Following the fall of Baghdad, two Iraqi boys stumble upon armed men looting the city zoo, opening the floodgates for the smuggling of hundreds of exotic birds, mammals, and reptiles to Western nations. But this crime hides a deeper secret. Amid a hail of bullets, an underground secret weapons lab is ransacked--and something even more horrific is set free. Seven years later, Louisiana state veterinarian Lorna Polk stumbles upon a fishing trawler shipwrecked on a barrier island. The crew is missing or dead, but the boat holds a frightening cargo: a caged group of exotic animals, clearly part of a black market smuggling ring. Yet, something is wrong with these beasts, disturbing deformities that make no sense: a parrot with no feathers, a pair of Capuchin monkeys conjoined at the hip, a jaguar cub with the dentition of a saber-tooth tiger. They also all share one uncanny trait--a disturbingly heightened intelligence.
To uncover the truth about the origin of this strange cargo and the terrorist threat it poses, Lorna must team up with a man who shares a dark and bloody past with her, now an agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, Jack Menard. Together, the two must hunt for a beast that escaped the shipwreck while uncovering a mystery tied to fractal science and genetic engineering, all to expose a horrifying secret that traces back to mankind's earliest roots. But can Lorna stop what is about to be born upon the altar of Eden before it threatens not only the world, but also the very foundation of what it means to be human?
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Angie on 17-08-10
A different kind of James Rollins
As an avid reader/listener of James Rollins I was excited by this new novel. However I nearly abandoned it at the start. It took a few chapters to get into but after that I was hooked. Prefer his Sigma series but still a good author
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Andy Barton on 04-06-13
Top Quality Story - Gripping & Interesting
Brilliant Book - Interesting & Gripping Story. The background & plot is pushing the boundaries of believability - but all the better for it. Likeable & interesting characters. Definitely recommend this book.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Nancy on 12-02-10
The story was typical Rollins and enjoyable. However, the reader has an odd cadence and I found myself re-reading lines in my head because the inflection sounded off. Was I the only one who noticed the lisp? As others have said, be prepared to be occasionally distracted by the reader, but otherwise it's good.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Dawitski on 24-01-10
This was the first audiobook I listened to after the dissapointing "The Lost Symbol" and my second ever female narrated book.
I will give Paula Christensen a 3.5 star for her crisp voice, engaging narration and not so bad attempt at the Cajun accent. Despite there being more male characters than female, I was able to follow all characters with little to no confusion.
This books seems to have a two part story, which I would classify as "The Hunt" and "The survival". Its adventurous, action packed, and scientific. This book is more like a 3.5 than a 3.
I also recommed the "Enhanced" audio version!!!!!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful