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Pandemic

The Extinction Files, Book 1
Written by: A. G. Riddle
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (280 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A deadly outbreak in Kenya. A conspiracy beyond imagination. And a race to save humanity in its darkest hour.

From A. G. Riddle, the worldwide best-selling author of The Atlantis Gene and Departure, comes a novel that will change everything you think you know about pandemics.

A hundred miles north of Alaska, an American Coast Guard vessel discovers a sunken submarine at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. It has no national identification and doesn't match the records of any known vessel. Deep within, researchers find evidence of a scientific experiment that will alter our very understanding of the human race.

In Atlanta, Dr. Peyton Shaw is awakened by the phone call she has dreaded for years. As the CDC's leading epidemiologist, she's among the first responders to outbreaks around the world. It's a lonely and dangerous job, but it's her life - and she's good at it. This time she may have met her match. In Kenya, an Ebola-like pathogen has infected two Americans. One lies at death's door. With the clock ticking, Peyton assembles her team and joins personnel from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the WHO. What they find in the remote village is beyond their worst fears. As she traces the origin of the pathogen, Peyton begins to believe that there is more to this outbreak - that it may be merely the opening act in a conspiracy with far-reaching consequences.

In Berlin, Desmond Hughes awakens in a hotel room with no memory of how he got there or who he is. On the floor he finds a dead security guard from an international pharmaceutical company. His only clue leads him to Peyton Shaw - a woman who seems to know him but refuses to tell him how. With the police searching the city for him, Desmond desperately tries to piece together what happened to him. To his shock and horror, he learns that he may be involved in causing the outbreak - and could hold the only key to stopping it.

As the pathogen spreads around the world, Peyton and Desmond race to unravel the conspiracy behind the pandemic - and uncover secrets some want to keep buried.

©2017 A. G. Riddle (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    132
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    90
  • 3 Stars
    32
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    20
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

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    73
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    28
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    4
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    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    83
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well written and engagingly performed

This story has a similar feel as the Atlantis series. Just plausible enough to be believable: just fantastic enough to work. Sometimes the story seems to slow down, but I never felt disengaged. Riddle uses a great deal of memories / flashbacks. Each is a self contained short story that reveals some essential part of the character. There are a few unexpected twists near the end. Edoardo Bellerini is an excellent reader. Female voices are believable and varied, and accents are consistent. Downloading Extinction Files book 2 right now!

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Listen!<br />

I pass this book by for some time due to the mixed reviews it has gotten. However I found the book quite entertaining ! If you like this sort of sci-fi story line give it a try as you get 18hrs listening. The narration was very good too.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I couldn’t get into this

I know most people would have enjoyed this read, but, I just couldn’t get into this one. I would listen for a while and then go to another book, then return because I had nothing else, then, disappear again until I had no choice. I think some aspects of the book triggered me or made me uncomfortable. I think this reflects more on me than on the book itself.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't get into the story

I usually love stories about the end of the world pandemics but I could get into this story and so, about half way, had to put it away.

The characters are forgettable and so it's hard to connect with them and their story. The plot seems to go nowhere, taking its time getting there. While there were moments where you wondered about something, Riddle's writing is not descriptive enough to keep you wondering.

This was definitely a let-down.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great sorry - we’ll preformed.

I liked Origin by Dan Brown and based on that Audible’s robots recommended this book; they nailed it. I liked the story, writing style and performance. Riddle has a similar descriptive style to Brown and weaves a similarity deep plot although I feel Riddle’s style mixes in less fact (hard to compare with Brown’s deep knowledge of the occult).

I didn’t find by the end that I hand lingering questions so I’ll happily check out book two for closure.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good idea but does not follow through

The pandemic idea was interesting and obviously there was a lot of background research done on the management of an epidemic. But a third through the story, it just becomes too many coincidences piling on top of each other, that make the whole plot loose its credibility.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enticing!

So many twists and turns you'll always keep guessing on whats going to happen next! Real life facts are used throughout this story too

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

needs a good editor

I like long books. They hold the promise of many hours spent in someone else's skin. However, when the long descriptions and many characters don"t advance the story or really contribute to the plot in a meaningful way it is just extra fluff. I lose interest. So it is with this story. I am ready to suspend my belief in reality to some extent for the purpose of entertainment, but there is a limit. A.G. Riddle exceeded that limit. Edouardo Bellerini did a good job reading it. That is what got me through.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too long, poorly written, annoying narration

Very predictable plot twists that are drawn out as if you couldn't possibly guess them but you can.

Tons of stereotypes both gender and racial. Themes of 1. white people being more valuable than Black Africans because white people are the scientists and doctors of the world and that knowledge is held by them alone. 2. Women fall in love only once per lifetime and then sacrifice everything for mediocre men.

Narrator uses russian accent for Brazilians. These Brazilians are portrayed by the author as stereotypical Latin American revolutionaries, even though they live in the favelas of Brasil which has a very different culture than the rest of South America.

Finally it was just WAY TOO LONG. By the end, I just wanted the pandemic to win and wipe out everyone, especially the annoying as fuck main characters.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but hard to track the story

I was interested at first. But the story jumps back and forth between present time and the past, and between perspectives of different characters. A significant portion of the book is in the past, describing how the various characters fit into the overall scheme of the current situation. For a lot of this, I wasn't really listening, because the story wasn't sustaining my interest. When my attention returned fully to the story, I had no idea who many of the characters were, how they fit into the story, and how they connected to each other. I'd missed their histories. I wasn't interested enough to back up and fill in the gaps. It was obvious that everyone, and all of the situational details came together into a tidy package. So I felt lost, not knowing enough to fit all of the pieces together. When starting the book, I thought I might check out the rest of the series. Now I'm certain that I won't.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bradley
  • 2017-06-23

Read this before buying, too much hype

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator was great. I have no complaints about him at all. The problem with this book is that there is literally an hour of plot and 17 hours of "character development". The premise is extremely interesting, but this isn't a case of bad execution, its a case of NO execution. This is a book where millions of people die of a virus, the world is attempted to be taken over by a secret organization, but the ONLY mention of the public and how they react is the hospital being messy. Seriously? I get that you need to leave some things for the next two books, but that doesn't mean you ONLY do character development in book one.

