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The Silk Code (Phil D'Amato series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1823 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: JoSara MeDia; 2 edition (23 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0091W43JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #821,748 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are aspects to this book that are very cleverly conceived, and the story is innovative. However, in common with many books published to Kindle, it reads more like a first draft. If only the author had got someone impartial to read it and give constructive criticism, then acted on it, or if he had carefully reviewed each aspect of it himself, it might have been a very good book indeed.
There are many original ideas here which could have done with a bit more elaboration. In particular I found the relationship between the Singers and the female guide puzzling. Also the implications of the genetic issues could have been explained more clearly, as I didn't understand altogether the relationship between the Singers and the Amish. I found myself occasionally thinking "Who is this?" when a character came on the scene too, which is very unusual for me, as I read a lot. Maybe there are too many fleeting characters, or they are not too well defined.
Nevertheless, it is really difficult to find original ideas in science fiction, and it is a book to make the reader think, which is my personal preference. For a first attempt it is not bad at all, so I am looking forward to the next one in the series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Paul Levinson mixes LARGE ideas, from Amish scientists manipulating genetics the old fashioned way, to immortality and worldwide encoded plagues and immunities. The novel focuses for the most part on Detective Phil D'Amato, who is trying to determine why seemingly healthy people, including some Neanderthal-esque folks, are keeling over to violent allergic deaths.

There is a detour that takes us back in time to Neanderthal's, the Silk Road and some further clues. This break in the narrative threw me at first, leading me to see this first part as one short story and this as a second. But the last half of the novel moves quickly and pulls all of the ideas together nicely, while leaving events open for a follow-on story (I haven't yet read the rest of Paul's books, don't spoil it for me!).

Excellent hard-core sci-fi, especially in describing the Amish scientists doing in-depth gentics without lab equipment. The lanterns are especially cool.

Skipping ahead to read Paul's "The Plot to Save Socrates", then back to the other Detective D'Amato books.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has a fairly intriguing start and some interesting premises develop but, somehow, by the end it has contrived to be less than the sum of its parts. I found the 'historical' chapter rather lost its way. Overall there did not seem an adequate explanation of the possibilities inherent in the overriding theme of the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8d5a95ac) out of 5 stars 46 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d69f42c) out of 5 stars This is a cool book. 15 Dec. 1999
By Kate Savage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I found The Silk Code to be wonderful. I had just finished reading Patricia Cornwell's "Black Notice" and had been disappointed. A pinch of enthusiasm is worth a pound of technique. This was a real treat and had exactly what I had been looking for. It blends mystery and science fiction perfectly. One of the most pleasant aspects of the book was that it clear the author was excited to be writing it and that excitement really shines through. The plot was well thought out, creative and unique. I found the characters to be very believable. I never had any interest in the Neanderthals before, but found myself intrigued enough to watch a Discovery Channel special on them. I always have shelf space for books that expand my interests. The fact that people either love or hate it speaks to its originality. I hope that there will be sequel or at least more offerings from Dr. Levinson.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d3c9180) out of 5 stars Delightful diversion from new science fiction novelist 20 Jan. 2002
By Jennifer Juday - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am always delighted to find a new science fiction author. There are simply not enough of them being published these days to suit me. I found "The Silk Code" in an airport bookstore, where the science fiction pickings were very slim, and was delightfully surprised. This one came with recommendations from Stanley Schmidt and Connie Willis, so I had to give it a try.
Levinson is still new at writing novels, and it occasionally shows. I sometimes wanted a section to move faster, and occasionally felt that the dialog dragged a bit. Overall, it was was too interesting to put down. The annoyance of an extra-long morning in the airport and an aching back disappeared by the end of Part One, and it kept me engrossed until the very end.
"The Silk Code" is is a solid first novel, and I very much hope to see more from Paul Levinson.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d820480) out of 5 stars Nice premise, painful writing 14 Dec. 2001
By Bob Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The premise of Paul Levinson's "The Silk Code", subcultures exploiting low tech but high science genetics through the ages, provides more than enough interesting material around which to tell just about any kind of story. But, like so many other first-time science fiction novelists, Levinson writes in first person and never shows you something when the main character can think it instead. Sometimes even that's too much: "A soft, pervasive light engaged us as we walked inside---keener than flourescent, more diffuse than incandescent, a cross between sepiatone and starlight maybe, but impossible to describe with any real precision if you hadn't actually seen it, felt its photons slide through your pupils like pieces of a breeze." (p. 35, paperback). Levinson seems to take the "science" part of "science-fiction" a little too literally. The dialog isn't any better, and is often indistinguishable from a character thinking to himself: " 'Ah, we come full circle--this is where I came in. Alas, we unfortunately are not the only people on this earth who understand more of the power of nature than is admitted by your technological world. You have plastics used for good. You also have plastics used for evil---you have semtex, which blew up your airplane over Scotland.' " (p. 38)
Levinson spends far too many paragraphs with the main characters simply wondering what'll happen next, summarizing what's already happened, and stating the obvious. Read the sample from Amazon, it might be all you can stand.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d4657b0) out of 5 stars Compelling Mystery 26 Jan. 2000
By Sherry Briggs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In The Silk Code, Paul Levinson has crafted a mystery that reaches back to the dawn of humanity for answers to an intriguing mystery. Investigation of sudden death brings anomolies to light, and it's up to Phil D'Amato to find the facts as he reaches into unexpected areas and finds startling answers. One of the things I enjoyed most was spending time with a variety of people who were both interesting and delightful. As a history buff, I appreciated Levinson's invitation to speculate about events in our earliest prehistory. Good read, generous spirit. Enjoy!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d46578c) out of 5 stars intellectually intriguing mixed-genre story 31 Mar. 2003
By abt1950 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Judging from the previous reviews, this is a book you either love or hate. I happened to like it very much, although I can understand why others might not. The book has its flaws (what do you expect from a first novel?), but its intellectual strength carries the narrative.
The Silk Code" is a novel of ideas masquerading as a cross between science fiction and police procedural. Levinson takes current thinking on genetics, speculation on the relationship between homo sapiens and Neanderthals, and archaeologic discoveries on the Tarim Basin in China and then mixes them with a little bit of Amish culture, virology, and Basque history. At times the mix gets a bit out of control, but overall it coheres fairly well, certainly better than some conspiracy theory novels I've read. The idea of moth genes in the human genome is not as far-fetched as some readers have suggested--it's already known that viral and bacterial sequences make up part of our genome and that we share some genes with other animals.
The weaknesses in "The Silk Code" are a direct result of the book's focus on ideas and its origin as a short story. The characters are wooden, especially in the modern sections of the book. They have a tendency to make brief appearances and then vanish. There were times when the narrative was too sketchy, and I wished that Levinson had gone into more detail. Who, for example, was Amanda really? How did the Amish get involved in an ancient conspiracy? There are enough loose ends and unexplored backstory here for a sequel, although I don't know if Levinson intends to write one.
At any rate, if you're looking for a novel heavy on character development and world building, this probably isn't the book for you. However, if you care more about the speculative elements of the plot, it might be more to your liking.
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