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Summary

The second in a dystopian trilogy based on the author's command of a top secret government unit.

Discovering an infamous Nazi doctor conducted abortions in Argentina after the Second World War may not come as a surprise, but why was the twisted eugenicist not only allowed to continue his evil experiments but encouraged to do so? And what has that got to do with a respected neurologist in 2027? Surely, the invention of a cure for nearly all the world's ailments can't possibly have its roots buried in the horrors of Auschwitz?

The unacceptable is about to become the disturbingly bizarre. What has the treatment's "correction" of pedophiles got to do with the president of the United States, the pope, and even the UK's Green Party?

As if the Condition trilogy wasn't unsettling enough....

©2016 Nick Smith (Alec Birri) (P)2018 Nick Smith (Alec Birri)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • N. Mahoney
  • 19-03-18

My first word when I finished this listen was WOW

The first words to leave my mouth when I finished this book was simply: Wow.

In addition to the fact that I was breath-taken by this book, I am aware that this book is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

This book is a whirlwind of so many different ideas reaching back to the past and going into the (not too distant) future. The beginning had me confused, and wondering what it had to do with the rest of the book although I enjoyed the roller-coaster of these initial chapters. These first chapters are disturbing in many ways. An Argentinian police officer going to investigate an illegal abortion clinic run as part of an orphanage and discovering the preserved remains of the abortions.

Continuing to follow the officers investigation into this clinic/orphanage we find ourselves finding a much darker connection to not only the orphanage, but the world itself.

The rest of this book maintains the intensity of the first chapters, Alec Birri had my mind whirling with questions of what was going to happen next? What was the intention of certain characters? What is their end game? I was definitely kept on my toes!

The writing in Condition: The Curing Begins deals with very intense subjects, and I was consistently floored by how well Alec had conveyed the different and sometimes abrasive personalities of his characters. The topics addressed in The Curing Begins are extremely thought provoking, sometimes very dark, but consistently well written.

I am so impressed by Jonathan Keebles voice acting talents. Keeble narrates different accents in this audiobook and he does it well! As I had said in my review of the first book in the trilogy, it is as if there are multiple people narrating the book. He maintains the energy of Condition, mirroring the intensity of Birri’s writing, and conveys the unique personalities of each character. I find myself getting lost in this world that Alec Birri writes about, and the atmosphere that Jonathan creates compliments the writing style beautifully.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 12-06-18

Save room for Book 3!

Note: This is Book 2 in the series and works best if you enjoy Book 1 first.

This book starts off in 1970s Argentina instead of 2026 UK where Book 1 left us, so be prepared for that. Perhaps half the book is spent in the past instead of the near future and while that initially threw me for a loop, I was also immediately drawn into the life of a young cop in Argentina. He’s been assigned to look into a missing person case even though there isn’t much hope in finding the person. If I recall correctly, his name is Emmanuel…. but I could be wrong.

So in this little village of native Argentinians, there is an orphanage and the local reverend appears to be helpful. His assistanct at the orphanage is Maria who is perhaps in her early 20s. Now I didn’t really care for the instant love thing that happens between her and Emmanuel but I did like both characters quite a bit.

As Emmanuel digs into the case, he notices some very odd things about the kids. They seem to have undergone some brain surgeries and some seem to be mentally slow while others have other abilities. Then there’s the mysterious Uncle Joe who is nowhere to be seen but everyone speaks highly of him as the village’s savior. Eventually, as the description of the book says, Emmanuel discovers he’s dealing with a former Nazi in hiding. Things turn exciting in Argentina!

Then we jump forward a few years as the hunt continues, then a few more years, and eventually we find ourselves in 2026 UK for the second half of the book. Once again, we get to hang out with Professor Savage, nurse Tracy Richards, Dr. James Adams, and PM Alex Salib. Several months have past since we last saw them. The remainder of the Alzheimer’s patients from Book 1 have died, either by natural causes or voluntary suicide.

The first half of this book was very well done. The characters were interesting and in an interesting plot. Maria, while the only female character with lines and a name, had plot relevant status. She had dimension and secrets of her own. Meanwhile, in the second half of the book, the ladies are back to being love interests and comforters. Tracy has potential but mostly she’s here for the sex fantasies. Alex Salib is a little more interesting this time around but she’s still pretty one dimensional – righteous anger.

On the other hand, the plot has thickened. Professor Savage isn’t up to what I thought he was up to. Now I think he’s determined to do something much more wide-ranging and sinister. I’m very intrigued by him. Then I also really felt for Dr. Adams though I felt he gave up the fight a little too easily. He is positive he didn’t download that image of a child yet other than some verbal protests he caves in to Professor Savage’s suggestions and guidance really easily.

