In 2157, a mysterious gas known as Variant spreads across the globe, killing or mutating most organic life. The surviving humans take refuge in an underground city, determined to return home. But after generations of failures and botched attempts, hope is beginning to dwindle. That is, until a young scientist makes a unique discovery, and everything changes. Suddenly, there's reason to hope again, and it rests within a group of genetically engineered children that are both human and Variant. Terry is one of these children, modified and trained to endure the harsh conditions of a planet he cannot begin to understand. After years of preparation, Terry thinks he knows what to expect. But the reality is far stranger than anything he can imagine - and what he will become is far more dangerous.
©2015 Jeff Chaney (P)2015 Jeff Chaney
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"Inventive and exciting"
An inventive post-apocalyptic world where humans are confined to living underground because the air on the Earths surface contains a toxic element called Variant. Variant either kills you or metamorphoses you into a violent bloodthirsty monster. Society has arranged it's self into 3 political elements, the Mothers (females who's job it is to procreate), the Scientists and the Military. In order for humanity to continue to survive they have to find a means to be able to live on the Earths surface once again. The three factions spend years experimenting to try to produce offspring that would be able to breath Variant and survive unscathed. They manage to produce a group of children they hope will be their future, but it is here that the three factions aims start to diverge and the story truly begins. The duel storylines in this book are expertly interwoven. One telling a thrilling story of survival, friendship, betrayal and loss, while the other shows us the political and social maneuverings occurring between the different factions. It is a well written and complex story with appealing characters and an original plot. The narrator manages to do a great job with the multiple characters in this audiobook. He makes it easy to follow the flipping back and forth in time and place, leaving you in no doubt what is info from the past and what is the up to date happenings. It is an enjoyable book that captures your imagination and leaves you wondering what will happen in the next in the series. I received this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.
"The Amber Project"
This audiobook has my attention from beginning to end. The author did a great job depicting a small population of people living in an underground bunker after the world collapsed.
"Human mutants may save the species!"
This dystopian young adult novel is set in 2157 somewhere near the Atlantic coast. Terry and his classmates are growing up in an underground city. The surface of the planet became contaminated years ago by a mysterious and deadly gas named Variant. The city is slowly falling apart; the surface must be reclaimed! As such, a clever scientist has come up with a way to create Variant-tolerant humans. Terry and his classmates are the first generation of these new humans.
Take Ender’s Game and mash it up with The Handmaid’s Tale and you get something good, disturbing, and thought-provoking. This underground society was founded by survivors of a world calamity. As such, they put in place some hard and fast rules in order to keep humanity alive. The military and the Matron have the most power. Human reproduction is closely managed. The Matron is the head of the organization that provides reproducing women (the mothers) status and perks in housing and food. All reproductive assignations must be approved by the Matron. Meanwhile, the military has made attempts over the years to reclaim the surface. The new Variant humans are their latest attempt.
The story opens with Terry Eckles on his seventh birthday. His mom, Mara, drops him off at the Academy. There he learns that he won’t be allowed to go home for 10 years, after he graduates the Academy. John, who will become his best friend, is his roommate. May is the brains of the little group. Alex has anger management issues. The story moves ahead in chunks of time, so we get to see the kids grow up in the Academy. While this was interesting, I didn’t become very attached to the kids until they become teens and they start doing interesting things.
I really got hooked on the story when we start seeing how the city reproduction is controlled. Mara Eckles became a mother at 15 and has produced several promising children for the city. All her daughters have proven to be fertile reproducers as well. The Matron, Eva Long, is a formidable woman. She has to walk a difficult line between the survival of humanity and protecting the mothers from certain aspects of the military branch of power.
Then we have colonel James Bishop. He’s been a stalwart pillar of the Academy for decades, leading the training of the city’s military. Now he’s taken a personal interest in the new Variant humans. The author could have easily made Bishop an outright villain. However, I found myself sympathizing with him sometimes. After all, humanity might well be facing extinction if they don’t do something drastic. I really enjoyed that he was a complicated character and that I couldn’t outright despise him.