What was most disappointing about A. G. Riddle’s story?

That its missing a story, I get that its the first book in a trilogy, but we don't need to be beaten over the head with why the characters are the way they are. Character development is great, but in this case its taken way too far. For example one character had a troubled youth, and it effected his relationships etc... Well that is explained to us about 20 times and takes up probably 6-7 hours of the book. Its interesting the first time, but to make the same point over and over just distracts from the plot, we get hes messed up we get why, now PLEASE get back to the plot. On top of that there are important characters who are messed up primarily the main bad guy! (granted we are introduced to them towards the end of the book, but whose fault is that?)

All of the people raving about this book either haven't read it or are just fanboys because of his previous series, which I enjoyed but did suffer from some of the same issues. No where near as bad though.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Extremely disappointed, although I do believe this series will get better.

218 of 231 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mike From Mesa
  • 2017-07-08

Too hard to swallow

This is not the first A G Riddle book I have read - that was The Atlantis Gene - but it is likely to be the last. While I found The Atlantis Gene long, tedious and a bit boring, Pandemic is a mixture of interesting character development and an incredibly complicated plot. We are asked to believe that one of the characters set up such a complex set of hoops for himself to jump through that it was hard for me as a reader to follow them, but that the character was then able to get through those hoops successfully. I am willing to suspend belief up to a point, but this book passed that point as soon as the entire plot came into clarity as one of the main characters began to remember what was going on. I am sorry, but it would be just too much for me to swallow even if I believed that science could identify individual memories in a person’s brain and sequester them without doing the same to the neighboring memory. I would be more specific but I try to never include spoilers in my reviews.

Some of the book is quite interesting as we find out about the history of the individuals involved, but that takes up a small part of an incredibly long story which I would have found far more interesting if it had been subject to some decent editing. This might well have been a good 11 or 12 hour book, but 19 hours is just too long for this story and I lost interest about half way through. I almost gave up on it and moved to the next book in my wish list, but thought that if I waited long enough perhaps something worthwhile might show up. I was wrong and, as an added bonus, this is the first book in a series.

On the positive side, the narration was quite good with distinct voices, regional accents and an involved narrator. A pity the book was not up to the quality of the narrator.

42 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tara Nickoloff
  • 2017-07-01

Boring and not plausible.

struggled to finish. it was just kinda boring. Too much back - from- the - dead silly coincidences.

49 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Trudy Owens
  • 2017-06-30

a technology twist to a familiar plot

It was interesting most of the way through, then when the technology entered in, it got a bit unbelievable. The wrap up at the end is simplistic and pat. Even then, not everything is resolved so a sequel is required and guaranteed. And it's hard to decide how to feel about some of the people. It was hard to keep some of the characters clear; their names are even too similar--Elliott, Elim, Milam. Elliott started out in an important position and then lost it, so it was not clear why he was important to the story.

Mr. Ballerini does well of course, but the women's voices weren't always clear.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Eric Cooper
  • 2017-07-31

I hit chapter 74 and could not take it anymore...

Would you try another book from A. G. Riddle and/or Edoardo Ballerini?

Probably not based on this massive waste of time.

What was most disappointing about A. G. Riddle’s story?

Has anybody seen the missing plot? Anybody? At Chapter 74 and still no plot. But my head hurts from the excessively repeated character &quot;development&quot;. Enough already! This is the problem with books that are planned as a series. Way too much time is spent stretching things out.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

He could have read twice as fast. It's my own fault for not doubling the speed. That might have helped the reader sound better doing female voices. He was horrible at that. It was very distracting.

Could you see Pandemic being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Definitely a TV series. In fact, I think it was written with that in mind so that episodes could stretch through 5 seasons...

Any additional comments?

I am going to start giving more weight to negative Amazon reviews and less to 5 star reviews. Obviously, there is a taste issue going on here.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sally Filler
  • 2017-06-24

Creighton it is NOT

Someone said in a review "equal to Creighton" NOT EVEN CLOSE. The mistakes regarding routine medical treatment, science/biology in general are so annoying as to disrupt thee story entirely. For example the incorrect sequence using an AED, lack of understanding of consequences of smoke inhalation the list is endless. The action scenes were ok but really the whole storyline was poorly executed.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-09-21

Please End. I ended it with 15 mins left!

80% of book excellent. Last 20% was impossible made possible way to much coincidental events. Ending so unbearable and unreachable i pulled the plug with 15 mins left.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ms. Louise H. Harvey
  • 2017-06-26

Boring and dragged out

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A story

Would you ever listen to anything by A. G. Riddle again?

Nope

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator was the only redeeming part

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment - there was so much hype about the book

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Conly
  • 2017-06-25

Extremely silly-as if written as a parody

No character development, incoherent plot, ridiculous coincidences--like a chain novel in which the authors of each successive chapter try to outdo the others in terms of trite dialogue and meaningless action ( "We had guns and missiles in the last chapter--now let's have guns, missiles, bombs, and a plane running out of gas!")

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tatiana
  • 2017-06-25

Very engaging book.

I wish it were a bit shorter and had less plot lines. Edoardo Ballerini is,as always,at his best with a great performance.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful