Altar of Eden

Altar of Eden

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Altar of Eden by James Rollins, Paula Christensen

Louisiana state veterinarian Lorna Polk stumbles upon a shipwrecked fishing trawler carrying a caged group of exotic animals. Yet, something is wrong with these beasts: 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, Lorna must team up with a man who shares a dark and bloody past with her, U.S. Border Patrol Agent, 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 mankind’s 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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062314475
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/21/2014
Edition description: Unabridged, Low Price CD
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 5.83(h) x 1.56(d)

About the Author

James Rollins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People magazine). In each acclaimed novel, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.


Sacramento, California

Date of Birth:

August 20, 1961

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois

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Altar of Eden 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 640 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
FlaBookworm More than 1 year ago
I have read every book James Rollins has written (after coming across his work accidentally). I have yet to be disappointed in one of his novels. They are always well thought out and well researched. His writing style gives just enough techno jargon to serve its purpose , but always comes with a character who needs it in layman's terms and I thank him for that. I love the way he takes something historically provocative and weaves a thrilling tale around it. If you've never read his work, but like action packed adventure, Rollins is your guy.
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
Writing plots and intricate characters that virtually reach out to snare like tentacles, Rollins continues to stagger us with his mind-blowing style in the introduction of his stand-alone thriller, "Altar of Eden". Beautifully crafted and set in the backcountry of Louisiana, it only takes a small squint of the eyes to see the landscape unfurl as Rollins words progress. When veterinarian Lorna Polk is summoned to the scene of an abandoned shipwreck, she couldn't have been prepared for the shock when she encounters an individual from her painful past and a vessel crammed with exotic animals. Each, a slightly unnatural version of a recognizable beast has an obvious and extraordinary intelligence. These animals-now orphans of the storm-are an incredible find even after the collective realization that a modern day monster, a female jaguar with the teeth of a saber tooth and a hungry cub, is on the loose. As the mission morphs into a hunt for the beast, the company that stands to lose all is taking no prisoners and leaving no evidence. They will not allow anyone to discover the truth behind their life's work even while it threatens the very fabric of our world. Teeming with creativity, Rollins' mix of the wide-ranging worlds of suspense and science equal a perfect cocktail to satisfy anyone's literary palette. Reviewed by Suspense Magazine
Tmorley8183 More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Rollins' previous Sigma force novels, I was somewhat hesitant to dive into a new set of characters, but what a pleasant surprise. In this new novel he introduces two new great characters (Jack & Lorna) all the while immersing the reader in the Louisiana bayou setting. And of course Rollins maintains his trademark perfect blend of science, action and character development. A must read for any Rollins fan.
Readit-byPam More than 1 year ago
This is the first and only book to date I have read br Rollins. I couldnt put down. The animals kept me intrigued and the plot kept me turning pages as fast as possible. Unusual, suspenseful and hard hitting. I hope this author keeps it coming. Mith a bit of scifi, and mysterious twist, couldnt put it done. I am definitely shopping for more by Rollins.
VictoriaQueen More than 1 year ago
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.
BeachWriter More than 1 year ago
This one got off to a quick start and never slowed down. The Louisiana swampland was a perfect setting for this novel. The plot centers on a series of government experiments gone awry. Throw in a rekindled romance and several colorful characters, several good twists, and you have a great story. I found it hard to put down.
laurak122 More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of James Rollins - I like his writing style, as well as his stories. This was not his "best" book, but still was a great book! Rollins has some interesting characters in this one: I particularly like that the lead female thinks and behaves as many real women do (rather than like a scared, stupid ninny, as women are often portrayed). Rollins also touches very briefly on the issue of homosexuality in this book, making me wonder if he might write more on that some other time. I always appreciate Rollins' intellect, insight, and respect for all human beings and animals. This was a fantastic book with an interesting plot and I found it hard to put the book down when real life came calling!
