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Origin (The Konrath Dark Thriller Collective Book 2) Kindle Edition
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One hundred years later, a team of scientists gather at an underground facility in New Mexico to determine what this being is--the most amazing discovery in the history of mankind--and how it has managed to survive. A biologist will analyze its structure. A veterinarian will study its behavior. A linguist will translate its language. But even the greatest minds in the world can not answer one inescapable question: Could this ancient creature, this mockery of God and nature, actually be the ancient demon known as . . . the Beast?
ORIGIN by J.A. Konrath
Hell is about to break loose...
From bestselling author J.A. Konrath comes a tense and thrilling exploration into the mysteries of life and death, good and evil, and the original source of our darkest fears . . .
Praise for J.A. Konrath's bestselling thrillers
"CONSTANT THRILLS AND CHILLS."--Heather Graham
If you are a more sensitive (or adventurous) reader, the Konrath scale rates specific categories from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) to give you some idea if this is your kind of book.
ORIGIN by JA Konrath
Scary - 6
Violent - 7
Funny - 5
Sexy - 4
Crossover - Characters also appear in the Jack Daniels Thriller series and Jack Daniels and Associates Mystery series
From the Publisher
This Is The Good Stuff You've Been Looking For
WHAT MAKES GREAT HORROR
Checklist For Readers
- Can't Put It Down
- Give You Nightmares
- Great Villains
- Freaks You Out
- Heroes To Root For
- Emotional Impact
- Fantastic Ending
Strap in tight, because this is going to be one helluva ride...
The Dark Thriller Collective
Thrills, Chills, & Suspense Galore
Do you like your thrillers on the Dark Side?
Do you like a few scares along with your suspense?
Do you like books that make you turn on the light and check to see if the doors are locked?
Do you like really morbid humor?
Welcome to the Dark Thriller Collective...
You'll grip the book so hard you'll break your own fingers...
"It's the best piece of fiction I've read in several years. It simply NEVER lets up." - James Rollins, author of The Last Odyssey
"Fast and ferocious, this is a dangerous thriller that will take a bite out of you." - Jonathan Maberry, author of V-Wars
"Bring on the sequel!" - BookPage
"A startling novel, from its thrilling onset to horrific closing pages." - Michael Laimo, author of Dead Souls
"Oozes with stylistic violence." - Shots.uk
"A bloody, terrifying, hurtling assault across a landscape of non-stop mayhem. A guilty, guilty pleasure." - F. Paul Wilson, author of The Keep
"An absolutely relentless nightmare. Horror fans will be wiping blood out of their eyes with glee." - Jeff Strand, author of Pressure
"Fans of gross-out horror will love it." - Publishers Weekly
"You'll probably need a shrink when you're done." - Edward Lee, author of The Backwoods
From the Author
For the completists, or those with a bit of obsessive/compulsiveness, or the folks that just like my stuff and want to know how it all connects, I have a lot of recurring characters and intertwined series. If you need to know the best reading order, or how to make sure you haven't missed anything, check out the bibliography page on my website. You can also visit there to see when a new title will be released.
If you're just looking for a quick checklist, here are my main series.
These do not have to be read in any particular order, but I encourage you to read them all.
