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Darwin's Cipher

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,000 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Juan Gutierrez, a cancer researcher, has spent years studying the genome of animals that exhibit immunity to some types of cancer. Over the course of his study, Juan discovers a pattern that allows him to predict the course of a species' evolution across thousands of generations.

Using the algorithm he's developed from the pattern, Juan uncovers what he believes to be the k
Kindle Edition, 345 pages
Published February 18th 2019
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Tom Walsh
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Cretaceous-Tertiary or K/T extinction event. It happened 65 million years ago. It was a six mile meteor that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, just off Mexico. It ended the reign of the Dinosaurs and wiped the Earth of vegetation. Yet small mammals , with frontal vision, who lived underground, survived to bring us to where we are today. Darwin would call it Natural Selection, part of evolution. But, what if one could speed-up DNA evolution? What if science could cause Natural Selection in a m ...more
Robert Enzenauer
WOW! This is my fist book by M.A. ROTHMAN, and I am really impressed with this medical/scientific thriller. This book has a fascinating plot – involving the nefarious use of cutting-edge cancer research using gene therapy – the research stolen from the scientist and used by “bad guys” trying to create cutting edge bio-weapons. I like science-fiction, but this isn’t sci-fi – this is a medical, scientific thriller. This writer makes the science very understandable. And as a physician, the gene the ...more
Matthew Kresal
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The advances in genetics over the last couple of decades has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Treatments for diseases, screening for genetic illnesses, to name but two. It has also opened up an entire litany of concerns about what might happen if the power to alter the basic building blocks of life should be misused, either by accident or design. Looking at just such possibilities is Darwin Cipher's, a new techno-thriller from writer M.A. Rothman.

Rothman reads likes a cross between
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘Who knows what lurks in the unknown recesses and genetic combinations that are possible?’

Author M.A (Michael) Rothman is the first member of his family to be born in the United States. His Hungarian grandfather was a WW II refugee and his family fled the Nazi occupation. Michael is an engineer who focuses on computer technology – system software design – and his designs are embedded in all modern computers distributed be the major companies in the world. He has stated ‘Whether it is deeply embe
Mal Warwick
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Ever since the mid-twentieth century geneticists and molecular biologists have been mucking around in the human genetic code. Medical researchers have been seeking ways to cure diseases or prevent them entirely. Others have been toying with techniques to heighten critical elements in our physiological or psychological makeup such as intelligence or strength. Yet other scientists envision altering human physiology to adapt us for life on other planets with dramatically different atmospheric condi ...more
Sharon Rice
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For a free, kindle recommended book, this is surprisingly great. It reminds me of early Grisham but with the medical field instead of law. I'm hoping this new author has more. ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
"Darwin's Cipher" is based on an interesting idea. GMO's (a timely boogeyman to pick on) have learned how to modify the DNA of existing animals in an attempt at designer weapons. The scientist who invented the technology is unaware of the nefarious uses it is being put toward, wanting only to benefit mankind by creating a bigger, badder, human who is impervious to the ravages of disease.

We are shown the effects of military intervention in science. Of course, the military wants to weaponize the
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am not a medical thriller fan. I haven’t read a book in this genre that I liked. So when I was approached with an invite to review Darwin’s Cipher, I was hesitant. But then I read the blurb, and my interest was caught. So I accepted. I am happy I did because this book was fantastic.

The plot with Juan made me both angry and sad at the same time. I was sad because he poured his life into researching a cure for cancer. I was mad because people were using his research in the wrong ways. I was inte
Ursula Johnson
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers, audible
An Engaging, Accessible Scientific Thriller

This book was an entertaining techno thriller. The author has a strong scientific background and caught the writing bug. This book is an engaging book. It blends science and drama better than many others. The science is advanced, but I love how it was explained to be easy to follow for non science readers and kept as a real plausible key to the story. It was not boring as some technical explanations can be. It also has great character development. The y
Steph Baca
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intricate, intriguing Medical Thriller

This fast moving story attracts us. readers and leads to a world of cancer research involving very real and current genetic manipulation. It posits an evolutionary advance of hundreds of thousands of years selectively winnowing out cancer causing genes. The head researcher, Juan Gutierrez, is motivated by a real and true desire to find a means of curing/ preventing cancer. Unfortunately, his research falls into the hands of several unsavory characters, inclu
Gary Clark
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This is the first book I've read by this author and it deserves the five star rating. This story can be called a thriller or techno-thriller, it is fast paced and once started the only reason I stopped reading was because of work, even with that this book took me only a couple of days to read.

