented, "It's brain-food.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gene 24 Jan 2005
By Kotae
A brilliant book I couldn't put down
What do you get when you cross Homer, Virgil and Goethe with genetic engineering and a gritty modern day detective story? The answer is the powerful and visceral Gene. The canvas is stunningly vivid, the characters sharp and multifaceted. Like his last book this is a complex story that requires much attention by the reader, but unlike his last book Pavlou's Gene is not a tale of whiz bang. It's a mature steady deep descent into the underworld and the darkness that lays in all of us. The idea of immortality comes in many forms but for Cyclades and Athanatos it is through rebirth. But genetic reincarnation, genetic memory, has a curious flaw that I've never seen explored before now; what happens when two bloodlines are crossed? What happens when many descendents share the same memories and personality? Are they all the same person, or just parts of one? This is at the heart of Gene's darkness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay - a bit different - enjoyed the read
Not my usual genre, but enjoyed this strange cross between crime / history / fantasy - with a bit of blood and gore thrown in. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Little Poem
4.0 out of 5 stars Gene
Although published by a major publisher in the UK, Gene "scared off a lot of editors in the US." After reading it, the reasons are clear. Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2012 by BigAl
1.0 out of 5 stars A truly dire read, dont buy it
My wife gave this to me after she had read it and normally an avid reader this book took me ages to finish. Am i a glutton for punishment? Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by John Ringo
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
It was hard work all the way through and took me a month of 'hard work' to complete it. Even when completed, it didnt end properly. I can't recommend it.
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Gem
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, confusing and over-complicated
I almost gave up reading this book on about five occasions, it starts very promising and is an original concept but quickly lost me with strange references to the past which seem... Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2008 by Martin Belcher
3.0 out of 5 stars Confused and confusing
This book started well, with an intriguing idea, but by about the half-way point it had become both very confused and extremely confusing, the author switching between first- and... Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2008 by Peter Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars A complete contrast to decipher
Having read and loved Decipher I was straight on Amazon to buy another of Stel Pavlous book, however I was disappointed. Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2008 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
And I don't mean that in the modern 'really good' sense, but in the older sense; this book is worthy of awe. Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2007 by The Big Onion
3.0 out of 5 stars It promised more than it delivered
The plot looked good initially but it has not been well developed. The author tests your knowledge of biochemistry, mithology and ancient history, a mixture that although was... Read more
Published on 11 July 2007 by Zobari
1.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring
I chose this book purely on the basis of his excellent first book "Decipher" which I thoroughly enjoyed. This one however, was a huge disappointment in every respect. Read more
Published on 4 May 2007 by P. Zardoshti
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