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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Sci Fi Horror.
My first review here on Amazon, so still finding my style. Apologies in advance for poor flow. WARNING- POTENTIAL SPOILERS!

As a biochemistry graduate and a science buff, I have one main handicap with most sci fi- I can't tolerate poorly researched or "plot device mysticism" science. I'm fine with the craziest ideas as long as they can be grounded in...
Published on 13 Feb. 2013 by Malcador the Sigillite

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Galloping Story, But...
There's nothing wrong with this book - it performs exactly as you would expect from the cover and the blurb on the back. It grips, and rips along. Some of the characters work better than others, and the whole thing reads as if the author had an idea for a movie all along, but that's true of a lot of thrillers.

It's not great though, despite what some other...
Published on 8 Nov. 2010 by MB


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Galloping Story, But..., 8 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Ancestor (Paperback)
There's nothing wrong with this book - it performs exactly as you would expect from the cover and the blurb on the back. It grips, and rips along. Some of the characters work better than others, and the whole thing reads as if the author had an idea for a movie all along, but that's true of a lot of thrillers.

It's not great though, despite what some other reviewers have said. I don't resent the purchase price, but there's a lot better out there. The contrast with, for example, "Feed" by Mira Grant, is very clear.

If you liked "Jurassic Park" you'll love Ancestor. If you expect a little more thought with your monsters, you may still enjoy it, but you won't be urging your friends to read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Sci Fi Horror., 13 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Ancestor (Kindle Edition)
My first review here on Amazon, so still finding my style. Apologies in advance for poor flow. WARNING- POTENTIAL SPOILERS!

As a biochemistry graduate and a science buff, I have one main handicap with most sci fi- I can't tolerate poorly researched or "plot device mysticism" science. I'm fine with the craziest ideas as long as they can be grounded in some basic scientific principles. Fortunately, "Ancestors" falls into this category.

The story centers around the use of genomics and synthetic biology to re-create an ancient mammalian progenitor species as a donor for xeno-transplant organs in humans, with a small team of brilliant researchers being funded by a biotech firm operating under the radar of a US government task force seeking to end said research due to the significant risks involved. The project finally hits upon a success, the result of their -significantly- mentally unbalanced genius, but not what they planned for.

Pretty much everything in this book is well fleshed out, the plot has easy real life relevance, the characters are human and interesting, they have their flaws and their strengths, and they fall to convincing character traits, particularly the project head, too mesmerized in the significance of their accomplishment to realize that his people are breeding monsters. The tension during the creature gestation is nerve splitting, the team trading the isolation of a cargo plane come laboratory to an isolated island, faced continuously with the increasing evidence that what they are growing is dangerous beyond comprehension, but too intrigued, cowed by the project leader, and intimidated by the sponsor, to do anything but keep on going, right up until it literally bites them in the ass.

Scott Sigler clearly did a lot of research into multiple scientific fields here, from the cutting edge in systems and synthetic biology, genomics and recombinant DNA technology, to vetirinary medicine and zoology, and it pays off. Think of it as the novel equivalent of the film"Splice", but with scientific integrity and likeable characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snowbound Jurassic Park type horror!, 7 Jun. 2012
By 
John Milton (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ancestor (Paperback)
Amazon flagged this up as a book I might like and so, on a whim, I bought it...

Black Petals Magazine described Ancestor as "Jurassic Park meets Predator in `a near-perfect blend of hard science and hard-hitting action.'" I would suggest that although this statement is compelling, it is not accurate. There is no doubt in my mind that this book is incredibly well-researched. The science referred to is believable and doesn't go into so much detail so as to deter the casual reader. In fact, all aspects of this book appear to have been incredibly well-researched and Sigler himself has scientists, linguists and military personnel to ensure that his novel is as realistic as possible.

My criticism of the Black Petals comment is that at no point did I feel this novel had an echoes of Predator. If I were to draw any comparisons with films, I would say that Ancestor is reminiscent of Jurassic Park, The Thing and Aliens. As is my wont, I don't wish to explain this any further for fear of ruining the novel for any reader of this review but if you take that comment and couple it with the synopsis above, I'm sure you're beginning to get the picture!

My worry with this novel was that my impression of it as I was reading was that it was very much a straightforward action-thriller. However, Sigler merely builds his characters and the general situation in the first half of the novel before rocketing off in the second half, deep into gory deaths and a monster created by man that merits mention alongside H.R.Giger's Alien.

