Altar of Eden
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Altar of Eden

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  9,276 ratings  ·  647 reviews
Louisiana state veterinarian Lorna Polk stumbles upon a shipwrecked fishing trawler carrying a caged group of exotic animals. Yet, something is wrong with these beasts: a parrot with no feathers, a pair of Capuchin monkeys conjoined at the hip, a jaguar cub with the dentition of a saber-tooth tiger. They also all share one uncanny trait--a disturbingly heightened intellige...more
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Published December 29th 2009 by HarperAudio (first published 2009)
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Mitch
WHY are people rating this book so highly???

The characters were cardboard cutouts, the plot was obviously manipulated, the scenarios were so unlikely...the story was more like a series of explosions and gunfights loosely linked together until it finally expired. Having survived to the end, I know a lot more about weaponry and am reassured that one-dimensional good guys can only get wounded no matter how many rounds are fired per minute, while no-dimensional bad guys inevitably get something she...more
Keri
Lorna is innocently driving to work in Louisiana one morning after a strong storm thinking of how her day is going to go. However, once she gets to work, she finds that she has been told that she is going out to inspect a ship-wrecked boat. What??? She is a vet, what do they need her for? Once she gets there however, she not only has to deal with Jack, a dark and sexy Border Patrol agent from her deep and painful past, she also has to deal with some animals on the ship. Not just any animals mind...more
Kim
I really liked this book! It is a quick read. I picked it up just to take a look and read seven chapters before I put it back down. I highly recommend all of James Rollins books, but "Altar of Eden" is definitely my favorite.
Marvin
As far as airport novels go, this book was a sleeper...the kind that literally puts you to sleep. That's an odd thing to say about a book that has some of the loudest prose I've ever read, the kind that shouts, shoots, and explodes on every page. But I found it rather dull. I liked the premise and there was a nice amount of science-babble in it. Yet Rollin's cardboard characters with their TV formula problems bored me. This is the first Rollins novel I've read. I know a number of people who like...more
Michelle♥
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suspense Magazine
Writing plots and intricate characters that virtually reach out to snare like tentacles, Rollins continues to stagger us with his mind-blowing style in the introduction of his stand-alone thriller, “Altar of Eden”. Beautifully crafted and set in the backcountry of Louisiana, it only takes a small squint of the eyes to see the landscape unfurl as Rollins words progress.

When veterinarian Lorna Polk is summoned to the scene of an abandoned shipwreck, she couldn’t have been prepared for the shock w...more
Yona
Another great book by James Rollins . I love how in his books there are always adventure but a little romance as well. And facts, for example how the brain can produce enough electricity all the time to feed a flashlight.
Lorna and Jack were very strong character, but I liked all the side ones too.

When you read you enjoy the book, you feel what the characters feels, you learn new things and it's like you are there. The author is that good.
Doug
My first glimpse into James Rollins occurred around 2006. I was managing an overstock bookstore at the time—Book Gallery—and a customer came in asking if we had any of Rollins's works. We had two—Amazonia and Ice Hunt—that he already had read, and so I personally picked them up and brought them home to drop on my never ending and ephemerally conceptualized to-read list. Why? Because he had used such phrases as "like Michael Crichton but way more exciting" and "seriously the best novels!" Phrases...more
Nicole
I have mentioned many times that novels with themes of technology and science rock my world and James Rollins is one of my absolute favorite action/adventure authors who incorporates these themes. Normally I'm enraptured by the scientific theories Rollins includes in his novels, but in Altar of Eden I felt I was at times being lectured to about the science rather the than the story evolving from the science (this was even more apparent after comparing Altar of Eden to Awakening by S. J. Bolton,...more
T. Edmund
Despite injecting biblical quote and reference, this novel fails to reach such proportions. Instead the storyline kinda is an elaborate Lake Placid.


I shouldn’t be quite so harsh, the attempts at good science fiction are noteworthy and perhaps as my undergraduate degree is in genetics I am too sceptical.


The basic storyline is: The government is conducting genetic engineering experiments and creating intelligent monsters. A vet (animal doctor) and a vet (Iraq) team up to stop this evil experimen...more
Amanda
I'm on the fence with this book. I really enjoy reading Rollins books, but I can't decide if I liked this one or not.