The ending leaves us with plenty of questions for where Savage plans to take the world and the future for these beloved characters. I also look forward to seeing what the solid tie is between Argentina 1970s and Savage of 2026 UK. I have an inkling but I want my guess confirmed. Looking forward to Book 3! 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Jonathan Keeble did a great job with this narration. I loved all his accents and he kept each character distinct. His female voices were believable. I especially liked his portrayal for Emmanuel who goes through some character growth and also quite the range of emotions in this story. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Thrilling Fiction Author - Carolyn M. Walker
  • 24-03-18

The Saga Continues in this Medical Thriller!

If you could sum up CONDITION Book Two in three words, what would they be?

Though-provokingly addictive.

What other book might you compare CONDITION Book Two to and why?

John Grisham's earlier work the Firm or Pelican Brief comes to mind with the level of mystery and the looming presence of a deeper darker plot at hand yet not apparent in the immediate beginning.

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Keeble brings fervor, excitement, and personality to each of the characters that allows me to experience the story far beyond what I would have conjured in my own mind. This story was well executed for a fuller experience.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was waiting with bated breath to discover how Emil's story tied into the greater plot. The ending had me gasp aloud with both surprise!

Any additional comments?

The stunning conclusion to book 1 left us realizing certain characters were not who they were believed to be. We also gain further insight into the greater scheme and how it relates to both the human consciousness and artificial intelligence. As we explore the "origins” of the medical practices for the future trials, we are still left with an even greater surprise at the end of this book, making for even higher stakes than before! As an audio book, Keeble continues to deliver with expert precision and clean execution of the character’s voices. We venture into new cultures and characters with versatile backgrounds. Keeble manages to capture the flavor of each character so precisely that the experience is theatrical and engrossing. Keeble’s portrayal of the characters is stunning and allows you to get caught up in the story through his seamless performance.

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  • BookAddict'sReviews
  • 19-03-18

Further down the rabbit hole

So this book is wayyyy darker than the first! Let me tell you, you are on a ride through some scary sh**! I was deeply in suspense and confusion with Birri’s second novel. I felt just as the characters were feeling, that nothing is quite adding up. There are some experimentations going on in the 1970s and then we skip to the future where doctors are working on cures for everything. It was disturbing in some places with the experiments that happened and the descriptions of the creepy things this Nazi guy was doing to the residents of the town. There are some interesting political tidbits with the government of Argentina just wanting to cover up what this hateful person was doing instead of trying to get rid of him. Birri does an excellent job with the 1970 setting and the future one. I get a good sense of creepy throughout the novel and really enjoyed learning more about the characters. Although I do wish more of it had been on the character from the first book (personal preference here). I’m not sure where everything will tie in just yet, but that makes me excited for the last book in this series! I give this novel a 4.5/5 stars!

The narration is great as well! Keeble does a good job with these characters and accents. I could feel his emotions while he was reading the story to me. I will say the President of America had a very unique and disturbing voice, but I feel that was done on purpose, so great job! There didn’t seem to be any mistakes or audio bloopers in here so I give the audio a 5/5!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lelia T
  • 19-03-18

Good vs. Evil

The medical experiments that took place during the Nazi regime are, to this day, horrifying and a look at just how evil humanity can be in the name of science. A young Argentinian police officer, Emiliano—who becomes unrealistically entangled in a romance with Maria—is not prepared, though, to find evidence of continuing work being done in an orphanage, leading to a hunt for the former Nazi who’s involved.

That hunt goes on for years until we find ourselves in the year 2026 and back among some of the characters from the first book including Professor Savage and Nurse Tracy. Tracy is still just as unlikeable as before and still just a foil for sexual fantasies but we learn much more about what the professor is really up to. I’m looking forward to getting the true story with Book Three, The Final Correction (an ominous subtitle if there ever was one).

Jonathan Keeble continues to be an excellent narrator in this second book of the trilogy; he has a wonderful tone to his voice and his interpretation of various characters is quite good albeit with some limitations with the Argentinians.

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  • Dawn H
  • 18-03-18

Good series

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

This second book in the trilogy starts with a detective in Argentina who is sent to a village to dispose of evidence of experiments done by an ex-Nazi doctor. He can't believe the atrocities he finds in the village or the fact that the government wants to cover it up. He decides to track down the doctor to get answers. I didn't know what this first half had to do with the first book, but I was eventually enlightened.

The second half of book 2 takes place in 2027, and doctors continue to work on a new treatment to cure all of the world's physical and mental ailments. AIs are also becoming common. With so many improvements so fast, what will happen? How far is too far when it comes to improving and lengthening our lives?

