Review: The Atlantis Gene, A Thriller

By A.G. Riddle

Available on: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Read as part of the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge.

Overview:

Blurb: I literally can’t sum up this bananas book without using the phrase “bizarrely entertaining” and “action packed but mildly confusing”. I think it was about a doctor lady and her new secret agent dude friend trying to rescue some kidnapped literally autistic human test subject kids from a global terrorist organization made of Atlantis-descended people and their followers. And there are Nazi, but like, actual World War II Nazis; not the modern day neo-Nazi assholes. Just somewhat regular, trapped in a time dilation field and/or stasis pod Nazis.

Trigger Warnings:

Ableism, Anti Semitism, Badly Written Women, Bastardization of Culture, Bastardization of Mythology, Blood, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Abandonment, Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Drug Use (Prescription), Food, Gore, Gun Violence, Mental Abuse, Mental Illness, Miscarriage, Murder, Off Screen Sex, Physical Abuse, Plot Holes the Size of a Canadian Province, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Racism, Sexism, Toxic Masculinity, Violence, Violent Imagery, War

Body Count: Oodles. Literally a lot.

The Specs:

  • Series
    • Series Name: Origin Mystery Trilogy
    • Book Number: 1
  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Time Travel Science Fiction, Genetic Engineering Science Fiction, Technothrillers
    • Theo Genre: WTF Fiction, Science Fiction
  • POV:
  • Publication information:
    • Paperback page count: 449 pages/2902 KB
    • Publisher: Riddle Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-13: 9781940026015
    • ASIN: B00C2WDD5I

Other Fun Stuff:

To Read or Not To Read (Again):

Donated

Rating out of five: 2.5 out of 5

Representation, Morality, and Sexism Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test:
    • Purpose: to establish actual female characters that act independently of male characters in a story.
      • Do two female characters talk about something other than a male character? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • DuVernay Test:
    • Purpose: to establish characters of color in a story.
      • Are there fully actualized characters of color? No
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • Ellen Willis Test:
    • Purpose: to show balance in characters regardless of gender.
      • Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Hays Code Test:
    • Purpose: to ignore outdated and queer-degrading/punishing standards that once were the standard for produced mass media.
    • Part One: outdated moral guidelines
      • Are there any outdated “moral content” rules gloriously kicked in the teeth by this story?
      • Are there people of color allowed a happy ending?
      • Is there an interracial couple?
      • Is there profanity used at all?
      • Is there one or more homicidal acts and/or murder?
    • Part Two: queer representation
      • Are there queer characters that get a happy ending?
      • Is there an illegal or otherwise distasteful age gap between characters, queer or otherwise?
      • Do the queer characters die tragically, violently, or at all?
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • Mako Mori Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that in the story there is at least one female character independent of a male character’s story.
      • Is there a female character? Yup
      • Does she get her own arc? Yup
      • Does it do anything other than serve to support a man’s story? NOPE
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • Sexy Lamp Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that a female character in the story serves as an active protagonist, not just a device to be used by the male main character.
      • Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp? Yes
    • Post-It Note Caveat:
      • Would the character be able to be replaced by a Sexy Lamp with a sticky note on it for information conveyance? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Tauriel Test:
    • Purpose: to help support the existence of competent, independent female characters regardless of a romantic sub-plot.
      • Is there at least one woman in the story? Yes
      • Is this woman competent in her chosen occupation and not immediately shown up by a newcomer male character? Yes
      • If she has or develops a love interest during the story, either implied or explicitly stated, does she suddenly abandon her job and/or chosen path to support or pursue said love interest? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Vito Russo Test:
    • Purpose: to establish more characters that are on the SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Acceptance), QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) or LGBTQIAP+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Biromantic/Bigender, Transgender, Queer/Genderqueer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Pansexual/Panromantic, and others not listed here) spectrum.
      • Is there a character on the queer spectrum? No
      • Are they a character beyond their orientation? n/a
      • Do they actually affect the plot? n/a
      • Is the character something beyond a punchline? n/a
    • Pass or Fail: Fail

Overall review:

Thoughts:

While reading it, I had a lot of thoughts:

“I’m in chapter 90, page 311, 71% through this book Atlantis Gene and I literally can’t tell you the names of the “main” characters.

One of them is a lady doctor. She’s a lady and a doctor! And she cares for the kids they kidnap/steal from 3rd world countries and experiment on coz they’re autistic. She’s trying to cure autism. Coz that’s not mildly offensive or anything. But yeah, after losing a child in birth, she ran off to a third world country to do Science she couldn’t legally do in the USA because of morals and the legality of experimenting on human subjects.

Oh! And the other main dude is a double identity secret agent man with a Tragic Past himself. He’s super secretive and doesn’t have time to be distracted by lady doctor. Spoiler: he does get distracted by lady doctor but only after she saves his life. More than once, actually.

What are they doing? Oh, they’re trying to stop the apocalypse that autistic people may be immune to because of their brain wiring and the Bad Guys keeps trying to kill them because of super secret reasons or something. Motives for all this are unclear, but we do know they’re trying to forcibly bring about another bottleneck/mass reduction in the human population that they call the Toba Protocol. It’s kinda cool if absolutely terrifying.

And now we’re into there are ancient human descendants hidden in the ruins of Atlantis. Wait, no, there’s stasis pods with pre-humans in them. And a few other people? Oh wait, lady doctor was somehow descended from the Atlantis overlords, too!

And now we have Nazis because we’re time jumping through a journal back to WWII. And Gibraltar is involved with undersea mining and mining for a Nazi sub in the Antarctic??

Oh, and 9/11 was part of a global conspiracy.

Page 311. Chapter 90.

Send help.”

It didn’t get less confusing as it ended, I promise you. However! Even as delightfully confusing as it was, and by gods would it be easy to roast the plot twists for sheer what the hell-ism, I really did like the action. I couldn’t stop reading even if I wasn’t completely sure I knew what was going on.

Was it engaging?

Yes

Favorite Character:

Uh…. I don’t have one? I guess Kate because I can remember her name?

Review format updated 4 June 2019

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