Cover Image: The Extinction Trials

The Extinction Trials

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgally and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 
I haven't read the rest of the series so I don't know how much the rest of the series provides you with background info, but this was labeled a stand alone so I don't feel bad saying that this is the kind of book that you need to go into understanding that you do not have the information, you are learning right alongside the charicters and they know basically nothing going in. I really liked both of the main characters and I think that really helped ease me into a more intense scifi story than I would usually pick up. The beginning of the book was a bit erratic for my taste  (kind of felt a bit all over the place and disjointed) but eventually, that evolved into a more coherent story with the MCs trying to figure out what is going on and hat to do next.
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A group of strangers awakens in a bunker. One at a time they are brought out of stasis and gather in a room  that isn't as cold as the rest of the facility. They soon find out that some among them are not all on the same side. Then they find out they are part of an experiment to restart the human race. 

They soon discover that the outside is not welcoming. However, the facility is out of power and they must find a new place where they can be warm and safe. They quickly find that this goal will not be at all easy to achieve!

I read this from cover to cover in a day. I just had to see what would happen! I recommend this to post apocalypse fans.
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This should not be the first book you read by this author. It does not reflect what he is capable of. I found "The Extinction Trials" slow-paced with many contrived situations. It is not the page-turner the "The Long Winter Trilogy" is. .SIx main characters made reading sometimes cumbersome as I tried to remember who was who. 

Because I enjoyed Riddle's other books so much, I thought I wasn't paying close enough attention while reading "The Extinction Trails", so I read it again. A little over the top I know, but I'd received a complimentary copy so felt I should go all out to provide an honest review. I especially wondered if I'd missed something important regarding the main character's "limitation". Nope. Even after the second reading, I couldn't understand why the author focused so much on this trait. Mentions of the "limitation" were made so often that as a reader I was insulted that the author didn't think I could remember it without being constantly reminded. I saw no value in it as far as advancing the story line.

The second read-through revealed some foreshadowing and clues that I'd missed the first time, but the story was still blah.

There are scenes which are simply not believable, even for apocalyptic science fiction. For example, using untested breathing equipment in a possibly toxic environment without first testing the equipment to make sure it worked in a safe environment. Similar situations happen more than once.

 After reading "The Long Winter Trilogy" I looked forward to other adventures by A.G. Riddle. I'm sorry, but "The Extinction Trials" was not the one for me.
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A group of people wake up in a. Research facility and the twists and turns don’t stop there!

A very Maze Runner feeling book the story struggled with pacing and vague plot lines. Definitely a story for those who love a
Dystopian novel this book didn’t wow me but was an enjoyable enough read. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
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I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest and fair review.  Thank you NetGalley and Legion Books for the opportunity to review this story.

The Extinction Trials is a dystopian thriller about a group of strangers who awake suddenly in an unknown location with no recollection of how they arrived there - they also do not have many memories of their lives prior to waking.  They quickly find themselves in a very dangerous situation and must learn to work together in order to figure out what exactly is going on as well as how to survive. 

This story was ok for me.  I had a hard time keeping all of the characters straight because they did not have strong development (and because part of the plot is they can't remember their earlier lives).  I assumed, based off the title of this book, that it would be more like the Hunger Games - a series which I loved.  That series is very fast paced and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time - I cared about the characters and I cared about their relationships with one another.  I also cared about the overall plot and the storyline that led to the events of the Hunger Games.  I just didn't feel the same about the Extinction Trials.  I felt like the relationships between the characters were unimportant. The romance storyline made no sense to me given how short of a time they knew each other.  None of the characters stood out to me, they all just felt flat.  Additionally, I just never felt any real suspense.  Often, the characters would have no idea what to do or what was going on - and then all of a sudden they'd say something like "it's obvious what must be done!" and then magically have an instant answer for what is happening - even though nothing has taken place to provide them any additional information that would lead to such an answer.  It just didn't make sense.

The twist at the end was interesting though, so that boosted my overall feelings about the book a little bit.
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The world is ending and cohorts have been put into stations to try to solve the Extinction Trials.  ARC from NetGalley.
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Full marks for degree of difficulty, but the execution is rough

Disclosure: I received a ARC of this book from the author and am voluntarily providing my honest thoughts and review.

TL;DR: Overall, a good tale with enough twists to keep things interesting. However, inconsistent pacing and an unreliable-ish narrator are hard to overcome. If you can accept the "hide the ball" parts, you will likely this book.

