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The Immortalists [Kindle Edition]

Kyle Mills
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dr. Richard Draman is trying desperately to discover a cure for a disease that causes children to age at a wildly accelerated rate—a rare genetic condition that is killing his own daughter. When the husband of a colleague quietly gives him a copy of the classified work she was doing before her mysterious suicide, Draman finally sees a glimmer of hope.  The conclusions are stunning, with the potential to not only turn the field of biology on its head, but reshape the world.  Soon, though, he finds himself on the run, relentlessly pursued by a seemingly omnipotent group of men who will do whatever it takes to silence him.

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Product Description Review

A Q&A with Kyle Mills

Question: The Immortalists is the story of a billionaire's desire to stop aging. What was your inspiration for this unique take on the age-old fountain of youth tale?

Kyle Mills: The myth of the fountain of youth is one of the oldest and most widespread in history, with writing on the subject dating back before Christ. The one thing that all those stories and elaborate quests had in common was that they were nonsense--just another example of our superstitious nature. With all the recent advances in genetics, though, the myth is quickly becoming a reality. Not many people know it, but not all animals get old. Lobsters, for instance, just seem to keep going until they get sick or something eats them. The idea that we could identify the portion of their genome that provides longevity and splice it into our own becomes less far-fetched every day.

This brings up a lot of interesting issues. Our history isn't exactly one of equality and benevolence, and death is hard-wired into our minds and societies. Will the people who discover this therapy pass it along to everyone, or will they try to keep it for themselves? Would our population explode if life expectancy suddenly rose to 500 years or more? Would advancement grind to a halt if scientists and politicians consolidated their positions, then stagnated in them for centuries? Would our existence become less life and more a tedious, endless avoidance of death? All this is perfect fodder for a thriller because change can very easily turn into chaos, and chaos makes for great stories.

Q: What kind of research goes into writing an in-depth medical thriller?

KM: I spent a number of months on research before putting pen to paper. The main character's daughter suffers from a rare genetic disease that causes her to age at a wildly accelerated rate. The disease, a real syndrome called progeria, generates some fascinating questions about the causes of aging and whether it can simply be "cured." Unfortunately for my friends and family, I am now a fount of useless information about genetics and aging, but I think that extra effort gave The Immortalists its realism and the sense that it could actually be happening right now. In truth, it probably could.

Q: You recently stepped into Robert Ludlum's Covert-One series by writing The Ares Decision. What is it like to become part of such a rich canon with a devoted readership?

KM: A bit frightening. I have to admit I almost didn't accept the job--those are pretty big shoes to fill. But in the end, I'm glad I did. It was a really fun project, and I found that I still could learn a thing or two by studying the works of one of the genre's masters. Even better, Ludlum's fans have been really enthusiastic about The Ares Decision, and I think I came out of the project a stronger writer.

Q: Your father was an FBI agent. How much does that background find its way into your writing?

KM: A great deal. Spending so many years hanging around FBI and CIA agents, soldiers, and diplomats gave me an inherent sense of what makes them tick. It also gave me a long list of people I can contact when I need the final word on how that world works.

Q: What are you working on now?

KM: A new installment of Robert Ludlum's Covert-One series. It's a novel about a new technology that I think will be the next step in human evolution. Of course, the question becomes whether that step will save us or destroy us.

Q: Which books do you like to read over and over again?

KM: George Orwell's 1984 for its incredibly dark take on human nature. Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart, a book about Apartheid-era South Africa that has a more hopeful view of our species. And Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, an entertaining and enlightening book about why we are who we are and how much of our destiny is already written on the day we're born.

About the Author

Kyle Mills is the New York Times bestselling author of TEN books, including his award-winning The Second Horseman and Lords of Corruption . Growing up in Oregon as a Bureau Kid, Kyle absorbed an enormous amount of information about the FBI, which he incorporates into his novels. He and his wife live in Wyoming and enjoy rock climbing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a masterpiece, but a good Holiday book 3 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In my opinion, Kyle Mills has written some excellent books in the past, as well as some more humdrum ones too. This kind of sits in the middle; his take on the oft told tale of the quest for immortality. The characters are a little one dimensional and the storyline is so swift that there are some obvious flaws in the narrative. The end itself was a bit rushed in my view - there was certainly some room for expansion. And don't expect a Michael Crichton-esque techno-thriller - in The Immortalists, things are what they are, without explanation. That said, it is an enjoyable enough read - it certainly isn't one of those books where you have to grit your teeth and force yourself to the end.