JACQUELINE "JACK" DANIELS THRILLERS
#8-Stirred (with Blake Crouch)
Bonus #2.5-Lady 52 (with Jude Hardin)
JACK DANIELS AND ASSOCIATES MYSTERIES
#1-Dead On My Feet
#2-Jack Daniels Stories Vol. 1
#3-Shot Of Tequila
#4-Jack Daniels Stories Vol. 2
#6-Serial Killers Uncut (with Blake Crouch)
#7-Jack Daniels Stories Vol. 3
#9-Jack Daniels Stories Vol. 4
THE KONRATH DARK THRILLER COLLECTIVE
#9-What Happened To Lori
#12-Close Your Eyes
Bonus #4.5-Holes in the Ground (with Iain Rob Wright)
Bonus #5.5-Draculas (with Blake Crouch, Jeff Strand, F. Paul Wilson)
Bonus #6.5-Grandma? (with Talon Konrath)
CODENAME: CHANDLER (Ann Voss Peterson & JA Konrath)
#7-Fix (with F. Paul Wilson)
STOP A MURDER PUZZLE BOOKS
#1-How: Puzzles 1-12
#2-Where: Puzzles 13-24
#3-Why: Puzzles 25-36
#4-Who: Puzzles 37-48
#5-When: Puzzles 49-60
Stop A Murder Complete Cases (Book 1-5)
65 Proof - Collected Short Stories
The Globs Of Use-A-Lot 3 (With Dan Maderak)
Ann Voss Peterson & Joe Konrath writing as Melinda DuChamp
MAKE ME BLUSH series
#1-Kinky Secrets Of Mister Kink
#2-Kinky Secrets Of Witches
#3-Kinky Secrets Of Six & Candy
#1-Kinky Secrets Of Alice In Wonderland
#2-Kinky Secrets Of Alice Through The Looking Glass
#3-Kinky Secrets Of Alice At The Hellfire Club
#4-Kinky Secrets Of Alice Vs. Dracula
#5-Kinky Secrets Of Alice Vs. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
#6-Kinky Secrets Of Alice Vs. Frankenstein
#7-Kinky Secrets Of Alice's Christmas Special
#1-Kinky Secrets Of Jezebel And The Beanstalk
#2-Kinky Secrets Of Puss In Boots
#3-Kinky Secrets Of Goldilocks
#1-The Sexperts - Kinky Grades Of Shay
#2-The Sexperts - Kinky Secrets Of The Pearl Necklace
#3-The Sexperts - Kinky Secrets Of The Alien
- ASIN : B00264FT0Y
- Publication date : April 8, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 4572 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 385 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #300,918 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
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2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: The premise and the pace.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Roller coaster.
Worth the money.
2.2. What I did not like: The hanging ending. It cries for a sequel. And Dr Frank Belgium.
2.3. Who I think is the audience: Science fiction fans. Horror fans. Techno-thriller fans.
2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read? Regarding language and sex, yes. Regarding the scenes of feeding and killing, no. Your call.
2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Yes.
2.6. The plot in a nutshell:
Suppose the gov't found Satan unconscious and hid him away in an underground facility in New Mexico to study him. And he just woke up.
Andrew 'Andy' Dennison, a linguist, is spirited away to Samhain -- a TOP SECRET facility in the New Mexico desert -- to aid a veterinarian, two scientists, a rabbi, a priest, and an army general study an alien being. The alien being looks like Satan: wings, hooves, all the stuff you expect from viewing the work of Hieronymous Bosch. But they call him Bub. Short for Beelzebub.
All the people in the facility are brilliant at what they do. They are also flawed. So what happens?
Satan tempts them.
Satan gains his freedom from his cell. Kills the people in ways I had never imagined. Fights like a demon to escape Samhaim before the President nukes it.
Andy, Sun (the veterinarian and now Andy's girlfriend), and Dr Frank Belgium escape. Bub drags his radiation-burned body to the surface, confronts them, and expires. Sort of. I mean, how do you kill the Devil?
First thing I gotta say is that I wanted Frank Belgium dead, and I was disappointed that he did not die horribly. Had Konrath killed him, I would have rated Origin five stars.
Stuart Woods is a master of pacing. By line and by chapter, nobody does pacing better. I now believe that Konrath is his equal. The pacing of this work is fast enough that it kept me from thinking, "Hey, what about this?"
I may be mistaken, but I recall Konrath wrote that he is an atheist. Thus, I was surprised at the heroism of the rabbi and the priest.
Speaking of dead bodies, why is Satan commonly portrayed as an ugly monster? He was a fallen archangel, right? So he should be strikingly attractive, should he not?
The premise was fascinating - The U.S. government, while under President Teddy Roosevelt, finds a sleeping demon complete with cloven-hoofed feet, wings and horns, that they decide could be Satan, and the fools naturally want to put it in a cage to research everything they can about the creature.
A huge underground top-secret facility is built in the middle of the desert to house and study it.
Over the next hundred+ years the staff at the Samhain facility examine and experiment however they can, even attempting to break genetic code all while the beast, whom is dubbed "Bub", slumbers away in its big Plexiglas chamber until one day it wakes - and it wants to talk.
The demon-thing Bub is alert and animated, verbalizing; spewing forth an unfamiliar antediluvian chatter.
An ancient language specialist is brought in to translate on its behalf, much to its delight.
Bub the demon WANTS to talk, it even wants to perform some miracles but most of all, it wants OUT.
This was my first Konrath book as well as the first eBook I ever downloaded after getting my Kindle for Android app installed, and though this book was free at the time at the author's website, I decided to pay the $2.99 it cost to download it through Amazon because I believe in showing support for self-published/self-marketed authors, particularly eBook authors.
