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Ancestor: A Novel Paperback – June 7, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Sigler's timely tale of science run amok, Genada, a renegade biotech firm, is striving to synthesize a proto-mammal similar to the prehistoric entity that all mammalian life sprang from as a source of transplantable organs that the human body won't reject. Pressured for results before the government shuts down her lab, the firm's lead medico, Liu Jian Den, introduces something unorthodox into the creature's genome. The result: oversized and ravenously hungry embryos that eat their way out of the bovine wombs incubating them. A small band of scientists wind up trapped with the creatures on a Lake Superior island, where they become the prey of predators that pose a threat to life as we know it. Sigler (Contagious) stuffs his story with an overabundance of speculative science, but the cinematic pacing keeps the action relentless and suspenseful. Its many pulpy flourishes notwithstanding, this is that rare horror B-movie of a thriller that compels reading until the final page. 10–15-city author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Sigler, the author of the splendid alien-invasion thrillers Infected (2008) and Contagious (2009), veers off into new territory, with a tremendously entertaining horror novel about a motley group of genetic researchers, their maniacal sponsor, and the stalwart government agent who’s determined to shut them down. The premise is thought-provoking: the researchers are trying to engineer an ancient human ancestor so it can be bred and its organs harvested for transplantation. The researchers get their ancestor, but let’s just say they get a bit more than they bargained for. Soon blood and bedlam are everywhere on a small island in Lake Superior. Sigler populates the novel with a lively cast of characters (unlike many thrillers, the heroes are as interesting as the villains), and the action is virtually nonstop—and, at times, quite graphic. If you combined Michael Crichton’s scientific exploration with Matthew Reilly’s lightning-fast pace and colorful characters, you might get something that feels like this book, which, incidentally, would make a great movie. --David Pitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307591018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307591012
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler is the creator of fifteen novels, six novellas and dozens of short stories. His works are available from Crown Publishing and Del Rey Books.

In 2005, Scott built a large online following by releasing his audiobooks as serialized podcasts. A decade later, he still gives his stories away -- for free -- every Sunday at scottsigler.com. His loyal fans, who named themselves "Junkies," have downloaded over thirty-five million individual episodes. He has been covered in Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, io9, Wired, The Huffington Post, Business Week and Fangoria.

Scott is the co-founder of Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his Galactic Football League YA series. He lives in San Diego, CA, with his wee little dog Reesie.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By B. Copenhaver on May 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review os for the new edition of "Ancestor," due out June 22, 2010. You can pre-order now!
I listened to the original podcast of "Ancestor" some time ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This version (June 22, 2010) is even better.

The basic premise is that a company has funded a project to create an animal that would be bred for organ transplantation. An 'ancestor' that would avoid the problems of rejection by combining genes from many, many mammalian species - bot halive and extinc. A fine, humanitarian mission. Of course, when you have huge amounts of money on the line add human egos and frailties and put that in a pressure cooker, bad things are sure to happen.

The plot is tighter in this version and even though there's plenty of science, it doesn't bog down the action. Once I had a day off, I finished the final two-thirds of the book in one day.

Mr. Sigler creates facinating characters and great dialog. He's at the top of his game here. There are villains and monsters and heros -- all fully fleshed out so that you can't wait to find out who lives and who meets with (a sometimes grisly) death. No, I won't spoil the suspense, you have to read it for yourselves.

If you like action, if you like science fiction, if you like some blood and gore with your stories -- Mr. Sigler is your author (and FDO) and the new "Ancestor" is a must-have. If you don't already have "Infected" and "Contagious" go ahead and get all three, Amazon has a deal that will save you some $$ and you will love these books.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Christiana Ellis on April 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are a fan of science fiction monsters then you seriously owe it to yourself to check out Scott Sigler's Ancestor. Everything starts with real science, taken just a step or two further. Then come the crazy characters, and THEN come the Ancestors, one of the most original science fiction monsters I've read about in a long time. You'll never look at cows the same way again. I absolutely loved this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Pilato on April 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ancestor: A Novel

I have never read anything bad by Scott Sigler and Ancestor is the cream of the crop! From the second I picked this book up, I had to know what was going to happen. Ancestor kept me turning page after page, long into the night. I wanted to cover my eyes to hide from what was coming next but couldn't put the book down until I knew!

The science of Sigler is phenomenal and fascinating. I am not a biologist, a chemist, or any other kind of -ist; however the concepts are thorough and clearly laid out, and in such a way that even I can understand what is going on and how things work. The incredible detail really draws you into the story and makes it all the more real. If I find myself in a dark forest (or a cow pasture) any time soon I'll most certainly be looking over my shoulder!

And the thing I like best? Scott Sigler writes characters I really care about. My stomach turns when something bad happens, or even when I think it might, and I am genuinely relieved when things turn out okay. The bad guys are really, really bad and I keep hoping they'll get what's coming to them (though I won't tell you if they do or not!). The good guys are not only good, they're also human; with flaws and faults all their own. That's part of what makes me care so much about what happens to them.

Any fan of edge-of-your-seat excitement, action, thrills, science, horror and gore needs to add this book to their collection!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Xenophanes on April 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent story. It keeps you engaged and thinking. It is all wrapped in a package about a very plausible and scary use of biotechnology. All who love biotechnology, monsters, or plain action should snap this up. Be forewarned that it is difficult to just read one Sigler novel. You will be coming back for more!
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71 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 1, 2007
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What I love about Scott Sigler's stories is that they grab your attention and don't let go until you close the book. Creative characters, blood thirsty monsters and plot twists that would make Stephen King proud! This is a book to add to your library! Get it now.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Bruce on May 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is for the new hardcover edition of ANCESTOR slated for bookstores in June of 2010. Ancestor: A Novel

The new hardcover edition of ANCESTOR follows the same plot line as the original. A group of scientist are charged with creating an animal whose organs can be used for Xenotransplantation. The ultimate goal is to provide organs for the growing list of individuals awaiting organ transplants. To reduce the incident of organ rejections the scientists are trying to create an animal, the Ancestor to all mammals. In the process of creating this animal, something goes terrible wrong.

In the latest version of ANCESTOR, Mr. Sigler has included prior interactions among the main characters that helps the reader to better understand the underlying dynamics that are occurring. Indeed, I have grown to love some characters that I had no emotional feelings about in the original version of ANCESTOR.

Additionally, the science in the new version of ANCESTOR has been upgraded and strengthened to reflect the current scientific knowledge regarding Xenotransplantation and cloning of whole animals which has grown in the past 3 years. Mr. Sigler incorporates characters who are altruistic in their desires and those who are only in the process for the greedy, money end of the deal. The conflict that ensues from these two competing viewpoints is well played out in the book. In my opinion, the plot line is much tighter and the overall general flow of the book is better. Clearly Mr. Sigler has benefited from his contract with Crown Publishing, their editors and agents. He is well on his way to being one of the top Science Fiction/Horror writers. Well done!
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