The Atlantis Gene

Pure mental candy.  Tasty, tasty candy.

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for end-of-the-world-conspiracy-theory-thrillers, bonus if there is a super-secret governmental SpecOps team involved.  They're just fun reading, and heaven knows I need fun reads in between my Serious Reads and my Facepalm Reads.

I was actually looking for a different book to borrow with my Amazon Prime Kindle Lending Library whatever-it's-called membership (oh, to quickly address the question "Is Amazon's new subscription service going to replace libraries?" the answer is "No."), but I found this and it seemed fun AND it was in a series, so I started it on the plane ride back from vacation.

Fun stuff.  There's a super-secret organization (YES!) that secretly controls and manipulates the world's spycraft.  David is a member of this organization, and one day he finds out that they've been compromised by an even more super-secret organization of Evil People With No Morals.  As their safe house in Jakarta is compromised, David and his fellow workers race to decode messages intended to save the world.

Meanwhile, medical researcher Kate is drawing closer to finding a successful treatment for autism.  After a tragedy that almost destroyed her life in the States, she flew far, far away to work on something that would better mankind.  Noble stuff, although I do take exception to the concept of "curing autism."  Autism cannot be defined as symptoms X, Y, and Z.  That's why it's called the spectrum.  When the super-super-secret bad guys attack her compound and kidnap two of her study subjects--two kids!--she is determined to get those kids back.

The fun of reading a book like this is you pretty much know how the story will go, but it's always interesting to see how the author develops the twists and turns, what kind of villain we'll have, and so forth.  It's not about originality, it's about entertainment and execution.  And on those fronts, The Atlantis Gene succeeds quite admirably.

As you may have guessed from the title, this does delve a bit into genetics, but what the Evil Guys are really doing is ... well, it's complicated.  Suffice it to say that this book involves Nazis, Antarctica, submarines, close escapes from death, baby daddies (not kidding), and transdimensional portals.  The portal bit at the end actually got a bit muddled for me--I wasn't quite sure who was where and fighting whom.

Riddle tosses quite a few winks at his predecessors (in a loving way, of course).  When Kate and David are hiding out from the Bad Guys, Kate wants to go with him to track down the kids.  He says, "This is not like the movies where the hero and girl go off on a grand adventure for the sake of plot convenience."  Zing!

I would recommend this for a fun, escapist read.


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