“Altar of Eden” by James Rollins (William Morrow, 2009)

Altar of Eden
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For the first time in his career, bestselling author James Rollins takes on the subject of veterinary science, a subject that Rollins spent many years of his professional life practicing.  In the ultimate “write what you know” thriller, Altar of Eden is some of Rollins’ best work, employing the plot complexities of his Sigma Force novels combined with the terrifying subject of genetically engineered exotic animals.

Louisiana state veterinarian, Lorna Polk, who works for ACRES, or the Audubon Center for the Research of Endangered Species, joins the U.S. Border Patrol to investigate a shipwrecked trawler linked to a black market smuggling ring.  Below decks, she discovers cages with some very strange animals with some very strange abilities: a pair of Siamese monkeys, an extinct saber-toothed cub, and a hairless parrot that can recite the number pi to hundreds of decimal places.  Lorna puts the pieces together and realizes that the cub’s mother – a giant, extinct saber-toothed cat – is on the loose in the delta, protecting it’s young, and it’s hungry.

The story unfolds with a spiraling plot that will have readers turning the page, needing to know what happens next.  Rollins has outdone himself with Altar of Eden, creating a growing conspiracy that combines cutting-edge science with animals that haven’t walked upon this Earth in thousands of years.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on February 9th 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

For an interview with David Grann check out BookBanter Episode 9.

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