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Narrated by: Matt Reeves
Length: 20 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)
Regular price: £19.99
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Summary

How far would you go to live forever? 

Brilliant scientist Joe Messenger believes that people can be made to live forever. Knowing the human body can be frozen indefinitely, Joe devises a way of downloading the human brain into a supercomputer called ARCHIVE. 

But Joe's wife, Karen, is worried by his preoccupation with ARCHIVE, which seems to be developing signs of a distinct and sinister personality of its own. 

Then, just as Joe is on the brink of a scientific breakthrough, a series of macabre accidents befall him and his family - and Joe finds himself facing the terrifying consequences of his own obsessions. 

Also from multimillion-copy best-selling author of the Roy Grace novels: 

  • Possession 
  • Dreamer 
  • Sweet Heart 
  • Twilight
  • Prophecy 
  • Host 
  • Alchemist 
  • Denial 
  • The Truth 
  • Faith 
©2018 Peter James (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"Easily James's best book to date; a thought-provoking menacer that's completely technological and genuinely frightening about the power of future communications." (Time Out)
"Compulsive...I cannot remember when I last read a novel I enjoyed so much." (Sunday Telegraph)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Veritable Phoenix!

How apt it is that this particular book should be resurrected a quarter of a century after its original publication and brought into digital audio life! This old boy wheezes into life showing its age both in terms of it being set in the early 90s and taking some hours to really warm up and get into top gear. There is life in this old dog yet though as once it eases its creaking joints into motion it is a good fun techno thriller of the type only the previous century seemed to produce. Ignoring some strange notions like the idea that the entire contents of a human brain could be stored in as little as a single terabyte of data or indeed that mag tapes of the day could hold as much as that it is a decent story.

It's all set around the notion of cryogenics and the idea that we can cheat death by being frozen until medical science evolves far enough to cure us of our ills or even allows us new bodies of some kind. It's a decent story of its time and does bear many of the hallmarks of James's other thriller / mystery books, including a setting that will be familiar to followers of DI Grace.

Matt Reeves does a decent job of dusting off these old words and injecting new vigour into them though while he had a decent range of voices he did tend to make Blake in particular sound a little too feminine which confused me at times.

All in all this is a decent read if you are patient with it and accept that it isn't going to feel quite as fresh as it probably did when first published.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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The stupidest scientist in literature?

The idea behind the book is basically a hot item, the threat of AI, but there are so many other threads overlapping.
Within the first 2 chapters it was pretty clear which way the story was going to go and it was unbearable how stupid and naive the main character was. And him a super scientist.
The language was another sore spot. It reminded me of the passages we used in English learning text books in the 60’s. simplified, graphic and irrelevant. ‘ John sees a tall man. He is wearing a funny hat’ kind of thing.
The bad guys are really bad and the good guys are really dumb....

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Hated it

I jumped out after 3 hours bored beyond measure
It was indulgent the very worst book I've ever wasted my monthly subscription on.
If i wanted a PhD in a scientific, biological technical life l'd have gone to university and suffered lectures
Money back please Audible if you're bothered about a long term customer!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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entralling !

I always enjoy Peter James stories but this is the best !!
Absolutely enthralling , a brilliant thriller.
Beautifully read .

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  • David
  • Wirral, United Kingdom
  • 07-02-19

this feels like Peter was...

... learning his trade and whilst that's laudable you wouldn't pay for a poor pint from a trainee brewer. great idea but mind numbingly flawed at times.i wonder how he rewrite it today

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    3 out of 5 stars

detailed thriller,but not up to James's standard

detailed thriller,but not up to James's normal standard. this is not a Roy grace. hard work

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    3 out of 5 stars

Struggled a bit. Shad to fast forward towards the end to see it through

I like books to be like a steady ride to a final climax. This ride was a rocket that took off well and then nearly stalled and crashed and I pretty much ejected from the plane two thirds of the way through for fear of falling asleep at the wheel. I had to skip to the end just to kick the flaccid plot forward a bit. Too long winded and most of all out of date and implausible 80s would be futuristic technical jargon. That’s how I know this must have been written in the 80s. I can tell it must have been one of Peter James earlier books as he has since perfected his pace more too. Great plot ideas and still a good read but I feel before releasing it he should have altered basic things to bring it up to date technology wise and tightened up the pace of the plot cutting a couple of hours of waffle out. It needs editing. Releasing it as was was an afterthought and editing is needed. Things like downloading someone’s brain onto a cassette tape or one terrabyte being enough storage for a brain...I felt the 80s bad hair and the tin foil covered fake futuristic pictures that it’s associated with and it kind of also messed up what was was a potentially great plot. It’s harder to get into such an unrealistic plot I. This time. Even I could have modernised the plot myself to make it better and Improved if have updated and condensed the whole thing given a week or so. So why he didn’t get someone to do that before releasing it i don’t know. If he did then they need sacking. Give me the job instead lol I’ll do it for 1000 quid. It really needs it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A little scary

Once you get past the tedious explanations of cryogenic , it becomes more interesting. However you need the explanation to understand the interesting probabilities it throws up . Especially liked the length of the book . Got fed up with the " no has to die ' because. Cryogenic is not performed until after death !!!8

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Great theme

loved the story. narrator ok except for child's voice..made him sound precocious and spoilt. joe character was somewhat naieve I thought in his relationships with Juliet and Blane

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Host

Brilliant book,great story. Peter James has excelled with this book. Can’t wait for next one