Cole McBride makes a chilling discovery while investigating a mysterious disease causing the deaths of endangered mountain gorillas in war-torn central Africa.
When a humanitarian aid hospital nearby diagnoses a disturbingly similar human case, the former Special Forces veterinarian knows he must figure out how to stop this outbreak from spreading--before it blows up into a global pandemic.
Halfway across the continent, a massive cargo ship moves out of Sudan's largest port. Buried deep within its hold is one container of urgent significance for its buyer in the Persian Gulf.
And back in Washington, D.C., the owner of a Lebanese restaurant a stone's throw from the White House finds a cryptic message in the Drafts folder of his e-mail inbox.
It's one week before Independence Day, and an unpopular president is preparing to host America's biggest celebration in years. There's just one small problem: he's not the only one with plans for the holiday.
With the woman he loves sick and close to death, Cole puts his own life on the line in a race against time to discover the truth behind the outbreak's origin--a truth that will link it to one of humanity's most ancient plagues and threaten the very heart of America.
This is how it happened.
©2015 Elliott Garber (P)2015 Elliott Garber
"Elliott Garber's debut thriller The Chimera Sequence has everything I love in a novel: great characters, a thrill ride of an adventure, and a looming global menace. But best of all, the story hooked me from the first intriguing page to the last illuminating line. I can't wait to see what this guy writes next!" (James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of the The Sixth Extinction)
"Elliott Garber has delivered a high-stakes thriller that will earn your attention with clean, clear prose and a solid grasp of global geopolitics. The Chimera Sequence is terrifyingly realistic, chock-full of research that rings as true as today's headlines." (Bob Mayer, former Green Beret and New York Times bestselling author)
"I couldn't put down Garber's engaging, rapid-paced, action-packed thriller. His riveting first novel benefits greatly from his experience as an Army veterinarian who has worked with a variety of unlikely animals around the world. The book even features important appearances from a military dog, a Secret Service dog, and a tracker bloodhound. What's not to love?" (Maria Goodavage, New York Times bestselling author of Top Dog and Soldier Dogs)
This book was generously provided to me by the Author in Audible format in exchange for an honest review. Of which I will try to do my best.
On first listen Neil Shah has a lovely seductive voice but it’s very slow and dragged out. I listen at 1.25x speed and it was still slow! On top of that the narrator’s having trouble with the South African accent of which I’m very familiar with. So every time Marna Van Wyk ( with classic Dutch features and blond hair) speaks with a “sexy South African accent” I get totally confused wondering if she’s of African descent (a black person) or of Dutch descent (a white person), cause the accent is totally lost. The name is that of a white person while the voice is that of a black person from the slums, so not sexy!!
Oh my don’t get me started on NS’s upper class British accent. It lacks even a hint of any kind of British accent.
Once you are able to get past the nails on chalk board accent the narrator recites in the story is actually very interesting. The characters are well developed and the story catches your interest right from the start. The story is fast moving and doesn’t slow down or give you a dull moment. If you are a fan of Michael Crichton as I am, you’ll totally love the book. The fact that the author Elliott Garber is a widely travelled Veterinarian shows in his work. The issues he covers are all from the recent past and close to our heart so we feel the pain the characters are going through.
I really enjoyed this book but would recommend that instead of listening to the book you actually read it, either kindle or hard copy.
"Fast paced and gripping."
The summary pretty much says it all so I'm getting right to my thoughts on this!
I made a mistake in starting this at night because I ended up listening to it for a long time! It immediately grabbed my attention and I couldn't put it down! Everything about it captivated me and kept me glued to my earbuds.
The plot of this is actually quiet believable! Initially I wasn't sure how Gorillas and virus mix but this worked, and worked well. It was detailed and explained in such a way that I had no qualms about it! It's also extremely fast paced and intense. Once you start, you won't want to put it aside!!
There are quiet a few different characters but all are easily distinguishable and necessary. Cole is the MC as such and I loved him. I know that the author is a Vet himself and it really shows in the book. His detailed descriptions and understanding of things shines through. Cole is tough, brave to a fault when it comes to animals and you can clearly see his love for the mountain gorillas. Each character are well developed and written and the character growth of each was amazing. It's always a pleasure to read a book where you connect to the characters straight away!