* Good variety of characters that are consistent
* Action scenes have good energy and drive

* Plot pacing is inconsistent
* Narrator hides details from reader without cause

I wanted to like The Extinction Trials the entire time I was reading it. In the end, I didn't regret reading it but I was glad it was over. The ideas behind the story are good and the characters make an interesting group with good friction and dynamics. The early chapters feel like reading two separate stories in the same narrative universe, but they join up quickly enough to be grating. The actions scenes are well done and have great energy. But the scenes in between can drag sometimes, particularly when the book goes meta and has you reading the book(s) inside the book.

However, the biggest problem is the narrator. This is a third-person narration, and lets you inside the heads of all the characters depending on that chapter's POV. My issue is that this omniscient narrator then randomly withholds details of what the character is seeing or thinking, replacing key details with pronouns or vague terms (e.g., describing something held by a character as "a personal item" in their own internal monologue). It kept jarring me out of the story to have the book play coy like this. The worst part is that ultimately these are meaningless as the things they are looking at still require explanation as to why they matter to that person.

The small twists peppered throughout the book are mostly good at keeping the story moving forward. As the book drew towards the end, the twists were easier to see coming and easier to predict. The final 'twist' in particular felt a bit easy to see coming, and then tried to swerve to overcome that. Not necessarily bad but it didn't work for me.

As I said, I don't regret reading The Extinction Trials and give it full marks for the degree of difficulty it attempted. There is a good story here, and if you can accept that the narrator is going to often be too-cute-by-half you will almost certainly love this book.
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I got immersed in this book very quickly.
I couldn't put it down, it was pretty amazing.
The storytelling was incredible. The world
building was fantastic, and imaginative.
I loved what the book was about, but
especially its deeper meaning. It made you
think, feel, and relate to the characters.
I can't wait to read more from this author.
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I really liked the concept of this book and it was a pretty good read in general. The setting was really interesting as well and I was completely hooked from the very first chapter. 
However I could not really relate to the characters which made it a little challenging for me to read but the premise was interesting enough that I read through. And I'm so glad I did. I had never read a book by A.G. Riddle before but this one certainly won't be the last
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The Extinction Trials by A.G. Riddle was full of fun! I've never read a AG book before but that changes after today, because this was amazing! 
A fantastic read from start to finish! I couldn't put it down once I started.
Great story with complex characters and interesting scenarios. The pacing did not let up. 
A great fun book!
Now I'm off to get his Pandemic book!
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A.G. Riddle is new to me, so I was not sure what I was in for.  The Extinction Trials gives me the Maze Runner vibes.  Almost to much at times. 
Seven people wake up in a failing facility.  They are not sure why they are there, if the outside is safe, or if there is anyone else alive out there.
There are many twists and turns, that I feel that have seen in a lot of the dystopian type of reads.
Thanks for the opportunity Legion Books and NetGalley.
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As usual, I was super attracted to this dystopia set in a future in which a group of people has decided that resetting humanity and putting them through trials was the best way to help the planet, and make Earth a better place. The Change, as they call it, has killed many humans and destroyed civilization as we know it. Know, a group of strangers wakes up in a bunker, and it's up to them to figure out what happened, why, and how to survive in this seemingly hostile environment.

Even though the book didn't leave me a huge impression overall, I'm glad to say it was a pretty good read. The concept was interesting, even if I didn't fully understand the reasons for The Change, the motivations of the people behind it and how they managed to pull it off. Still, the setting is interesting. I liked investigating along with the characters, and discovering their surroundings with them.

However, I could not connect with them. Their personnalities didn't make me want to feel empathy for them or anything. I just got curious of how their journey would end, and if answers would be given at the end of the book. In that sense, this was more of a plot-driven story. We still get insights of the various characters' background, and life before The Change, but again, I couldn't get too much into it.

The plot in itself was more interesting. I think this is largely due to the fact that A.G Riddle's writing is captivating. My lack of interest for the characters was due to the fact they're so realistic I couldn't help but think I would not like them IRL. But when it comes to the world building and the descriptions, and the action, it ticks all the right boxes. I got completely immersed in this new world, its dangers and the adventures taking place in it. I wanted to see if the crew would manage to flee the island they were stuck in, if they would survive long enough to have answers, etc.

In a way, I could picture everything as clearly as if I was watching a series. It actually even reminded me of Lost a little. The vibe was somewhat similar, even if the characters get to go away from their original island, and have more freedom of ressources etc. It's more the general mood and the secrets about The Change and its instigators that remind me of Lost.

It's one of the few adult dystopias that I've read, and honestly, it was good. The setting was great, the plot well-thought and written. It has tech, and is realistic in the way the characters act, and the way the action unfolds. So yep, a pretty good read if you enjoy dystopias!
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The Extinction Trials is the offspring of shows like Lost, Cube, and The Maze Runner.

