J.F. Penn's Reviews > Ancestor

Ancestor by Scott Sigler
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Mar 01, 11

bookshelves: thrillers

Full video review here http://mysterythriller.tv/ancestor-by...

I like Scott Sigler’s blend of action and intelligent plots. Ancestor is almost like Crichton’s Jurassic Park in that he investigates genetic engineering and how that could go horribly wrong in the pursuit for profit and scientific praise.

I really enjoy the learning side of a novel and in this we get some scientific detail about genetics woven into the tight plot. It’s not too technical but enough that you can appreciate the research. Sigler also writes gore really well and some of his other books are definitely horror. This book has some gruesome scenes but not so much you have to skip pages.

Genada is out to clone the perfect ancestor animal whose parts could be used for transplant into humans, a docile herd animal easy to control and harvest from. The setting moves from a mobile lab to a tiny island where the scientists are trying to finish the experiment. The constraint of the setting is critical for the plot. When the aircraft containing the pregnant cows crashes back into the island, we know things are about to get ugly. The ancestors are not docile cow-like creatures at all, but ravenous, intelligent, killing machines.
The fight also turns inwards as the survivors of the ancestor attack fight each other in order to keep the company secrets and to stay alive.

The characters are a mix and there are enough introduced so that they can be killed off in quite gruesome ways. I especially liked Jian, a brilliant geneticist but definitely mentally ill and her nightmares of horrific spliced animals gone wrong foreshadow the coming events. The insights into her mind as the architect of the final solution are fascinating. The love interest of Sara and Colding gave an extra facet to the sub-plot and humanized some of the feelings behind the violence and the science.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Charles Sheehan-Miles Ancestor was awesome, one of my favorites. First heard it as a podcast and it's hard to read without hearing Sigler's voice and presence all over the book.


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