In all this is a fantastic and quite chilling read. I think the fact that this echoes what could happen is why it's so scary! It really makes you think, What if???. The fact that the author can do that just goes to prove his amazing writing. It's well researched and thought out and will absolutely fascinate you. I am so glad I listened to this as well because the narration was brilliant.
Neil Shah was amazing. The amount of different accents he did, without making them sound false, was incredible. I was awestruck with it!! He is definitely one narrator I will check out.
*I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
"A surprisingly fun techno-thriller"
Full disclosure: I got this for free in exchange for a fair review.
The description evokes comparisons to Michael Crichton and James Rollins, and the similarities are obvious. The author obviously knows his stuff and that knowledge comes through in the book. I'd also recommend this to fans of Richard Preston's "The Hot Zone" and Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series because of the emphasis on African infectious disease and the wide cast portrayed fairly and not overly seriously.
The narrator was a pleasant surprise, and he did a good job with the numerous African and Middle Eastern accents required. The only complaint I had was that his pro-rata KD the main character felt a little ridiculous.
"Awesome Science Filled Thriller w/ Heart!"
This was an amazing book. It was intensely interesting, thrilling, and moving. There were some really touching scenes between gorillas and the people looking out for them. There were some heartfelt scenes between people who were really close to each other in tremendous circumstances. Even with all the smart well written science and action this book had heart. There were some more quiet scenes where doctors and scientists worked on figuring out just what was going on with these sick gorillas. There were also some great action scenes with awesome firefights.
I read this book by listening to the audiobook and I'm really glad I did. The narrator Neil Shah was amazing. His narration of the story alone was great but on top of that he flawlessly pulls of dozens of accents from all over the world. It made the story feel that much more large and exciting and cultured. I don't know how he's mastered so many accents but he uses his immense talent well narrating all the different characters in this book.
If you want to dig into some well written science, with awesome action, and cool well rounded characters you'll love to root for and against then do yourself a favor and pick this one up. I think you'll be as pleased as I was that you did.
"Good story but narration was distracting."
I received a free copy from author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Overall I found the book enjoyable with just a few complaints.
The story was exciting and kept my attention but it could stand a little more polish. The way every character in the book seemingly had a relationship with every other character strained credulity but overall the story was very engrossing.
Some of the accents in the book reminded me of the gags in the old Pink Panther movies where Peter Sellers accent would get stronger and stronger until even the other French couldn't understand him. I rejoiced in the death of one character so I wouldn't have to listen to their accent anymore.
"Man's inhumanity to man"
Cole McBride makes a chilling discovery while investigating a mysterious disease causing the deaths of endangered mountain gorillas in war-torn central Africa. When a humanitarian aid hospital nearby diagnoses a disturbingly similar human case, the former Special Forces veterinarian knows he must figure out how to stop this outbreak from spreading--before it blows up into a global pandemic. Halfway across the continent, a massive cargo ship moves out of Sudan's largest port. Buried deep within its hold is one container of urgent significance for its buyer in the Persian Gulf. And back in Washington, D.C., the owner of a Lebanese restaurant a stone's throw from the White House finds a cryptic message in the Drafts folder of his e-mail inbox. It's one week before Independence Day, and an unpopular president is preparing to host America's biggest celebration in years. There's just one small problem: he's not the only one with plans for the holiday. With the woman he loves sick and close to death, Cole puts his own life on the line in a race against time to discover the truth behind the outbreak's origin--a truth that will link it to one of humanity's most ancient plagues and threaten the very heart of America. This is how it happened.
This is an extremely intelligent, complicated thriller, which uses, as its main premise the construction and deployment of a lethal chimera virus. In order to make such a complicated premise work as the moving force behind a thriller, the author has to prepare his ground very carefully, indeed. It is essential that the reader understand some complex and (to this lay person, at least) almost arcane medical and biological concepts. I know of very few authors who could pull this off successfully, but this author did, and with style. Not only did his reasoning read as feasible and logical (which, since I do not have the scientific or medical knowledge to evaluate his theories, I must use as a gauge), but his explanations are understandable, succinct, and never detract from the story being told.