In some ways it was highly enjoyable. As his previous books, the science part of it completely intrigued me. It kept the plot moving and I stayed interested trying to piece together where he was going with the genetic aspect of the animals. In fact the animals outcomes where what kept me reading to the end. But for a lot of readers this part of the books isn't going to be enough t...more
Shannon
I won this book through first-reads, and although it is not the typical type of book I would usually read, I really enjoyed it.

It has non-stop action, science, a bit of romance, and very real characters, both human and animals. Also, the main character is very likable, even with her flaws, (she had an abortion when she was a teenager).

Veterinarian Lorna Polk receives some strange news regarding animals involved in a ship wreck near New Orleans. When she goes to investigate, she finds a featherle...more
Patrick Gibson
Our favorite veterinarian follow-up writer (he followed-up numerous Cussler novels with ‘Subterranean’ and ‘Sahara;’ and followed-up Dan Brown with ‘Map of Bones’) has now chosen to ride the coattails of Crichton (it’s okay this time, since ‘Next’ wasn’t very good). At least his take on genetic engineering doesn’t include dinosaurs. Although—there is one nasty saber-tooth pussycat keeping the first act moving along. Yes, our theater-challenged author has titled his sections ‘Acts.’ In deference...more
Kathleen
I am suffering from an irritated anticipation. I've been keeping the house free of library books as I've been expecting this one in the mail. I'm down to reading Russian novels, for goodness' sake! Maybe I can sneak that copy of Morbid Curiosity away from my friend. It must have been lost in the mail, I will read it when and if I get it, I also put it on hold at the library and am annoyed at being held up. I've taken a peek at the first few pages and am eager to start in on it. Okay, finally got...more
Cindy Meilink
I enjoy books that have one foot planted in reality and the other in the "this could potentially happen" camp.

Altar of Eden begins with the bombing of a zoo in Baghdad that houses a secretive facility beneath it--a laboratory undergoing genetic research.

The destruction of the zoo creates a need to transfer the surviving laboratory animals in order for the research to continue.

When the trawler carrying the animals runs aground freeing some of the animals on a small island, Dr. Lorna Polk, a vete...more
Amy Rogers
ScienceThrillers.com review: Altar of Eden is a stand-alone novel, not part of Rollins’ popular Sigma Force series. It bears his signature strengths: a strong, believable female character, and best-in-the-business action sequences. Altar of Eden adds two things to the Rollins repertoire: a veterinarian protagonist and vivid scenes + characters in the Louisiana bayou.

But overall, in my opinion Altar of Eden is not James Rollins’ finest work. His weaker books are still better than most writers’ be...more
Matt Schiariti
Wow. It amazes me how much work James Rollins turns out in such a short period of time and each effort it just fantastic. I didn't even realize this one was coming out so short after The Doomsday Key was released and it's scary how he can write such high quality novels in such short order.

The plot of the book has been summarized by many reviewers before me so I'll spare reiterating what's already been said. What I WILL say though is that this is about as good as thriller/mystery as you're likely...more
Beth
ALTAR OF EDEN by James Rollins is a science thriller. And it's a good one. That's because the science is based on reality even while the story is fiction.

Do you remember back when the war in Iraq began, and animals at the Baghdad Zoo escaped and suffered? That's where ALTAR OF EDEN begins. It seems that something is going on there, something hidden. Rollins only hints, and other readers can surmise what they want, but my immediate suspicion was the suspicion at the time: biological warfare.

The b...more
Susan
I enjoyed most of the book: How the author uses the theme of genetic engineering is intriguing and held my interest throughout the book. I'm a great animal lover, and I needed to know how those well-traveled and endearing little critters ended up. I also liked the view into how life is lived in Cajun country -- or how the author imagines it's lived. The feuding families with two people who gradually fall in love through trials and tribulations was predictable from the moment they clap eyes on ea...more
Claudia
Rollins was one of the authors I found as I waited for Dan Brown to write another book. I LOVE this guy...fast paced, almost plausible, with characters I care about.

This one is not about the Sigma Team but the setting of New Orleans and the swamps made up for the loss of my team. Lorna is a vet working to clone endangered animals and is brought in as a consultant to examine some strange 'wrong' animals left abandoned from a supposed animal smuggling ring...Wrong...as parrots with no feathers, a...more
Barrie Penman
Halfway through. Cant put down book. You get involved very early and it maintains your interest and never falters. Mississippi, New Orleans, and the Bayou levees, crocodiles, caymans, Caribbean islands wonderfully descibed and that is just the locations.
Mix of real science, pseudo-science, sci-fi, genetic engineering, corrupt businesses.
Fast paced and action packed. Plenty of violence, gory deaths and retribution. There have been several instances when I thought the story would be wound up in a...more
Nathan
I wanted to like this book, and for a while I was loving it. Good old pseudo science thrillers are just what i need sometimes. Good start, interesting premise, but then little things started bugging me.