Seven people wake up in a lab. They don’t know how they got there. More importantly, they don’t know how to leave. Is the world outside poisoned? Is everyone else in the world dead?

The Extinction Trials is a breathless Russian nesting doll of a book. Just when you think you have it figured out, BOOM! another twist ensues. I had a great time being jolted around by the plot. If you want to join an end time adventure, you won’t be disappointed. 5 stars and a favorite!

Thanks to Legion Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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The Extinction Trials is a stand-alone post-apocalyptic thriller by a new author to me. I’m not sure what made me request it, as I’m trying to reduce my NetGalley backlog, so generally only going for authors I already know, but I am a sucker for PA scenarios - especially ones that don’t involve zombies! I enjoyed this despite the preposterous premise, mainly because of the highly likeable main characters.

Owen is a firefighter, but worries that he will lose the job he loves to robots. Maya only has fragmented memories of her past, but knows she was doing something important. When they awaken in an underground bunker, alongside a small group of strangers, they discover that the world they knew has changed irrevocably - and that they are possibly the last hope for the human race - in an experiment called The Extinction Files.

The beginning of this reminded me of the Wool books from a few years ago - I need to be careful with my comparisons to avoid giving anything away - a small group of survivors from a deadly world-changing event in an unspecified future where the very air outside can kill you. It then heads in a different direction - with a lot more more sci-fi than supernatural elements. You spend most of the book wondering what on earth is going on - rather than keeping me in suspense I found myself disengaging in mild frustration - especially when the characters experience a revelation that is not shared with us until chapters later, something I find particularly annoying in fiction. I’d been warned about the twist ending but didn’t see what was coming and can’t decide if I like it or not - it’s certainly clever.

I did like the relative absence of violence and cruelty - unusual in a genre that often crosses over into horror, and avoidance of unnecessary sex and swearing - I don’t mind that where it’s necessary for the plot but here it really isn’t. I would definitely be keen to read some of the author’s other books.
Thanks to NetGalley and Legion Books for the ARC, and apologies that my review is a couple of days late (for some reason I thought publication was not til next year.)
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Book Review: The Extinction Trials by A.G. Riddle
Published by Legion Books, November 2, 2021

★★★★★ (4.5 Stars)

In his new book, best-selling sci-fi author A. G. Riddle delivers once again for his readers, loyal fans and new, with his subdued simplicity brand, a style reminiscence of one Isaac Asimov, firmly on the techno cutting edge, creative, with a hefty dose of empathy and humanity, all trademarks evident in his million copy selling "The Origin Mystery" trilogy (The Atlantis Gene), along with "The Long Winter" two-book series.

The Extinction Trials.

The world is decimated by a weaponized virus, and by a vicious internecine conflict between warring factions, "The Union" and "The Alliance", both beset with policies dictated by an insatiable thirst for power and greed, unyielding even as the entire planet precipitously verges on impending total annihilation.

In the confines of hidden, climate-controlled, ultra high-tech experimental "Noah's Ark(s)", each manned by an android, a series of "Extinction Trials" are conducted with human occupants in hibernation with the hope to resurrect from stasis to a new world, ostensibly to restart the human race.

In one such trial, the powers that be pick Joe Six-pack and Jane Doe, in the fullest sense of the implied vernacular meaning: Randomly ordinary folks.

A fireman, a bus mechanic, a genetics engineer, a techie, an ER doctor - and a child.

//  "It's an uplifting tale about strangers learning to trust each other and about the values that are the key to humanity's survival." - A. G. Riddle  //

They'd left a world of destruction and grief and toxic unbreathable air, of self-driving cars, robots and drones and the machines' human masters. They will awaken to a new world - far beyond expectations.

But before then, the six will have find a way to trust one another, deal with a "mesh" to pacify minds, confront the aforementioned warring factions, and flee from the reaches of a global phenomenon called "The Change".

And not all of the six may survive...

Exhilarating all the way through quite an unexpected finale!

Review based on an ARC from Legion Books and NetGalley.
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This is the first book I’ve read of A.G. Riddle, and it looks like I’ve found a new author to read.  I’ll need to check out his backlist.  

In The Extinction Trials, six people wake up in a research facility and find they’ve been saved from the recent apocalypse that wiped out most of the people and created a toxic atmosphere.  They are told they’re part of the trials to restart humanity.

From there, they follow abstract clues to make their way to another location where they hope to find answers as to what, why, where!  

I read a lot of apocalyptic books, so the premise started out as another of those.  But then it shifted into something like an episode of Lost and became much more than your typical apocalyptic story.  

