Customer Reviews for

Altar of Eden

Average Rating 4
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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 September 8, 2010

    Very Exciting!

    This book was definitely a page turner, unfortunately in a few chapters it was a page skipper as well. The plot was awesome, your typical mad scientist looking to create a race of super human fighters in the hope of securing a Haliburton-sized government contract, and his evil minions who will stop at nothing to protect the "project". Most of the characters were well drawn out if not just a tad cliche. The heroine was your classic superwoman, blonde, blue eyed with advanced degrees who can quote obscure scientific facts at the drop of a dime. And our leading man was the lone-wolf warrior with the chiseled chin and piercing gray eyes that looked through your soul, his hard body bearing the scars of victory as he battles evil. But Mr. Rollins is such a talented writer that he makes these characters work. There is a sub-plot about their personal relationship that I found to be a bit contrived and when it engaged into the main storyline it was like an unwelcome houseguest that you just want to go away. The plot takes many surprise turns although some were painfully obvious most were pure writing genius, and while the last few chapters were nail-bitingly exciting the end was as flat as a pancake. I pressed the next key thinking there was a clitch in my Nook and this could not be the end, alas it was. As for the aformentioned page skipping, we really did not need the extended science lessons on the theoretical existance of factuals (sp?) and the beginning of life. However, Igor the featherless, talking parrot was a great character and I do hope we see him again.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Solid and fun adventure, but not very deep

    Altar of Eden is a fun, exciting and fast read. If you're looking to escape in a tv-movie sort-of-way, then this is a good purchase.

    James Rollins writes short and to the point. His characters and plot are somewhat similar - short and to the point. And it's enjoyable. The first half of the book sets the stage for genetically altered animals escape into the Bayou after an attempt to smuggle them into the U.S. goes awry.

    Rollins writes adventure and pseudo-science well. Think Michael Crichton lite. But that's not a bad thing.

    The book is full of gun fights and nasty animals attacks, plus the obligatory evil-scientist-explaining-his-nefarious-plot-to-the-protagonist. But it wraps up the story nicely.

    If you're looking for something deep, then keep looking. You can stop looking, however, if you're in the market for a rock solid adventure, with mutated jaguars and super-smart hominids.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    Too Much Like Crichton

    I was a bit disappointed in The Altar Of Eden. It had a little too much like the late Michael Crichton with mutant animals.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I'll be real

    I needed more, more of what it did well and less of what it did wrong.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    not his best, but not the worst

    I have read many of James Rollin's books and when compared to those, this book isn't as great. The story, and research put into it was interesting. If this was the first book that I have ever read from James Rollins my opinion perhaps would be diferrent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2010

    Not a new book???

    This is not a new book, I read this book earlier this year. What is going on??

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Idea

    I have put down more than one book over a quarter of the way through and not gone back. I did read this one all the way through. I really liked this story but I would have enjoyed it more had it been more complex. This was a very interesting concept, but its "reveal" lacked luster or surprise. There wasn't a twist or a turn that wasn't predictable. As a native, I was also a little disappointed at the Cajun cliches and stereotype throwback.

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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    Slow but good

    It is not James's best writing, and it started so slow I almost did'nt finish it. But fortunately by the middle of the book (after Lorna was kidnapped) it got better and I really enjoyed it.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    Great concept but could have done more

    The beginning and ending were pretty good. However, the character development was light and the plot was not as tight as his usual work. He usually has some pretty interesting twists but only at the very very end do you see anything like his usual work. Still it was an interesting read and I am not sorry I spent the time.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Good, Fast Paced Read, But not up to the usual James Rollins Standards

    I am a big fan of James Rollins, especially his first few novels, but this story, while interesting, was not up to the quality of his other books. Character development was a little shallow and I thought the overall premise could have been explored a little deeper. If you are a James Rollins fan I think you will like the book, but may be left a little disappointed if you are expecting the tightly crafted thrillers Rollins usually produces.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2010

    A fairly original thriller

    For the most part, I found the book an enjoyable read. The main characters were a little underdeveloped, but there was enough there to get by. In places, the story was predictable, but there was just enough of a different spin on things to keep it interesting.

    Overall, a middling effort but good for a casual read. Especially at a great price.

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