When I first picked up The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle I was absolutely fascinated by the premise. It seemed like something that I would absolutely love. Essentially, most summaries of the book read that humanity was nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago and this book tells us why we weren’t. And also it claims to come up with the idea of the origin of humanity. Two concepts that had me gripped!
The Atlantis Gene does a good enough job at exploring these areas and providing you with not only an enjoyable journey but also some confident-sounding science behind the journey.
Plot – 4/5
Geneticist Kate Warner and agent David Vale are the two main protagonists on a journey that explores the evolution of humanity which ends up in them getting embroiled in a dark millennium-old secret. It’s a story where I can’t really give away too much of the plot as a lot of it focuses on secrets and theories that would spoil your enjoyment. Just know this book brought huge Dan Brown vibes – clearly A.G. Riddle has done a lot of research for this book and there is even a page he’s uploaded to his website that gives information on what’s fact and what’s fiction within the novel.
Like Dan Brown’s novels, The Atlantis Gene will grip you. It drops cliffhangers and little snippets of information that will keep you turning the page. Again, in a similar vein to Dan Brown’s book, it offers you these wonderful scientific or historical “revelations” that make you sit back and think: “damn, could that have really happened?” This is far more scientific than Dan Brown’s novels who focus more on history. Also, A.G. Riddle doesn’t quite throw the facts at you at quite the same rate that Dan Brown does – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Characters – 3.5/5
There are two main characters in this novel, Kate Warner and David Vale – neither of whom have the largest of personalities and neither of whom really drew me in. Similar to Dan Brown’s novels (sorry to keep bringing them up but once the comparison has been made, I may as well keep using it) I don’t think these books were written to be character-driven, they’re all about the mystery and the plot.
One thing I did appreciate though was the different views that A.G. Riddle used. One event would take place and we’d see the end of an event as the beginning of another viewpoint which I found quite refreshing – it gave an element of perceiving the events from two different points of view.
Summary – 4/5
The Atlantis Gene set its bar high with its blurb, it mostly managed to accomplish the highs that it sets out and I hear the sequels and other books by A.G. Riddle do a far better job than this, so I look forward to reading those. If you enjoy a mysterious book that ventures into science and history, you’ll definitely enjoy Atlantis Gene. However, I must add, if you’re looking for either a character-driven book or a poetic masterpiece, you won’t find either of those here.