Dr. Henry Newbur is the main scientist and head teacher at the Academy. I pictured him as a man who is more comfortable around test tubes and dusty books. He’s also missing an arm, making him a source of mild gossip among the students. Dr. Archer is a complete 180 from Dr. Newbur. He’s very much into the science unlocked by the latest Variant discovery. To him, Terry and his classmates are specimens.
Taken all together, the book has a solid set up and then the action starts once the teens are sent to the surface. I don’t want to spoil things too much, as the teens don’t head to the surface until the second half of the book, but I really had fun with them exploring the now defunct buildings. There’s also things up there on the surface that the underground city folk are barely aware of, things that can rip the face off a grown, armed man. It’s a great start for a dystopian series.
The Narration: Alexander Edward Trefethen did a good job with this book. His voice is pretty masculine, so I was a little worried that he wouldn’t be able to pull off the female voices, but he did, though in a few instances the ladies would sound alike. I really liked his voice for Alex, who is always disgruntled about something. His old lady (and sometimes tipsy) voice for Matron Eva Long was also really good.
"That End Though"
Never been much of a dystopian fan, but i loved this one. Excellent story telling and adjectives. The narrator is much better when played at 1.1x speed. The ending! No spoilers, but there better be a sequel.
"excellent story with a really interesting twist"
I truly love the book The Amber project it was so interesting to read and the reader was really phenomenal I found the book hard to turn off and the characters are really well-written the storyline itself is very plot-driven very very interesting Jn Chaney really knows how to tell a Story and pulled me in and never let go
"Really cool book"
At age 7 children of the underground city go to the academy. After several years of education they also start some military training, at least Terry's group did. Than they were exposed to a strange gas, finally, everything was explained, before they were sent to the surface after two of their group that ran away. They were told that they had been genetically modified with both the human and the variant strains. They were the last hope that one day people could one day live and repopulate on the surface of the earth again. Meanwhile, Terry's mother is fighting for, and starting a revolt for, the rights of those children and their mother's.
This is a great science fiction book, between the two storylines this book will keep you hopping and cheering for the small guys. The characters are awesome, even the bad guys. I had the audiobook version and I have to give kudos to Alexander Trefethen, he is awesome! His different voices for the different characters really set them apart, he gave this book heart and left me asking, how far would people really go to save the human race?
"One of my favorite dystopian stories!"
I was absolutely blown away by this story. Is this really his first published book?!--Such mature writing and great character development.
Civilization is forced underground due to the earth being taken over by toxic gas, but not just any gas, a new type of gas that that is beautiful and deadly. Science butts heads with maternal instincts, and a boy must take the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Not a slow or dull moment anywhere to be found in this! It's a wild ride that will leave you anxious to read the next installment!
"A very interesting story."
When I first started listening to this book I wasn't too sure about it, but there was something about it that kept me from hitting the stop button. Not all of the story is given to you from the start. You get just enough that keeps you wanting to know more. There are parts that made me think OMG this is crazy, yet so fascinating that this is how they choice to go about things. The ending was so intense, I couldn't believe it. I will definitely be listening to the next book to see what happens next.
"Love this book"
I am a big fan of this book and can't wait for book 2. The narrator wasn't my favorite, but he was certainly entertaining and he grew on me throughout the story. Most audio books I have listened to had female narrators, so this was new for me too. I highly remind this book.
This was a great read, I really enjoyed watching Mike grow up from the whinny teenager he was at the start to the military hero man he became at the end of the story. This read was very different then what I would normally read, I'm more of a zombie fan, but this makes the top of the list of my favorites.
It comes from both sides of the story you don't just see the victims side but you see the side of the story of the beings that's caused the apocalypse, and what they'll go to to help restore a problem that they caused. Differently would recommend this book.
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