A good book to read on a sun lounger where you can switch your brain off and chill, then not feel guilty about donating the book to the hotel library.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Mills' best 20 Jan. 2012
By Giveoni
I have read all of Kyle Mills' novel to date, and I have enjoyed this one too. But I must say it was not to par with his early work. It happens often that authors start with tremendous ideas and unexpected story twists in their first novels, but slowly lose their originality and believability. I think that the last novels by Mills fall in this category, this one and the previous Lord of corruption. I have finished them, enjoyed them but I feel inexplicably unsatisfied. Something is missing. In the immortalists, one can certainly say that the idea is very special and well illustrated. The characters are deep and complex, but I have missed some believability and was disappointed by the ending. A good read, but not exceptional
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, but a 'samey' storyline 9 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Again another cheap book to let me try out another author on my Kindle!

I liked this but I didn't love it. The story is a little bit 'samey' with a youth serum being discovered and covered up (the conspiracy) and a dedicated doctor trying to find a cure for his sick daughter before she dies (the unlikely hero).

The pace is nice and fast, and lots of things happen very quickly. Some new characters are brought in pretty quickly and established well. There's a few pieces in here which seem pretty unbelievable but hey it's fiction, so just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. I did find his wife a little bit lacking in character - too against there being a conspiracy at the start and then suddenly going with the action. The daughter felt a little bit sidelined through the story too. Some of the 'bad guys' were pretty good though - people with more money and power than scrupples!

The end came a little abruptly, which is OK but it almost felt like a bit of a cop out.

I'll definately try another book by this author. It's a good, fast-paced thriller. If the ending had been different and I'd felt a bit more 'pull' with some of the central characters, then it would have pushed this up to a 5/5!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller with an emotional punch 8 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Immortalists was an unexpected pleasure. Caught without a novel to read on Christmas Day but with a hungry kindle, I bought The Immortalists by Kyle Mills on a whim. The low price was backed up by an opening sample chapter that made the rest of the book irresistible and purchasing it unavoidable. I read it in little more than a day. This was a genetic thriller with a difference - it's impossible not to care for the young girl around whom the whole novel revolves.

Susie is an eight year old child with progeria, an illness that ages a child unnaturally and prematurely, finally and in short thrift killing that child. Susie's father, the microbiologist Dr Richard Draman, is in search of a cure and when he hears that a scientist, Annette Chevalier, presumed to have committed suicide, may have have made a breakthrough, he decides to continue her work. But when everyone associate with the dead scientist dies themselves in mysterious circumstances, Richard, his wife Carly and Susie have to go on the run.

Caught in the middle of two extremely powerful factions, each desperate to harness the power of the potential cure for themselves, Richard and Carly are left with no option other than to kidnap one of the richest men in the world, an old and infirm man whose money can't buy what he needs more than anything else, a cure for old age. Meanwhile, Susie ails but her spirit and optimism inspires everyone she comes into contact with, driving them on while precious time slips away.

The Immortalists is an extremely exciting medical thriller which combines the outlandish and the almost fantastical with the very real struggle of two parents to save their young child from an unpleasant and early death.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and thought provoking 19 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a thoroughly well written book, based around a very intriguing concept.

It starts with an eerie and well plotted murder, and evolves throughout into a very wel constructed and intelligent story.

The characters are well written (if a tad stereotypical) and there are a few neat plot twists. It's well paced and strangely realistic (mostly) given the subject matter, and wil lcertainly ahving you question your ideas and beliefs around the notion of aging and immortality.

The ending was slightly abrupt and in some ways not fitting wit hthe remainder of the book - however, I don't think the concept of the ending could have been any better, it just felt slightly rushed.

I could see this working as a good TV series or film. I'd definitely recommend it, and will be reading more books by this author
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