Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Altar of Eden by James Rollins

Following the fall of Baghdad, two Iraqi boys stumble upon armed men looting the city zoo. The floodgates  have been  opened for the smuggling of hundreds of exotic birds, mammals, and reptiles to Western nations, but this crime hides a deeper secret. Amid a hail of bullets, an underground secret weapons lab is ransacked--and something even more horrific is set free. Seven years later, Louisiana state veterinarian Lorna Polk stumbles upon a fishing trawler shipwrecked on a barrier island. The crew is missing or dead, but the boat holds a frightening cargo: a caged group of exotic animals, clearly part of a black market smuggling ring. Yet, something is wrong with these beasts, disturbing deformities that make no sense:  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 intelligence. To uncover the truth about the origin of this strange cargo and the terrorist threat it poses, Lorna must team up with a man who shares a dark and bloody past with her, now an agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, Jack Menard. Together, the two must hunt for a beast that escaped the shipwreck while uncovering a mystery tied to fractal science and genetic engineering, all to expose a horrifying secret that traces back to mankinds earliest roots. But can Lorna stop what is about to be born upon the altar of Eden before it threatens not only the world, but also the very foundation of what it means to be human?

If you scroll down a bit on this page you're reading, you might wonder if I'm only reading one author, James Rollins, but no. I've just missed reading his books that I now read three in a row of his titles. Yeah. He's that good. Can't get enough of him! I'm in a bit of a problem here, honestly, I don't know what to say anymore regarding this author! I think I've said all that I needed to say from my last two reviews. Those reviews were nothing but praises. But I guess I have to find words to review this book, okay then, Altar Of Eden is as good as his previous works of fiction. No surprises there. I think James has found the perfect formula to keep his readers interested on whatever latest offering he has, great plot + great characters + great story + great ending = Greatness. I know he does research and all, but like any other author, he goes to places to do some background check of a certain area where his novels will be set and that's really fun. I often wonder if to become a writer, you need to study first, or you're born with the ability to write. I think it's both ways, I know a friend who has written a novel and she was good at it. So I guess I can also write if I set my heart on it. But for now, I am content to be a reader at the moment.

I've recently met a James fan, his name is Joey, I took the opportunity to talk to him. It's seldom that I encounter a fellow fan who reads the books I've read, we talked almost non stop. It's really good to share your passion for a certain author to a fellow reader. We traded ideas on how the next book should be. It was really fun! Thanks Joey for a wonderful conversation!  

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars

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