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Gene [Kindle Edition]

Stel Pavlou
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

A genre-bending tour-de-force.

Part contemporary, hard boiled detective story and part historical epic, Gene is a modern myth. A tale of two mortal enemies reincarnated multiple times over the course of 3,000 years. From New York, to Byzantium, from ancient Rome to the palace of Knossos and the Trojan War. Locked in an endless cycle of revenge for an act of war whose victims have long since turned to dust.

As ever, Pavlou takes us on a jaw-dropping journey through science and history, exploring the disturbing implications of genetic memory, and striking at the heart of what it means to be human. What influences us more - nature or nurture?

Editorial Reviews


'A powerful read'

'It's a great idea, and the synthesis of fantasy and hard SF is surprisingly convincing....Drags you through the pages by the lapel'
SFX magazine

'GENE is a very filmic thriller about immortality and revenge with a tantalising storyline that will grab your attention to the end'
SHOTS magazine

'This really is something different...when so much crime fiction these days is thin, recycled material, this one is the catnip to those seeking the unusual'

About the Author

Stel Pavlou lives in Kent. He has worked in various jobs, received a degree in American Studies and written the script for the film THE 51ST STATE, starring Samuel L Jackson and Robert Carlyle.

Product Details

  • File Size: 770 KB
  • Print Length: 460 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743208595
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Vibrant; First US Edition edition (February 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,922 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite to Decipher's heights June 29, 2005
By ilmk
The author of the sterling first novel, Decipher, is back with a new concept that meshes ancient worlds with modern day New York.

A fight through the aeons has recommenced in downtown New York and the hunt is on.

Gene is the story of Detective James North whose investigation and subsequent chase across midtown of the New York Museum wrecking Gene leads to an explosive story of an ill-fated battle that has raged across our time, originating in the first battle between the Trojan Warrior Cyclades and the Babylonian Magi Athanatos after the latter caused the Trojan War and the death of Cyclades' wife.

After the opening chase where a thousand questions are raised and North finds himself on the receiving end of a needle with an unknown drug Pavlou weaves our story through New York in an attempt to understand who Gene and North really are and how Athanatos is seeking to discover the genetic reasons behind Cyclades reincarnation. Whilst Athanatos has developed an elixir to ensure his memories are passed to his children thus perpetuating himself it is prone to loss of knowledge through imperfect memory experience. Threading through the story are lots of flashbacks to Cyclades' run-ins with Athanatos through the ages, usually with the magus getting the upper hand and a substory of William Porter whose realisation that memory is passed from generation to generation through the male gives rise to a kind of reincarnation. His small assistance of North leads to an explosive showdown between Gene and North as the latter realises that the many other descendants of Cyclades are being murdered as Athanatos seeks to eliminate his enemy and retain only Gene to steal his secret of eternal life.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critically acclaimed for a reason January 18, 2006
I was given a copy of Gene for Christmas and have spent the most fantastic week reading it. Anyone who watches those mega-hit TV shows like Lost, or Cold Case, even CSI will instantly know the format of flashbacks to earlier periods in time occurring throughout the story to give clues to what happened, and to also flesh out the characters and make them rich and believable. Pavlou does that here to seamless effect. As the story progresses, the intertwining of the two main characters' stories become more and more entwined, and as the story probes deeper in time, so we catch glimpses of fantastic periods in history like Rome and Ancient Greece. Pavlou uses language to brilliant effect, and is very visceral at times (perhaps a little too much for some). But his descriptions are so easy to picture and his attention to details is terrific. One word of caution, the ending might not be what you were expecting. Though this is a thriller, there's a deep message to this book about the nature of men, war and revenge, and how it is soul destroying and ultimately meaningless. As a consequence if you don't understand that message, you might not understand the ending. This is a deep book, steeped in psychology and mythology. Even the character's names have mythological significance in the telling of the story. Astounding and inspiring stuff. Not what you'd expect at all based on the author's previous work.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, sweeping epic. July 11, 2005
I was enthralled by this book. The second novel from Pavlou and was captivated from the first line:"I remember the day I died." From there Pavlou unfolds an intricate tale of a cycle of revenge that has lasted 3,000 years between an ancient Greek warrior Cyclades and the Babylonian Magus Athanatos, over the loss of Cyclades' one true love. The tale begins in New York City and NYPD Detective James North but the story unfolds backwards in flashback as North and his adversary uncover their past history together, because although this is a story of reincarnation, it is reincarnation through genetic memory, and memory can be faulty.