The plot summary had an interesting enough concept to me to want to at least offer a few bucks for it, and I needed to learn how to do the eBook thing anyway.
Well, I was in for a surprise because reading this little gem was definitely worth the money.
You'll find interesting characters such as the resident theologians; the equally incisive rabbi and priest who exchange snappy dialogue, and I liked that the characters each had their own shortcomings, some being morally damaged, which is the reason why they were all chosen for the team and could inadvertently be their undoing.
Religion is debated and some arresting questions on humanity's origins are raised for our characters.
Also, I think monster fans will find Bub the demon to be surprisingly likable.
My summary -
PROS: It is a captivating, lightweight and fast-paced read that I would recommend to anyone wanting a good horror-thrill ride. I don't enjoy really graphic violence, and while this story does have *A LOT* of gore and a high body count, it moved along quickly enough to where it wasn't stuck in a loop of mindless carnage, and honestly, Bub the demon eating scenes were pretty great and creepy. For a self-published novel, and definitely for the price, it was definitely satisfactory.
CONS: I'm not sure why its dubbed a Technothriller, its definitely NOT, imo, and I think that label was misused. The pacing was a tad bit off, sometimes it was too slow, other times too fast. While the characters each came from interesting backgrounds that created their personality and perspective flaws, I wasn't able to really care for them since I found their personalities to be just too underdeveloped, perhaps because there were so many on the team. Despite the interesting concepts, the story-telling was somewhat transparent and templated.
WHAT I LIKED BEST: It was *easy* to imagine this story played out as a great thriller-horror flick, which added to the reading fun!
All in all, for me, Origin is one of those stories that, much like a dish that tastes better reheated the next day, you grow to appreciate it later for it's originality.
Recommended for horror-scifi fans interested in demons, government secrets and theology. Not recommended for those with a weak stomach, as Bub does have quite the appetite.
Top reviews from other countries
J.A. Konrath, who also writes as Jack Kilborn is a well established author of novels which span the genres of Horror, Science-Fiction, Mystery and Techo-Thrillers and it was the recent reading of `Draculas' to which he was a contributing author that led me to search out other of his creations that I may have missed. ORIGIN was one such and is a real gem.
When linguist Andrew Dennison is virtually kidnapped by the American Secret Service at the specific command of the President he finds himself taken to a ultra secret underground establishment in the desert staffed by a team of social and scientific experts; all of whom are misfits in the outside world. Their task is to examine a creature which has been secretly held at the bunker like facility since 1906 and to try to figure out if it is a real live demon or perhaps even Satan Himself. At the beginning the creature seems benign and co-operative but soon the situation changes and, and the team are fighting for their lives and the lives of everyone on the planet.
The story is a refreshing change and since it was originally written in the late 1990s has retained a lot of the style and energy of that era. This is no handsome demon racked with guilt but a full on lying, murderous, undying monster bent on world destruction. The story is full of action, tension, demons, monsters and the threat of nuclear destructions, a fast paced thriller which I found hard to put down until I had read it through to the end, which I did. I find that I am now at an age where I do not need much sleep but still quickly get bored when I am awake and so spend most nights reading or watching movies. I got through this novel in a single sitting with only one break for liquid in and out.
Another great story from Konrath/Kilborn, I am amazed that the author states he was unable to sell this book when it was newly written, but I have now downloaded the Kindle Edition and will definitely add this to my `read again' file.
The novel was actually written in 1999 under the pseudonym of Jack Kilborn and is described as a `Technothriller'. No spoilers will follow, but in brief, Andrew Dennison, a translator and a polyglot, is recruited by the President of the United States to work at an underground, top secret government research facility in the middle of the desert. A `demon' is kept at close guard in the facility, where he had been lying comatose for nearly a century. But he has now woken up and Andrew Dennison is needed to act as an interpret or translator. I won't go into too much detail but of course, things don't quite go according to plan.
At first I wasn't too sure about this story; it was a bit slow to start with. I was, however, intrigued by the references to linguistics in the plot; different languages are mentioned at several points within the narrative and I thought it was quite unusual to have a male character who was specialist in that field. The `demon', who is referred to as `Bub', didn't seem very frightening to me - in fact, I found him quite ridiculous. However, humour is one of Konrath's trademarks and there was an underlying menace in the `monster' that kept me on my toes. By the time I was half-way through the book (it's quite short, at about 300 Kindle pages) I couldn't put it down, and I had to stay up until 2:00 A.M. to finish it.
