The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation. A.G. Riddle has recently added book #2, Genome to the Extinction File series.
Riddle’s Genome is a follow-up to his previous book, Pandemic, which means that this is not a standalone novel. Throughout Pandemic and most of Genome, Desmond Hughes, the founder and managing partner of the venture capital firm, Icarus Capital, is trying to recover his memories after he had intentionally had them suppressed using computer technology. The reason he suppressed his memories was to prevent Yuri Penchenko, a member of an ancient organization known as the Order of Citium, from forcing him to reveal the secrets to Rendition. We don’t learn a lot about Rendition in Pandemic except that it is important for the Looking Glass Project.
The purpose of the Looking Glass Project is to save humanity from itself, but we don’t learn how it will do that until the very end of Genome. In fact, all of Genome centers on preventing Yuri Penchenko from starting up the Looking Glass even though the reader is clueless until the end how it will save humanity from going extinct. The concept of the Looking Glass was so hyped throughout the series and along with its secretiveness, one’s expectation is to believe that the Looking Glass will answer all the secrets of the universe. Once I found out the secret of the Looking Glass, all that came to my mind was, ‘Okaaay, not quite what I was expecting but interesting’. The other mystery throughout the series was whether or not Lin Shaw, another Order of Citium member, was a good character or an evil character.
So you may wonder why the novel is called Genome. After reading it, I am not sure why. Lin Shaw felt that a code in the human genome would rewrite history. That maybe so, but to be honest, I really felt that Riddle could have written this series without the ‘code in the human genome’ concept and I thought it was a big stretch to correlate it with the Looking Glass Project. Let’s just say that quantum mechanics was involved.
Even though I was disappointed that the Looking Glass concept didn’t reveal all of the secrets of the universe, I did find Genome to be a fun read and an exciting and thought provoking conclusion to the series.
To learn more about the series check out the The Extinction Files series.