by Scott Sigler is 99¢ and you’ve got to pick it up if you like science horror. You’ll find that most of my e-book reviews are positive because I don’t finish bad e-books. I don’t have time. I’m only on this planet for another eighty years or so and there are too many great e-books out there to waste time with duds. Ancestor is one of the great ones.The story begins with a perfectly reasonable attempt to genetically engineer animals that can grow human organs. The animals turn out more carnivorous than expected. The scientists, facility personnel, and nearby townspeople also have to cope with a sadistic chief of security and the freezing cold Lake Superior weather. Also contains: Romance, dismemberment, and a snow mobile chase.
Important things to know about Ancestor: First, if you don’t like blood and gore, this is definitely not the Sigler book for you. If you do, suit up and jump in because this is a visceral story. Second, all of the characters are their own special kinds of insane. In addition to an extremely mad scientist, there are also mad security guards, mad businessmen... Even the otherwise sane people live on an island in the middle of Lake Superior where they are cut off from the rest of the world for half of the winter if they don’t have aircraft available. Third, let me confirm your suspicions on how I find most of my 99¢ e-books by telling you that this one is also available on Podiobooks.com
as a free audio book narrated by the author.
Full disclosure: I like everything Future Dark ∅verlord Sigler’s ever written, and he is a prolific dude. The concept behind Ancestor makes this one of my favorite Sigler stories. Of course we want more organs for more people in need. My uncle needs a kidney and he’s not going to get one anytime soon.
But this scientific endeavor doesn’t go horribly wrong because humans were playing God or for some other preachy, idealistic reason. It goes horribly wrong because of the people involved, and because genetics are so horrendously complicated that any little change in a genome can have unexpected consequences. Everything in the story happens for a logical, interesting reason, not because “this is morally wrong!” or “she’s a woman!” or “there was a series of unfortunate events!”. Although, if you like unfortunate events, this story is full of them.
I highly recommend this book for Michael Crichton fans who appreciate copious violence, explosions, and survival horror.
Watch the Ancestor trailer on YouTube, if you’re so inclined.