I was thoroughly impressed with Sigler's characters, both the villains and protagonists. Sigler explores the motives for their actions well and renders their chosen path plausible to the reader, rather than portraying them as simply inherently good or bad.

Ancestor is pacy, with interesting and well-developed characters and bad guys both human and beastly that end up turning a pristine Canadian winter setting into a bloodbath. I defy anyone who has read Jurassic Park not to draw comparisons with Crichton's work but I would suggest that Ancestor is a solid work in its own right. My only real caveat to the horror fan would be this might not be quite what you expected but I'd submit that you should give it a try, you might just like it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad it's over..., 24 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Ancestor (Kindle Edition)
I put this on my Kindle before I'd finished 'Pandemic' (which is excellent, BTW) and was pleased to hear that one of the characters from Pandemic appears in Ancestor (Tim Feely); we also get to hear the story behind his mysterious work on Black Manitou Island, which is very briefly touched upon in Pandemic.

I finished Ancestor today and have to say that I was hooked from almost the first page...I found myself reading this at every available opportunity. Even though I have a 90 minute journey to/from work, I haven't used my Kindle for a while, preferring instead to watch video on my tablet but once I started reading Ancestor, I had it glued to my hand from the second I left my desk, until I got to my car about 75 minutes later (I find that the Police take a dim view of reading at the wheel).

If pushed, I'd be tempted to say that I enjoyed this more than Pandemic and it's definitely one of my favourite novels, period. Now, I just have to find another Sigler novel I'll enjoy as much...
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scott Sigler is the next biggest thing to hit the publishing world, 15 April 2007
By 
Mr. S. Veerabadren (South East, England, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ancestor (Paperback)
Ive had the pleasure of following the podcast novel versions of Siglers books since ancestor then earthcore then infection(infested) and then The Rookie.Sigler is the vanguard of the digital publishing revoultion. He was the frist to give out a podcast only novel with earthcore and followed this sucess with his other subsequent novels.

This format is highly sucessfull as it bridges the author-audience gap and builds a solid relationship between him and the audience. This is relatively unique within the publishing world and has resulted in a huge sigler following online.

As a result His frist novel , earthcore was sucessfully published with Dragon Moon Press and can be bought on amazon.com.

Sigler's main style is a fast faced, well written mix between hard science, Thriller and Horror.His style can be comparable with stephen king, michael crichton.

Ancestor itself is a amazing thriller. i tuned into this podcast week in and week out. As a novel it is absolutely mindblowing as i managed to read the free ebook version posted on his podcast feed.I am a totall sigler Junkie!

Ancestor is set on a remote island where a biomedical organisation called genada is trying to create a chrimera animal based on the ancestor of all mammals so that human organs can be grown for transplantation. Around the same time other biomedical organistations are trying to develop a similar goal. Ancestor begins with another of these such companies mistakenly creating lethal virus that humans have no ammunity for. This sets a overture for the rest of the novel which emcapsulates death and a race agaist time for the genada scientists to break through with there reserch.

The main plot focuses on these scientists and the lead character PJ colding to protect the mission from the external agencies out to destroy them, the very people that he works for, themselves and eventully the ancestors they create.

Sigler creates a sense of fear and anxiety in the audence with his clever choice of remote locations that are isolated from the wider world.As well as his ensamble of characters that reflect differnt aspects of the human condition thats acts as critique on the human condition and many of the characters are faced with harsh realities of ther own morality that often lead them to breaking piont within siglers feirce situation. You get a sense of doom for the characters all throught the novel that grips you and keeps yopu on the edge of your toes, even the weather seems to be out to get them.

Whereas this is fiction some of the issues brought up within this novel is very real with the advances in scientific reserch and animal experimentions surrounding the idea of genectics. whereas in his other novels siglers threat comes from alien lifeforms in ancestor the threat is wholey created by humans and there quest for ultimate knowlege and power of science and nature. This is where sigler tapps into our culturall paranoia in this new sceintific era.

I am a pure Sigler junkie so ive maybey read way to much into this and his themes but i do strongly recomend listening to his novel from podiobooks.com and podshow.com and then buying the print novels for both ancestor and earthcore. Siglers genius has captivated the imaginations of over 40,000 listeners and keeps on growing. If you like this format i also strongly advise listening to the 7th son trilogy by JC Hutchins also available on Podiobooks.com.