This is not, at least at first a fast moving book, and, I don’t think it should be. It builds tension, prepares the reader by making the full extent of the threat entirely comprehensible, and sets the stage so well that, by the time the action *really* begins, the author never has to break his stride for explanations. The reader *knows* what is happening, why, and what will happen if the teams involved aren’t successful. While there is lots of action throughout the book, the last 2 hours or so are full bore, and very nearly left this reader forgetting to breathe.
The writing is straightforward, and the no frills style enhances the story, which really doesn’t *need* any frills. The writing stands on its own strongly, though, and the character development is fairly amazing, especially considering the large cast of important characters. Each of them is unique, and, though this cast is International, the characters don’t seem to all come from the same background, with only different accents to differentiate them. While the author doesn’t spend an inordinate time discussing motivations, those motivations are clear from the bits he does tell us, but even more from the words and actions of the characters, themselves. The author has learned, and learned well, the “show don’t tell” lesson that sets adequate writing apart from truly good writing. The author shows us what is going on whenever possible, even by his meticulous (if disturbing) depictions of the progress of the chimera induced disease.
The narration was of the same extremely high standard as the book being narrated. The narrator understood and was entirely comfortable with his material, more than competent in the skills needed to make narration enjoyable, and was able to easily handle accented (from multiple countries) English and foreign words so naturally that the reader almost isn’t aware of their unfamiliarity.
In short, this is an awesome book and an awesome audio production, and I have no reservations in giving both book and narrator 5 stars, and would give more, if I could.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review via the courtesy of AudioBookBlast dot com.
"Man Creates, Man Destroys, Can Man be Saved?"
Great thriller! I felt in the moment. I very much enjoyed the feeling of being in Virunga National Park with the gorillas. The book was over 11 hours long. To me, in a good way, it was too short - I did not want it to end. Yes, will listen again.
Lots of twists and turns. Did not know where the story was going. Hard hitting, Elliott Garber did not pull any punches.
I really liked Marna, the South African helicopter pilot. Very intriguing character. Loved the South African accent.
My main feeling was that I was a traveler in the story. I enjoyed the flow of the story line and could relate well with the characters.
Disclaimer: "The Chimera Sequence" was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. On other reviews and descriptions of the book, you know it is a thriller based on a renegade virus. With all fiction, there is always an element of truth. In the last year, over 10,000 Africans contracted Ebola. Scary stuff. In 1918 over 50 million people worldwide died from the Spanish flu. We are currently being assaulted by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Will the next pandemic be from a natural source or from a genetic mutation in a lab? The Chimera Sequence explores one of these scenarios. The author has done an exceptional job in writing in such a way as to put the reader in the story. It is real, and it is scary believable. I became so engrossed in the story, I felt out of breath by the time I finished it. Neil Shah, the narrator, did an incredible job with his voice acting. His South African and Central African accents were spot on. How someone can perform a narration and switch between such diverse characters in such a seamless fashion is amazing. It is all about making the story real and believable to the reader. Now my interest is peaked to travel to the Virunga National Park in Rwanda and the Congo and check out the gorillas. If you like a good thriller, you will like "The Chimera Sequence".
"A fantastic adventure!"
I am a very visual person, so sitting down to read a book is sometimes hard for me to do. And this is why I have gotten into audiobooks. Elliot Garber does a wonderful job of creating an atmosphere, tone, and setting that was fantastic for picturing in my minds eye. It also helped that a large portion of the story took place in Northern Virginia, where I grew up. I used to commute on the Fairfax County Parkway, and even my original hometown, Leesburg Virginia, got a quick mention. I had no problem imagining the characters in these places. I am happy to be able to say that Elliot Garber didn't shy away from a few of the hot button issues in the world today, such as Joseph Kony, the LRA and child soldiers in parts of central Africa.