Gene is written in such delicious prose, each journy back to Byzantium, Rome, Troy and so forth are drawn with both superb accuracy and a voice I had not expected to find. The characters have tremedous depth and passion and the slow unpicking of each character's psyche as the story unfolds leads to a tremendous glimpse at the debate of nature vurses nurture.

This is a dark and brooding tale, not for the faint of heart, and thoroughly gripping. Highly recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one novel this year..., December 19, 2005
GENE is truly unique.

If the author's first novel, DECIPHER, was akin to the style of Michael Crichton, then his writing style in GENE is quite different; more comparable to Stephen King's later writings.

In any novel, the relationship between author and reader is one based on trust as the reader places his/her trust in the author to take him/her on a journey during which they will share new experiences, tap new emotions, and explore new horizons. And, maybe if they're very fortunate, it will leave them with a couple of new, thought-provoking questions, too.

GENE will do all that, and more, to, you if you'll let it.

The prose is exceptional, the research fastidious, the characters plausible, the dialogue crisp, and the symbolism powerful. It's subtle, but don't miss it because it enriches the panorama without being invasive.

However, GENE will take you to areas dramatic, dark and disturbing as it poses a challenge in the form of a single question, unique to the world of fiction: are our memories genetic? Stay with it, and it will also take you out of those disturbing environs - part of the trust relationship I mentioned earlier.

Above all, because the plotting is meticulous in its structure, it really is exquisite. It isn't purely linear, though it can be. It isn't purely flashback, though it can be. It isn't purely circular, though it can be. Or it can be a combination of all three. But there's another aspect to it that contributes to the uniqueness of GENE; after you've finished it, decide whether the story works better as told, front-to-back, or in reverse order.

GENE is truly unique.

Stel Pavlou hasn't just written a novel, he's directed it as a film-maker might.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars mind *uck
Parents should read this to their kids.
Published 5 months ago by Supreme Chancellor of Man Cave
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoy this book.
Published 5 months ago by Ann Michaels
2.0 out of 5 stars confused
Maybe my brain is just too old but this was rather confusing. Jumping around from times in the past to now. Sometimes I had no idea who was speaking. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Debra Bennett
2.0 out of 5 stars Too dark for me
I didn't get halfway into this book before deciding that it was too gruesome for me. The flash back in particular, I just didn't enjoy much.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of genre-bending art
Gene is a fantastic, genre-bending, thought-provoking, heart-pounding work of art. The story winds through 3,000 years, and I love the way Stel Pavlou's prose changes to suit the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Gene
Although published by a major publisher in the UK, Gene "scared off a lot of editors in the US." After reading it, the reasons are clear. Read more
Published on March 4, 2012 by BigAl
2.0 out of 5 stars Intersting idea - just didnt quite get there
Gene is the story of 2 men linked for thousands of years throughout time, reborn again and again.

I like Stel Pavlou, and I really enjoyed Decipher, so I hunted down a... Read more
Published on February 26, 2012 by Brad
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the "thinkers"!
If you enjoy a fast paced.. THRILLER.. that will introduce you to the mind of a serial killer.. on such a level.. that you are afraid to walk down the street in broad daylight.. Read more
Published on December 5, 2010 by Mamabear Cherei
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think...
Makes you think while you learn. I love novels that have fact along with fiction. This is not for someone struggling to read. Read more
Published on February 5, 2010 by Rebecca Moberly
4.0 out of 5 stars Leaves You Wanting More
This is another new author to me. Is it me, or are the publishing houses giving more opportunities to new authors. Read more
Published on September 12, 2006 by J. Chippindale
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More About the Author

Stel Pavlou makes stuff up for a living. So far he's made up two novels, Decipher and Gene, a movie, The 51st State, some short stories and a collection of other noodlings. He hopes to make a few more things up before anyone catches on and stops him.

Stel is of mixed Anglo-Greek descent, so only fifty percent of his gift giving should be treated with any suspicion.

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