But my oh my, that ending!!!  I’ve never seen anything like it and had to go back and reread it just to make sure I got it right.  That ending pretty much blew my mind and gave me one of the most unique endings ever.  Well done!

I switched back and forth between the ecopy and the audiobook.  The audiobook was performed by John Skelly and did a decent job.

*Thanks to Legion Books and NetGalley for the advance copy, and thanks to RB Media, Recorded Books, and NetGalley for the early audiobook!*
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This is a hard one to describe the plot without giving anything away, this is one of those books you kind of want to go into blind. 

This was a really tough one for me to figure out how to rate. The overall plot was creative and great in concept, but the execution just didn’t cut it for me. Bit disappointed because I do remember really liking another of A.G. Riddle’s books a few years back, and his other series seem to be very popular! So let me say that while I won’t give this one a resounding recommendation, I would definitely recommend checking out others by him. I also am seeing other really high ratings for this book so perhaps this just wasn’t right for me.

Overall rating, with a maybe too generous bump for the plot: 3 Stars
Writing style rating: 2 stars

Where it went wrong for me: The characters were either bland and nondescription or overly described in a way that made them very Mary Sue. I developed zero attachment for any of the characters. The plot, while overall had great potential, most of the book I felt like we were going nowhere and all of the hurdles and challenges the characters had to overcome were exceptionally easy to solve. There was too much philosophical and pensive content that made my brain a bit numb. The romance seemed to develop without any rational explanation nor relationship building or chemistry. The ending- while very interesting and clever- I have seen done before. There were several other nuances with the writing that frustrated me but as I got further into the book I realized a very good reason was hiding. Finally, as usual my background in the medical field makes me frustrated with some of the medical references in the book, especially with the character that is the ER doctor who apparently also knows how to perform autopsies and regularly does surgeries as well…. Doctors have specialties for a reason- ER docs stay in the ER, surgeons stay in the OR, and medical examiners/pathologists stay the hell out of both of those places and only work with the dead.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars

A group of strangers wake up in an underground facility. They learn they are part of a research group called the Extinction Trials. They have little supplies, don't know what the world is like, and are left clues to figure out how to survive.

I love dystopian/end of world type books. Some interesting ideas in the last 25% of the book to think about. Several twists. Random thought but given this is a survival story, there was focus on food but not water.

I had both audio and digital copies and flipped between them. The narrator was easy to listen to.
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I’m a bit of a sucker for A.G. Riddle’s work. I really enjoyed his the Long Winter Trilogy. Sure, I know the books have similar plots - post apocalyptic scenarios on a grand scale and that the stories get a little corny but, for me, that’s part of the charm. I know what I’m getting (more or less) and that, generally, the good guys (minus a few who don’t make it) will prevail. I also know that I’ll become absorbed in the world that Riddle creates and I’ll be rooting for his characters. What’s not to love? 

This one ticks all those boxes. The world is going to h*ll in a hand basket (it’s an old expression) and certain characters must come together to save the day. Some will not know what they know. Some will have secrets and, in any case, they have no idea what is going on. This is a good thing because what is going on is very bad. Governments and technology companies are in a war to the death, both claim that they are the only path to salvation for humanity. In a nutshell.

Many dangers are faced along the way and the intrepid group battles on. The ending was a nice little twist that I didn’t see coming but it makes sense. After reading this I’m even a bit more kindly disposed to artificial intelligence. Just a little bit. Also, Riddle has written some books previously as a series called Extinction Files so you need to be careful. I was caught out on Goodreads and the plots are both different but similar sounding. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this though. It makes a lovely change from dark books even if you find post apocalyptic books themselves dark. Many thanks to Netgalley and Legion Books for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

To be published on 2 November 2021.
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Thank you NetGalley, the author , and the publisher for the opportunity to read and give an honest review of this book.

This dystopian, science fiction book is all about 7 characters that are awakened from glass chambers in an unknown site without knowing how they got there and what they need to do to get out. It reminded me a bit of the old Rod Sterling Twilight Zone tv series.

The world has changed. It has literally been destroyed by a war. However, disease and AI also play a role in this world’s  destruction. The characters in this novel take on the task of finding other humans that may be left in this changed world. There are clues, and puzzles to solve before they can get to their final destination. The characters all seem to be linked together in some mysterious manner.

I admit, I have issues with the hokey ‘science’ in science fiction literature.
However, I took this book on in order to be openminded and to dispel any prejudices I may have about science fiction. 

I believe this is a great book for science fiction lovers. It just wasn’t the book for me.
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