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Ancestor: A Novel Hardcover – June 22, 2010
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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.
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
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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!
Ancestor tells the story of a good idea gone bad - TERRIBLY BAD! Although the creatures are the stuff of nightmares - and believe me, I'll never look at a cow the same way again - the really scary thing is that at its roots, the story is not all science "fiction". Let's just hope the genius genetic scientists that are messing with DNA read this book before it's too late!
If you don't already know, Scott Sigler releases all his books as free podcasts (which you can subscribe to on iTunes). I was lucky enough to hear the original podcast version of Ancestor in its entirety after it was released. In a way, it was a good thing for me that I was turned on to Scott Sigler later in his career as I was able to listen to the entire podcast at my own pace - breakneck! The story was just that good!
And now, Mr. Sigler, or Future Dark Overlord as he's known to his rabid fans - who call themselves Junkies - has gone and taken the story and made it all that much better. It's been updated so that some of the minor references and more important technological advances are current for 2010 and it's sleeker, scarier and more fast-paced than ever before.
If you like sci-fi, horror, thrillers, medical dramas, blood and guts and non-stop action then this story is for you. So pre-order it now, and while you're waiting, I suggest you become a registered Junkie on scottsigler.com where you can find and listen to Nocturnal (my personal Sigler favorite), Infected, Contagious, Earthcore, The Rookie and all of the other free Sigler content there. And soon you'll find that you are a Junkie too!