This book is basically about a "doc" that lost both his parents to cancer and wanting to find a cure, then his research is stolen and gets loose on the general population with not the best results.

J Renee
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating scientific thriller

This book grabbed my attention with the first page. The characters are interesting and unique. They are fully developed and go about solving problems using their own specialized talents. The progression of the story is fast-paced. A lot of evidence based on science is presented in a manner that was easy for this reviewer to understand. I have no background that would help me understand what was going on, so Mr. Rothman's descriptions were what kept the story moving
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it

Knocked off a star for the incomplete ending. Sequel coming? 4 stars for the Audiobook version

I listened to the Audible version and loved it. “Darwin’s Cipher” has a fascinating plot line with two stories running in tandem—first, featuring a cancer research scientist and then an FBI agent/forensic analyst.

Narrator Tim Campbell did an outstanding job with the voices. Furthermore, he glides through the science passages without hesitation or mispronunciations. Had I read the book or the Kindle ve
Kyle McCreary
FULL DISCLOSURE: I received a free Kindle copy of this book via the First Reads program.
FULLER DISCLOSURE: I had already planned to buy this book, due to the recommendations I had seen.
FULLEST DISCLOSURE: This book was awesome!

This is the first book by Mr. Rothman that I have read, but I will definitely be ordering more of his work. It is tagged as "Sci Fi" but I would argue that it is more scientific/medial thriller than anything. Well-written, with an intriguing, engaging and totally believab
Angie Boyter
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This near-present-day technothriller was a wonderful surprise, even better than I expected. It checked all the right boxes! The opening scene was action-packed and exciting but had a warm heart in the form of a sweet doggie that told me this was not going to be one of those books where everything and everyone is a downer. It had a fascinating plot and was well-paced; I did not want to put it down! The characters were credible. The descriptions of federal government operations and associated term ...more
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Science and Technology Become a Thriller

I must qua gift this review by saying I am not into reading science fiction or science as the basis for fiction. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. Mr. Rothman utilizes science in his story, but does so not by dumbing down his writing but by thoroughly explaining that science so the "average Joe" can understand it. I've read -- or tried to read -- some works of fiction in which the author spent countless words trying to explain, in great detail,
Cathryn Wellner
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Though I prefer non-genre fiction, I agreed to take a look at this one and maybe - or maybe not - review it. Rothman's foray into genetic modification gone dangerously wrong grabbed me early on and kept me reading to the satisfying end. His passion for science, combined with his skill as a storyteller, leads to a novel that is as believable as it is compelling. There's plenty of skullduggery for the thriller reader and an ending that made me laugh out loud.

For some reason, the book kept crashin
Matthew Beck
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a decent thriller with good characterizations and a suspenseful plot. I pretty much read this in one sitting and while I had hoped for a bit more action, it definitely kept me engaged and entertained throughout. I felt the gene technology angle was well thought out and it offered some chilling consequences of scientists getting ahead of themselves and rushing into testing before fully vetting their findings. I felt the
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this as a Goodreads Giveaway and am very grateful for the chance to read this story. It is a fairly routine thriller with a hint of science fiction dealing with genetic experimentation gone wrong. And when I say it is routine I dont mean that in a bad way. This was a well written fast paced tale that wwas pretty easy to follow, with characters that I cared about and a realatively realistic plot. The routine part is because it didnt really introduce any truly far out elements that were outs ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I went in not expecting much, having read reviews where the writing itself was severely criticized. Since I had already bought the book, I started reading...... and was sucked into the story quickly. Being a science nerd, I love near future scifi, and this was a great read. It IS an easy read, and the books I love usually are written at a higher level, but this is not a bad thing,. This story can be enjoyed by readers at many levels, and the science is fabulous, encompassing the rewards and pitf ...more
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Captivating thriller

The book is outstanding. I had read the first 200 pgs & was going to put it down to finish tomorrow. Well, here it is tomorrow & I just finished it. It is that gripping.