But honestly, I believe the real star of this audiobook is Neil Shah. This man is beyond amazing at what he does. He is able to perfectly emulate accents, from a twangy southern drawl, to African accents, middle eastern accents, he was even able to do female voices that didn't sound like a caricature or baby talk like I have so many other narrators do. There were even parts of the book when I was genuinely surprised that this wasn't a production done by multiple individuals.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this audiobook, and I would recommend it to anyone.
"Typical edge of the seat action"
Yes, especially the last 30%
I received a free copy from author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I'm a sucker for anything that is a typical an edge of the seat action even with the most cliched plot. 60% of the book sort of leaves you surprised between the connection of the characters.
It begins with a disease being diagnosed in mountain gorillas and the research behind it so that it does not turn out into an outbreak of a pandemic like Ebola. Writing anything further than this would give away the plot.
It would have definitely gotten 4 stars but mentioning, With the woman he loves sick and close to death, Cole puts his own life on the line in a race against time to discover the truth behind the outbreak's origin--a truth that will link it to one of humanity's most ancient plagues and threaten the very heart of America. in the summary of the book, Marna's death didn't come to me as a surprise which didn't happen until the 40% of the book. Had this been not hinted, I was quite sure that Marna was the female protagonist and wouldn't die.
The last minute action from Haddad being forced into a terrorist attack and Cole running off from the hospital was certainly fun, I had to finish the last 30% of the book in one sitting.
I've never read a book set in a Africa and something so closely related to diseases and animals, so it was pretty good exposure for me to know how/what the scientists and doctors go through just to prevent any outbreak of disease. Also how much research and resources are invested upon such issues.
The narrator was quite good with the accents and ample of voices for each characters but as compared to other narrators I've heard, the voice wasn't soothing, I mean after about 20 mins, it felt like someone was yelling and I had to keep adjusting the volume, keep it either too low or too high.
"I wanted more virus, less relationships."
It was a lot of characters, accents and other things happening that slowly moved the plot along. But, I wanted more about the virus and what havoc it was wreaking, and less about the people and their relationships (or lack thereof) to move the story along. It was a lot of people, and the narrator did an amazing job with keeping them and their accents straight. I just wanted to hear more about what was happening because of this virus and less about the human relationship aspect that surrounded it. Every interaction between any man and woman had some flirtation or mention of such in the interaction. I wanted cause and effect of the virus! The book wasn't long enough to flesh out the other human aspects that the author was trying to combine. But I enjoyed it, and the plot line did keep me listening throughout.This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.
Most interesting aspect was the spread of the virus. The least interesting was the interpersonal relationships between characters. The book wasn't long enough to make them believable, or to invest me as a reader/listener.
I have not, but I think overall he kept me "in the story". There was only one moment in the entire reading that his character displays threw me off and took me "outside of the story".
It could, and it could be much more intense if it was more about the devastation the virus causes, and how a cure was not possible or readily available until it was too late. If it was more of a apocalyptic novel, a follow up would be very interesting.
"A Rich Bio Thriller"
The Chimera Sequence was a well thought out modern bio thriller. I was initially thinking I'd compare it to classics like The Hot Zone, but in reality I think the scope of this book and genre was much wider. The story covers a (I felt) pretty realistic and ingenious multi pronged terrorist plot using an engineered virus, with one target being a very important blood mineral in Africa, and the other being of course the American homeland. I don't want to give too much away, but I thought the ideas were more than sound, but a pretty ingenious tale. The book covers quite a number of major and minor character, and venues around the world, viewpoints, and in audio that did take a bit to get used to who was who, but the character changes were pretty clear.
I really hope Elliot Garber releases more books in audio format. Although I did get this as a free review copy, I would now be happy to purchase any more books he publishes if this book is any indication of his abilities.
Neil Shah did a fantastic job narrating. Given my above description of the stage of the book, there were a lot of accents and voices, and he did a tremendous job making them all unique and more imporantly identifiable. I have just checked his Audible listing, and see he has quite a few books, and I can't believe I don;t have any more in my own library.
Highly recommended. A brilliant audio debut for the author!
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