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Multi talented actress Paula Christensen gives a stunning voice performance of James Rollins's latest thriller - a startlingly imagined tale of genetic engineering. From the initial moment when protagonist Lorna Polk makes an incredible discovery to the denouement Christensen perfectly captures each characters' shock, fear, resolution. ALTAR OF EDEN is a spellbinder, albeit a scary one. The tale begins at the Baghdad Zoo where two young boys are poking around where they shouldn't be - they find a storeroom filled with strange equipment and come face to face with an enormous monster, the likes of which they've never seen. Action segues quickly to veterinarian Lorna Polk in Louisiana who is summoned to see a cage of animals in a shipwrecked vessel. Odd things may have been found in the Mississippi River but never anything like this - the animals have been mutated, horribly so yet they are all highly intelligent. However, one beast is missing - a mammoth jaguar escaped and is killing in order to eat. Not only must the jaguar be found, but what or who could possibly be behind such nefarious doings, and for what reason? Lorna, with the help of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jack Menard, must find the answers to these questions and quickly. It's a gasp producing hunt as the two eventually uncover a secret they never could have imagined. - Gail Cooke
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
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.
Grandpa More than 1 year ago
After the fall of Baghdad, looters discover a secret laboratory beneath the zoo, and allow more than animals to escape. Seven years later a fishing trawler shipwrecks with very unusual things aboard. U.S Border Patrol agent, Jack Menard, is trying to track down the perpetrators of this horrible cargo. Twists and turns, packed with action make this a great read. I highly recommend it.
BrockSamson More than 1 year ago
The book starts with a break neck speed and never lets go. The books start in Baghdad after fall of Iraq. Two kids scavanging in a abandoned zoo for food witness a horrible attack by a creature that comes out of a hidden lab under the zoo. Fast forward to Louisiana. In the aftermath of a hurricane, an investigation into a beached trawler leads to a horrific discovery and hunt for a escaped creature that should not exist at all. Genetic manipulation, evolution, fractals, flocking behaviour and lots and lots of action make up rest of the book. Have read all James Rollins books (except for Jake Ransom. Yes I read Indiana Jones too), I am a big JR fan. It is refreshing to see JR return to stand alone series. The book devels into the murky subject of genetic manipulation with a awesome twist. I think the reason JR choose to write a standalone thriller was because Sigma team has already touched on some elements of this book (but not all) in The Judas Strain. The reason I read JR books is because I always get to learn something new science wise. Sadly the only new thing I learned was too little(fractals fractals everywhere). Rest of the elements in the book have already been touched upon in other recent books like Judas Strain, Next (by Michael Chricton) etc. Also the characters were not as well developed as you might expect of a JR book. And the Sigma Team would have probably kicked the villan's butt in the first few pages. Despite some of the shortcomings this is a excellent book. Definitely recomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the worst Rollins book I have ever read. It was hard for me to get through the first few chapters because of how incredibly cliched the characters from Louisiana are portrayed. Rollins names drops throughout the book as though he is mentioning a Travel Channel highlights. By trying to be " authentic" he wound up being nauseating. Alter of Eden had a lot of promise, evolution, genetic throwbacks, but it was terrible. It may be the last newer james Rollins book I will read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alter of Eden was my initiation into the world of James Rollins one of the stirrings best authors since reading alter of eden I've read every thing Rollins has published where all his works are wonderful and a joy to read this remains one of my favorite all time books always scientifically accurate, just when you wonder how he going to keep the story line going, BAMM be his toy with a surprise and changes the game completely!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very very good
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rmd270 More than 1 year ago
Storyline centers in New Orleans and the Mississippi delta/bayou. Lot's of local flavor and character appeal. The story revolves around genetic engineering of animals and some humanoids in the pursuit to develop a better soldier. As with all Rollins books there is lots of interesting science wrapped around fast paced action. This is not a SIGMA series but the characters are all interesting, believable and as said before really ooze the local color of the bayou region on New Orleans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read several books a week and this by far has to be the best book I've read all year.
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