Of course this is - as another reviewer here pointed out - a `popcorn' read. It's entertainment and it doesn't try to be particularly deep, although I would argue that it does manage to raise a few interesting questions on the origins of humanity, on religion and on the power of our beliefs (I'll shut up now - no spoilers!). It has a distinctively cinematic quality to it and I wasn't surprised when I subsequently read in the afterword to `Origin' that the author had originally come up with the idea of the book as `Jurassic Park meets The Exorcist'. The snappy dialogue, the predictable romantic interest, the fast paced action - all essential ingredients adding to the `movie' experience. In fact, if there is a movie producer browsing Amazon right now, may I suggest that they option this book and start turning it into a script?
This was the second book of Konrath's that I have read - I am definitely going to read more of his work. It's fun and fast-paced but by no means dumb.
PS - As 'extras', the book contains excerpts to two further novels: 'Disturb' and 'Beneath'.
Great blend of weird but damaged characters, which is my first niggle because if "you" seriously had this terrifying secret you needed to keep would you allow that calibre of person to be responsible for it? With no other military presence?
But then I guess there would be no real failure in procedure and the story would be pretty boring!
I enjoyed the relationships between all of them but really found the holies annoying with their religious double speak although you could feel the depth of research that JAK had done within the language element and the biology as it just oozes off the page. However the biblical pondering goes on way too long and I found myself skipping some of the genome waffle as it did not really enhance the story at all, IMO.
One of the main characters is a linguist; however as soon as he walks into the room with Bub, the demon decides to speak English! Kind of negates his need to be there really and think he could have been expanded much further in reading of the casket etc I feel that JAK merely skimmed the surface of what could have been a very in depth and complex story line.
Another brilliant description yet niggle was the "facility" it was so huge yet had no staff; who did the maintenance? When they dropped off food who did the unloading? What about humans needing sunlight to live? And could they not have had a hydroponics unit for fresh food?
Humour is one of JAK trademarks but im not sure he meant Bub to be quite so "cute" - I did not really find him terrifying so was nose wrinkling when I read the "reactions" of the team when they first meet him, or maybe I just read too much horror.
I wish JAK had expanded on his history a little more, maybe played with Bubs inner dialogue more. Don't get me wrong he is no huggable, fluffy demon, he has his gorefest moments but felt there could have been more.
Other reviews have suggested that this is a "popcorn" book and I would be disappointed to know that his how JAK intended it, as the basic concept is pretty awesome and possibly could have been executed a bit better with a longer novel. It does have some interesting arguments about the beginnings of humanity and our need for religion and where all the legends stem from.
The windup to escape is pretty tense as no character is safe, which is always good in a novel, although how you can put up with that much physical injury and still climb a ladder amazes me, but sometimes you need to suspend belief.
My final niggle is the internal bombs, why does Bub just not dig them out sooner? I dislike when authors just suddenly blag a bit or change a basic function of a character to help them out of a jammy bit of storyline; that's so Hollywood.
Overall I really loved this book, the ending is pretty awesome and I really look forward to a sequel. This would make a great film, as the action is all very visual and the time line is pretty straight, with maybe a few flashbacks.
However, the story loses its flow and cohesion from around the middle onward, and takes on more of a horror slant rather abruptly, and from there on in becomes rather trite and James Herbert-esque, with less depth, and the loss of its earlier promise.
Origin has a strong concept and opens with a strong start, but I feel that more could have been done with this fairly unique idea, and the story could have been taken in any one of many much more promising directions than it ultimately took.
Origin is very readable and keeps you turning the pages until the end, but I feel that the story lost its momentum and direction part way through and instead went tangentially off in a well tried-and-tested but fairly unimaginative "monster threatens the fate of humanity and is fought by a small team of misfits and civilians against all odds" style, which made me feel that the writer either lost interest in the story or ran out of steam after the initial few chapters.
I've read (and rate) a number of Graham Masterton's novels and I think this compares admirably with those: and is way better than a lot of self-styled 'technothrillers' that really don't feature the quality of writing present in Origin.
Original, great characterisation, superbly judged touches of humour, conspiracy and romance - probably just a hint of Resident Evil - great entertainment and worth substantially more than the the low-price ticket for Kindle. I'll be reading more of Mr Konrath's writing in the coming weeks as it's rare that I'll read any novel at only two sittings, but I only put this one down as I fell asleep in bed! Highly recommended!