The narrator did a good job with timing and pacing as well as the different voices.

There are a couple surprises and I can't wait to listen to book 3 to find out what happens. This book could be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading the first book to get the full appreciation of what occurs in book 2.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hall Ways
  • 17-03-18

The revelation at the end is jaw-dropping

4.5 Stars. Audio book review. WOW...there's A LOT going on in Condition: The Curing Begins, the second book in The Condition series. I didn't want to miss a thing, so I listened to it straight through in a day. As it was with book one, it served me well not to read the description because the surprise element was next-level. Though I had a little trouble getting oriented to this book, the premise(s) kept me glued to the story.
There is a slow but engrossing main build in The Curing Begins, but there are also several other sub-plots that wind their way throughout the book and give readers much to ponder. There are considerable religious implications, which I wish had been further explored and characters’ rationales better explained, particularly with the Argentinian Padre. I wondered how such a devout man could be led so far astray – but people being led astray is part of the very essence of this book.

"As long as people think struggling through life as an obedient slave will eventually be rewarded, one person can control millions."

If you look at the cover and read the book jacket, it’s no surprise that the Nazis rear their ugly head in the story. There are some interesting discussions between characters about the higher purpose of Nazi experimentation and politics. At times, this felt more like an opportunity for platforming than genuine discourse. There are some holes and some character thoughts and actions that don’t add up, but again, the subject matter is fascinating. The only thing I really didn’t like in part one was the insta-love/romance. The connection between these characters is necessary but could have been handled better and differently to be more feasible.

About three and a half hours into the book, readers are taken back to just a few months after where book one left off, and those characters are reintroduced. In part two, we leap from the 1970s to 2027 and must reacquaint ourselves with that setting. Scenes are sometimes confusing because it’s difficult to tell whether character experiences are real or virtual…or, are their virtual experiences the new reality? Author Alec Birri is intentional here, I think, to keep readers in the same mindset as the characters -- where lines between reality and virtual reality are blurred. There continue to be some plot holes and situations where the level of suspension of disbelief is pushing the limits.

Jonathan Keeble returns to narrate book two, and again, is exceptional in his performances. He deftly handles all the voices, male and female, and all the accents. He brings life to the characters by projecting the nuances of the characters’ personalities. It is apparent he spent time studying the character profiles. I caught a few small oddities in pronunciations this time around, and the initial narration of the American president is cringe-worthy --even for a cringe-worthy character. Thankfully, that accent mellowed a bit and ended up working better. Overall, outstanding narration. I am a solid fan.

The difference between good and evil is often in the eye of the beholder.

By the end of The Curing Begins, almost all the early questions are answered/resolved, and the reader feels uncomfortable and unsettled by the implications and applications of medical and technological advances. The “revelation” at the end is jaw-dropping – I was downloading book three, The Final Correction, within minutes of finishing book two. This series has utterly consumed me.

Thank you to Audiobookworm Productions and the author for providing me a free audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lomeraniel
  • 16-03-18

Interesting but lacked character develpment

This book goes to the origins of the the Condition, mixing a bit of history with dystopia. I don't want to explain more to avoid revealing too much.

It was really interesting to learn about how it all started but the execution could have been a bit better in my opinion. This book feels like two different books, one after the other. I think it would have worked better to have both stories, present and past, told alternating them. The beginning of the first part felt also a bit rushed, and a bit more character development would have helped me to connect to the characters and care for the story. There is a sudden romance in that first part that felt absolutely forced. The two characters were just acquaintances and suddenly she was the love of his life. Having a build up would have helped here.

The story and implications are amazing, and this is totally worth a listening. It's clear that Birri has a lot of experience in top secret operations, but I think he may need to work a bit on his storytelling skills.

Jonathan Keeble's style was the appropriate for this kind of story, and he delivered great character's interpretations. The only setback I want to mention is his pronunciation of Vazquez. In Spanish the 'u' after 'q' is mute, something Keeble did not apply here. I would have passed this if the character pronouncing it were an English speaker, but in this case all characters were Argentinian. Keeble's accents were acceptable, but not spot on.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin Thomas
  • 14-03-18

A Very Imaginative Read

This book is a very imaginative read on many levels.  Book two, The Curing Begins of the Condition trilogy makes for another entertaining book. Alec Birri does a great job of creating his characters with their own quirks and motivations. In each book there seems to layer upon layer of the plot revealed.

Narrator Jonathan Keeble's performance is spot on in this book. He brings the story to life in many ways with her character portrayal, voices and skill. There were several notable accents that were perfect.