Siglers Ancestor is genius and captivating.It also has some romance and comedy within its pages. Try it and maybe you will get caught up with the online media phenonmenon that will rock the publishing world. Its not often you can truley say that you was throughly entertained, and at this sigler is a master at the art. Be a junkie to!

Shane Veerabadren enahz_v@yahoo.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rollercoaster of cliches!, 7 Dec. 2011
By 
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk (Oldham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ancestor (Paperback)
Lots of cliché. The characters come straight out of a comic or some B Movie; they're all verging on the dumb action-packing American superhero/villain. All action, very little brain. This really IS "Predator". It's peopled with Frankenstein scientists (who merrily ignore all the warning signs just so that they can cuddle that glimpse of immortality) and Frankenstein monsters. It's all cliché! It's like the movie - you know there's a soulless slashing evil in the dark, you just don't know where or when it will emerge... but when it does there'll be a rollercoaster of carnage and death, tension and ..... cliché!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mother Nature Bats Last, 18 July 2010
By 
William Holmes "semloh2287" (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ancestor (Hardcover)
I just finished reading "Ancestor," and I really enjoyed it. I had to force myself to put the book down for a couple of nights running so I could get some sleep, nightmare tossed though it was. The plot is straighforward enough: Genada, a Canadian biotech company, has engaged brilliant scientists to genetically engineer an "ancestor" that will possess "least common denominator" organs that can be transplanted into humans without risk of rejection. Voila! An unlimited supply of vital transplant organs that could save hundreds of thousand of lives.

Protaganist PJ Colding is responsible for the security of the project--when a deadly disaster at another company leads the G20 to start shutting down laboratories around the world, Genada stealthily moves the project to Black Manitou Island in Canada (you have to love the foreshadowing built into that name!). It soon becomes obvious that greed, arrogance and a willingness to use deadly force are motives just as powerful as the desire to save hundreds of thousands of lives--Colding, his lover Sara Purinam and the other good guys find themselves caught between the deadly human threat posed by Genada and the unexpected and monstrous results of the company's genetic engineering.

The plot is interesting and plausible in an "out there" sort of way. But what impressed me was the author's pacing, the believability of the characters (capable but not superhuman), the dark humor and the action. He readily achieved the "willing suspension of disbelief" that's so critical to making one of these fast-paced thrillers work. It's also satisfying to have the Canadians be the bad guys for a change, eh, and there's somethingly darkly amusing about voracious monsters sporting black and white cow fur. The finished product is camera-ready (I'd be surprised if Hollywood didn't pick this one up) and very, very sequel-friendly.

I plan to check out Sigler's other books--the last time I enjoyed a thriller this much was when I read Preston and Child's Relic back in 1996.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pulpy and awkward adaptation from a Podcast, 5 Jan. 2015
By 
2theD "2theD" (The Big Mango, Thailand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ancestor (Kindle Edition)
Have you ever read a novelization? I've read a few (the Alien trilogy being quite good) but two in mind felt quite wooden, awkward on the page: Gipe's mildly interesting Back To The Future (1985) and Telep's disastrous Red Planet (2000). Of course, a novelization is a novel written from the screenplay of a movie, but sometimes that doesn't translate very well and it leaves the novelization, as said, wooden and awkward, unfit for the story to be experienced as a novel.

Finding new SF is a difficult process. I have my entourage of favorite modern authors (e.g., Hamilton, Banks, Reynolds, Bear, Brin, Brown, Robinson, Egan) but I've nearly read all their bibliographies. I tend to read novels from the 1970s but sometimes I want something fresh, so I take a chance on a newer novel from the secondhand bookstore. I spotted Ancestor and it sounded like the perfect fusion of SF and horror--a difficult sub-genre to do well. Unknown to me--because I haven't been in the technological loop for 12 or more years--Scott Sigler is well known for producing the first serial novel via Podcast from 2005-2006 and one year later it was printed as a novel. And like a novelization, the story, again, felt wooden and awkward, poorly adapted from one medium to another (Podcast to novel).

