This was a fast moving apocalyptic thriller. We meet many of the characters as the world is blowing up, and see them again at an undefined time later, when they awake in some underground facility and attempt to discover what happened. The story is somewhat of a treasure hunt, as the characters follow clues and find out more about current conditions as well as the past.
I do love this type of story - I always like to think about "what would I do if...?" so this was a quick, fun read for me. I didn't love any of the characters (it's not really character driven in my opinion) but I did like finding out along with them what happened and why.
Stars: 1 out of 5.
I DNFed this book at 55%. You would think that reaching the halfway point there would have been some exciting action, right? With a name like Extinction Trials, you would think there would be some high stakes, trials, etc., right? Wrong.
Yes, there seems to have been a mass extinction event, but even halfway through the book I'm not sure how long ago it had happened or how the characters ended up in Station 17. And apart from them leaving the station and getting on a boat, there hadn't been any trials either. Unless you count them trying to repair the boat as a trial. But then one man was working on it and the rest were just mulling around waiting, so that's a boring trial.
And that's the crux of it - this book is boring. The characters are uninspiring. Heck, I am not sure I can remember most of them after dropping this book a few days ago. I mean who the heck is Blair and what is her purpose in this story anyway? They have no personality, no quirks, no inner strengths or weaknesses. And even though the book is told from the perspective of two of those characters, we never really get familiar with them.
The reason for that is because the author doesn't know how to show things. What we get instead is never-ending exposition. Each character has to tell their backstory. Then they find a journal and a character needs to read every single entry out loud. Then they find video recordings, so those are narrated as well. Heck, at one point, the two character even read excerpts from a self-help book... Yawn.
By the time I reached the halfway point and discovered that nothing major had happened yet and I didn't particularly care about any of the characters, I decided that continuing this struggle wasn't worth my time. So I skipped to the end just to see how this whole mess was resolved and... let's just say that the ending is very disappointing. If you want the events in a book to make sense and abide by the rules of the world that the author created, this book is definitely not for you.
PS: I received an advanced copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
DNFing an A. G. Riddle book has never happened to me before. I stopped reading at 25% because nothing happens and that nothing was waaaay too confusing to me to continue reading this book.
This is a tricky one, probably 3.5stars
So first off let me co fess that I accidentally started this book as I thought it was a different Extinction Trials. But I was pleasantly surprised and decided to carry on. The beginning of the book is catchy and I personally like the split perspective approach. Owen was a very likeable character and I was intrigued by Maya. Although there wasn't much world building, I had a fair grasp of the world the characters were living in and it seemed, on the whole, plausible. I was intrigued by the whole robots doing the firefighters job. The idea of robots replacing people has obviously been done before, but it was presented differently here and I found the idea quite interesting.
As the book quickly progresses to the awakening stage, I again found they were age old concepts but presented in a modern way. I even remarked to my son that he would enjoy this book. The character pool grew and there were a couple dodgy additions to get your head around. But it was also now that things started to fall apart a little. So there is a storm, someone dies and they have to decide what to do next. From here on it gets a little tedious. Owen in particular receives a strange presentation as they talk about his limitations. Talking about autism in this was seemed a little childish for a grown man, and whilst I get he loved his mum, his preoccupation with whether she is there, is again, a little childish. Like it's the future, the strong have been chosen to survive and your wondering if your aged mother made it???
The group then begin a lost like treasure hi t and I can't help but draw comparison with the hit TV show as the whole video .messages and hatches just feels so Lost. They begin a kid d of treasure hunt. Owen reminds us repeatedly that he can't read facial cues and Maya forgets everything except Owen.
It's for this reason that Im only giving 3.5 stars. I read in other reviews that there was a twist ending that no one saw coming. Well other than the characters saying they didn't see that coming, I couldn't find this amazing twist. It was all rather obvious and expected, again it felt a little based on other stories.
So it's a good read, very good at the beginning but less so as it progresses. I personally like pacey reads so for me it was a little slow in places and a little follow the leader style treasure hunt.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The world is ending and cohorts have been put into stations to try to solve the Extinction Trials. ARC from NetGalley.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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!*