Customer Reviews for

Altar of Eden

Average Rating 4
( 640 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Fans will relish this terrific thrille

With the fall of Baghdad, the American political leadership in the White House and the Pentagon howled in euphoria for the military victory insured the reelection next year. In their adrenalin highs, no one was concerned over looting including the zoo of its exotic ani...
With the fall of Baghdad, the American political leadership in the White House and the Pentagon howled in euphoria for the military victory insured the reelection next year. In their adrenalin highs, no one was concerned over looting including the zoo of its exotic animals that would make a fortune in the black markets of the west as some Iraqi adjust to capitalism rather quickly. However, when the zoo was invaded by smugglers, a secret underground lab is found.

Seven years later research environmental biologist Dr. Lorna Park finds a wrecked trawler on Lost Eden Cay, a barrier island off the Louisiana coast. No crewman is found alive, but inside the cargo bay is a shocker; mutations of species that should not exist are locked in cages. Besides physical anomalies, these caged beasts are extremely intelligent. Ironically as her work is to save endangered species, Lorna is unsure what to do with this strange cargo. She and U.S. Border Patrol officer Jack Menard unite in an attempt to uncover who genetically modified the animals and perhaps more important the one beast who escaped captivity.

This is a fast-paced thriller that modernizes Dr. Moreau using recent current events including the Iraq War and genetic breakthroughs; but the key is like HG Wells did, James Rollins makes the bad guys and altered animals especially the one that got away three dimensional and intelligent. The lead couple is a solid pairing, as they follow the clues of diabolically clever villains and an even smarter genetically altered beast. With an underlying message to think what we sow before we Alter Eden, fans will relish this terrific thriller.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 19, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Wasn't worth the effort

I had never read a James Rollins book and was expecting much more from this novel. Although the plot was somewhat interesting, albeit reminiscent of Fragment or Island of Dr. Moreau, the writing style and character development left me cold. I usually enjoy a book that f...
I had never read a James Rollins book and was expecting much more from this novel. Although the plot was somewhat interesting, albeit reminiscent of Fragment or Island of Dr. Moreau, the writing style and character development left me cold. I usually enjoy a book that follows the theme of "suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride" but after investing the time to get through 300 pages of this novel, I realized I didn't care how it ended and gave up. I doubt I will try another James Rollins novel in the future.

posted by bookwizardRM on January 24, 2010

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  • Posted January 24, 2010

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    Wasn't worth the effort

    I had never read a James Rollins book and was expecting much more from this novel. Although the plot was somewhat interesting, albeit reminiscent of Fragment or Island of Dr. Moreau, the writing style and character development left me cold. I usually enjoy a book that follows the theme of "suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride" but after investing the time to get through 300 pages of this novel, I realized I didn't care how it ended and gave up. I doubt I will try another James Rollins novel in the future.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

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    A Book I Almost Didn't Finish

    Call me a bit obsessive, but usually I always finish a book once I begin reading it, but this book came close to breaking me of that habit. Altar of Eden was an extremely difficult book to finish, and many times I was tempted to toss it with a hundred pages to go. When I read a novel for pleasure, I like to care about the main characters, but I am not sure I ever get to know these people, or even what happens to them. Lorna and Jack, the female and male lead characters in the novel just are not developed to the point that they seem like real people. And the novel's story, well, by the time I got to the closing chapters of the book, I did not really care what happened anymore. Perhaps some aspects of the story were just too complicated to be entertaining. Or, maybe it was just too predictable. Ultimately, I purchased this novel because I read Rollins' novels "Deep Fathom," "Ice Hunt," and "Sandstorm" and they all were fascinating can't-put-the-book-down reads. This one does not even come close. The seems to be one of those "I-gotta-meet-a-publishing-deadline" works, where the novel just does not have the polish of earlier ones. I'm afraid I will have to be a bit more discerning when purchasing novels by James Rollins in the future because this one was so disappointing.

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