Rear cover synopsis:
"On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, a group of geneticists has dialed back the evolutionary clock to re-create humankind's common ancestor. The method? Illegal. The result? A computer-engineered living creature, an animal whose organs can be implanted in any person, with no chance of transplant rejection.

The breakthrough could save millions of lives--and make billions for the company backing this desperate gambit.

There's just one problem: these ancestors are not the docile herd animals their creators envisioned. Instead, their work has given birth to something big, something evil... something very, very hungry."

------------

I should pay attention to covers more closely. I would have jerked knees, elbows, jaw and toes if I had read more finely that Sigler is compared to both Michael Crichton and Stephen King. He's also compared to Richard Matheson (of I Am Legend [1954]) and Chuck Palahniuk (of Fight Club [1996]) but I have no experience with those authors. However, Crichton and King are two mainstream writes who I do have experience with and, generally, their writing feels as mediocre as their popularity--where does their popularity stem from, I am clueless.

Rather than feeling like the modern pulp fiction of Crichton or King, Ancestor feels like a James Rollins novel, books of whom I thankfully haven't read since 2007 when I realized, after three novels, that he was a s*** writer (Deep Fathom [2001] is one of the top ten worst books I've ever read). After three novels, the writing was so systematic that it felt soulless and then it got worse by being ridiculous.

So, in essence, Ancestor has the bad qualities of a novelization and systematic pulp. There everything you would expect from a pulpy thriller novel: (1) a corporation willing to do anything to get what they want; (2) a scientific experience that goes awry; (3) remote locations that isolate the plot and characters; (4) a healthy dose of helicopters, planes, guns, and explosions; (5) military bigwigs aching to topple the project; and (6) a romance overshadowed by tension. But don't forget that this is also a so-called science fiction novel, so it must adhere to the clichés of the genre: (1) pedantic scientific lingo, (2) brief orations about the same lingo, (3) obtuse deductions that are always perfect, and (4) features the most gifted--but ultimately flawed--mind.

The entire cast of characters are a bit flat; though some history is provided for each, it feels dull and forced, thereby lending no motivation to their actions... that is, aside from the pivotal character of Liu Jian Da. She's the one character who makes or breaks the transgenetic project and who also saves them or kills them all. She's a genius and in the top of her field (see SF cliché #4) but has hallucinations stemming from her work of mixing genes and body parts. Her own motivations, as she later finds out, are beside herself; she understands what she has done but not why she has done it. She watched the horror unfold, knowing only unto herself that this was a big, big mistake.

That big, big mistake was supposed to be a herd of tame herbivores that would grow human organs for transplant. That what she thought she had coded into the genes of the ova, but she later finds out that she coded for something entirely different for reasons she's unclear of. Either way, the multiplying cells in the cows' wombs are growing at a ridiculously accelerated rate--something she did code for--but not to the size that they are becoming. Rather than hooved ungulates passively chewing grass, the little monsters within are sharply clawed, have jaw of menacing power, and exhibit a carnivorous appetite while in utero (originally all the sets were developing as twins, but one of them devoured the other). It's a predictable (based on the synopsis) ruse but aside from the orations of the lingo, this is thick of the novel, this is what you're paying for. Unfortunately, there very little else to carry it.

------------

In the end, the publisher is pushing this to be a mainstream thriller, so they print enticing quotes from authors everyone knows in order to entice the easy-to-please mainstream reader. Maybe there's a small resemblance to a "the more of the story is..." but the thriller aspect of the novel distracts from the possible message of scientific ethics. It's not altogether terrible, nor is it terribly exciting or interesting to read; it teeters on the brink of mediocrity and slides into the chasm of pulp.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, 8 Oct. 2010
By 
L. Anderson (N. Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Another good read from Scott Sigler, no confusing descriptive narratives about the science just good easy to read story telling the average layman like me can easily digest. I recommend this and other Sigler books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it, 21 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Ancestor (Paperback)
Bought this off the back of Infected, Contagious... Was NOT disappointed. Pacey, exciting, fresh and gritty. I know Scott has a big internet following who think he is FTW. Just for the record I am an oldie who loves to read and I love reading Scott's books; he is not just for the young internet generation, I would recommend him to anyone who enjoys exciting, gritty writing. Hope I don't detract from the street cred :)
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Ancestor
Ancestor by Scott Sigler (Paperback - 19 Aug. 2010)
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