The author makes the 'science-y' parts understandable for a layman. A succinct explanation which doesn't slow the pace of the story.

The characters are well-rounded & he obviously did a lot of research. Unless I am mistaken, he didn't grow up on a cattle ranch, but some of my family had one do that part rang tr
Lois Lawler
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Militarized Gene Splicing

What would happen if a scientific breakthrough got into the wrong hands for the purpose of weaponizing organisms? What if the development proceeded without proper protocols? Bad? The situation gets worse...What if the wrong hands belong to a government? This techno-thriller takes place in an all too familiar setting of shadowy secrets too dark for even the FBI to know about. A biological bomb has been released and time is running out. Science fiction is a great vehicle
Eric Birtel
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a well-written book without too much detail to bog down the story. The information is easily read and understood and moves at a fast enough pace to keep you reading and interested, as well as open up a new story.

I enjoy the detail in books, but not always. This book hit that mark exactly. Easy to follow and somewhat predictable, but you still had to follow the science and the areas that were covered in the book. I found myself actually looking up things and seeing just what they were.

Sheryl Smith
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very engaging thriller

The author calls this a techno thriller. A new term for me. Basically, a sci-fi thriller that doesn’t have anything to do with space or aliens. It’s all about a scientific what if, specifically what can happen when scientists mess around with human DNA. It’s a really good story and well worth reading. The characters are very real and approachable. The science gets a bit geeky in a couple of places, but by and large it is all understandable. This is one of those kind of thri
Rebecca Tutton
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful read.

This book starts with short chapters on a number of characters. You know they will interconnect and indeed they do. Stick with it if you are someone like myself who likes to be drawn in from the first paragraph. As the story unfolds, it becomes very interesting and intellectually challenging. I am in the medical field, so I could understand most of the genetic material, and the author does a great job of explaining it in simple layman’s terms. It seems to me the ending became qu
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Spooky reading a novel during the pandemic

This is my type of books.
The reason for my title is that maybe, I repeat, maybe this is what happened in China.
We should be very careful in “playing “ G-d. Not that I am against GMO research, but I have my doubts about the various
Covid-19 so-called vaccines being developed.

I liked the addendum but would have liked to read what is actually true and where the author took liberties to make the book readable.

Is there a similar 2nd book by this author ?
Sabrina Marlbrough
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As my first read by this author I am thoroughly impressed. I've always been intrigued by genetics, and as a programmer I truly appreciated the appendix at the end of the book. Drawing parallels between what I know from writing code and how our genetic code works. The characters were developed and the story was complex. I was a bit distressed by the ending when it dropped off like that. That said I truly enjoyed reading Darwin's Cipher and I'm adding Primordial Threat to my Want to read list.

Stanley McShane
Gene therapy thriller!

Is there a way to lengthen life or cure incurable diseases? Explore exciting scientific studies within a real life setting. This novel will scare and excite you. CE Williams Free from author for an honest review.

My Thoughts:
Two main characters working in tandem, Juan Gutierrez, a cancer researcher and Special Agent Nathaniel Carrington, an FBI forensic analyst. Gutierrez is a researcher working for AgriMed closing in on a mutating algorithm in DNA. Wait! Does this sound lik
Allyson Bradley
Sep 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Good story but ...

I enjoyed them story line and plot of the book but got lost a lot in the science of it. I am a fairly smart person with a bachelor's of science degree but a lot of the scientific explaination were still over my head. And taking time to try to explain the science really slowed the pace of the story down. My other complaint was that the time leaps sometimes caused me to be confused. A break in a chapter could jump days, weeks, or even months ahead. So overall even though I enjoye
Darin Brown
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books where people with a scientific background are going to be completely engrossed.

The premise involves research into genetics that anticipates the consequences of a long period of time (like you might see with rapid evolution of a virus) but happening in higher order species. Imagine how a dog might evolve over dozens of generations... that's what Rothman did, and here's the result. A very interesting and action packed novel with lots of human interaction, great characte
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USA TODAY bestselling author, M.A. Rothman, is one of the most unlikely novelists you'll ever meet. He's an engineer first and foremost, with a background in the sciences, and somehow or another, this writing habit of his has turned into a bit more than just a run-of-the-mill hobby.

He primarily writes stories that focus on two things: technology and international intrigue. This writing tends to sp

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