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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.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    103
  • 4 Stars
    63
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    21
  • 2 Stars
    10
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    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    118
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    1
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    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    93
  • 4 Stars
    57
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    22
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    10
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    7
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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 6 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.

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

Australians will be offended ....

.... by the AWFUL Australian accents. Why, why, why choose a book to narrate if it is full of Australians and you can’t do the accent?

But his normal American voice is lovely to listen to and I really loved the story and the characters. Just going to get the second book in the series now!

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

Meh

Based on the rave reviews of others, I would normally just say this one wasn’t for me. But end-of-world pandemic, secret society stuff is right up my alley! So...
I found the narrator not very good at conveying the stress in the moments, and spoke too slowly for the attempted pacing of novel. I found his accents a little off & also inconsistent.
I wasn’t invested in the characters. I enjoyed the flashbacks for back story, although found that the faster paced the “present” got, the longer the flashbacks got, and that delayed too long any attempts to connect the audience to the characters and was annoying in that it broke the pacing of the story.

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

Edge of my seat!

This book was amazing from the beginning until the end. I was so surprised that such a long book could keep me riveted the entire time. I would recommend it to anyone who likes medical drama, mystery, or action. Even love is included. Terrific book!

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

Painful, cliched and boring, with awful characters

Despite a compelling premise and reasonable pace, this one really shocked me with its quality. Every cliche you can imagine, awful characters, meaningless twists that promise revelations that never come and bad writing make this feel like something a high schooler might write as his first novel. A hollow imitation of what a better novel like this should be. A fine pitch, all the pieces you think you need to tell a compelling story mashed together without any talent or care. It’s like Audible read a pitch and didn’t bother editing it before they paid for a top shelf narrator and marketed it as ‘must read’ title. Honestly, I slogged my way through this hoping for a satisfying conclusion or some closure. Got nothing and despite still not having an answer to the big revelations I was promised, I will NOT be reading the sequel. And I already paid for it, so that should give you an idea of how bad this was.

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

Excellent story

Can't wait to read book 2 . Also thought the narrators were excellent interpreting the story.

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

Keeps you wanting more!

I found this book through the recommendation titles and downloaded it it on a whim. I wasn’t disappointed!
A great mix of deep relationships, great narrative depth that kept me hooked!
I was actually happy to hear there was another book in this series and will be following this author and their other titles for sure!!

I’m new to audio books and I don’t have much to compare it too but I know almost anyone would be able to enjoy this book!

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

Not as good as I expected.

I'd say the first three quarters of the book were very entertaining. The narrator was top notch.

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

at first awesome, then downhill

At first, I thought this was an incredibly interesting book. It should have ended half way. The 2nd half is huge character backgrounds of characters and their relatives. 5 hours left and I gave up ... I don't know if they ever got back to the story line.

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

210 of 223 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.

36 of 38 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.

47 of 51 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
  • Orem, UT, US
  • 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 "development". 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.

13 of 14 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.

31 of 35 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
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 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
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 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