Do we really need every bad guy to be a rapist too? Is this the new trope that authors have to use? Some of the characters were never fleshed out, and really didn't ever need to be added(the croc farmers daughter).

And honestly, the whole back story between the two protagonist was completely unne...more
Christine
Despite flashbacks to Jurassic Park and science (fractal science and biological warfare production) that was a little over my head this book was an enjoyable read. Veterinarian Dr. Laura Polk is picked up by helicopter and taken to a trawler on the Mississippi where strange mutations of animals have been found. After the discovery, the trawler mysteriously explodes and the chase is on. James Rollins draws on his veterinary and science background to bring a believable tale of genetic experimentat...more
Tommy
Fast, fun thriller about genetic engineering gone wrong. I like James Rollins, but especially like that this thriller can be read independently, whether you've read any of his other books or not. Interesting science explained in a way that's easy to follow, with cool mutated animals and sympathetic human heroes. Rollins is a veterinarian, and has created a main character who happens to be a vet. Most of the book is set in New Orleans, and the character of the swamp is lovingly described, making...more
Heather
James Rollins’s Altar of Eden has a fascinating setup, but then I’m a sucker for bio-thrillers, particularly ones involving genetic experimentation. I also enjoyed Jack and Lorna as characters, including their complicated past and their burgeoning feelings for one another. The search for the big cat provides immediate danger and tension; Lorna cares about trying to capture rather than kill it, but not to a ridiculous or unsafe extent, which is nice.

The villains work out well. One of them provide...more
Lokki
I am a big fan of Rollins. He's a very versatile writer. With several stand alone thrillers under his belt, lately he has been concetrating on his excellent Sigma series (which I love). He has also recently tried his hand at young adult fiction and writes Fantasy novels under the name James Clemens. Altar of Eden is his return to the standalone thriller and it's a solid read.

The story opens in Iraq with something mysterious going on in the Baghdad Zoo. The action quickly flash forwards several...more
Kay
I really loved this book. I found it well written and the characters well developed. It was like I was actually going through what each person was going through and feeling. It was fast paced and had so many twists and turns that you never saw anything coming. The last part of the book had my heart beating fast and my stomach in a knot. It was left at somewhat of a cliff hanger so I'd love to read part 2 if and when it comes out.
J.F. Penn
I LOVE James Rollins! This has a brilliant opening and once again merges possible science with a thrilling plot. This reminded me of Michael Crichton in terms of the biology gone wrong idea.
I liked the noble savage approach and as usual, the action scenes and tight writing made it a brilliant book. I am devastated when these books are over, and need another immediately!
Kerry Denney
Mr. Rollins, as usual and as I have come to expect, hits another one out of the park and over the outfield stands with ALTAR OF EDEN, an excellent stand-alone novel that leaves an open but completely satisfying conclusion in which a possible sequel could be coming. I'll be figuratively standing in line for that one too, as with all his novels. In ALTAR OF EDEN, Mr. Rollins once again shows his deep compassion for animals and those who dedicate their lives to caring for them, and at the same time...more
Jenny
Won this from Goodreads... I LOVED it! I could not put this book down. It had a great, fascinating story. I loved how Rollins incorporated science into a wonderful, page turning story. I worried a little from the jacket that it might be a little anti-religious, but I didn't think it was at all. This was a fabulous read.
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JAMES ROLLINS is the New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. Known for unveiling unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets, Rollins' knack for breakneck pacing and stunning originality has been hailed by critics and embraced by scores of millions of readers around the world.
More about James Rollins...
Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) Sandstorm (Sigma Force, #1) The Last Oracle (Sigma Force, #5) Black Order (Sigma Force, #3) The Judas Strain (Sigma Force, #4)

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“If you don't talk about it, it didn't happen.” 1 likes
“God had banished man from the Garden of Eden for daring to trespass upon the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
- But What if man learned to grow his own Tree? Where might it end?
- She didn't knew the answer. She knew only one thing for certain.
Someone had to stop Them”
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