5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A new concept,
This review is from: Gene (Paperback)
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.
Coming after the superb `Decipher' this was not as complete a novel, primarily because the plot thread is harder to follow and little emotive explanation is given for the action until late in the novel. The genetic concepts behind the plot are not as fully formed as they could be and you get the impression the author was letting the characters direct the plot rather than the other way round.
It's good, not as good as Decipher, but Stel Pavlou has taken the techno-thriller and given it a dark twist against a vast timeline in a manner that is riveting. The fight between Athantos and Cyclades steps through the novel at a higher level than the individual battles and the race for Gene and North to understand which is Athanatos and which is Cyclades takes us to a nail biting finish. Pavlou's an excellent addition to the techno-thriller genre and this one doesn't fail to deliver.