The Extinction Trials

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 02 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 15 Feb 2022

Talking about this book? Use #ExtinctionTrials #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!



After a mysterious global event known only as "The Change," six strangers wake up in an underground research facility where they learn that they're part of the Extinction Trials—a scientific experiment to restart the human race.

But the Extinction Trials hides a very big secret.

And so does the world outside.

From A.G. Riddle, the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author with over FOUR MILLION COPIES SOLD worldwide in twenty languages, comes an epic STANDALONE novel with a mind-blowing twist at the end.

Note: This is A.G. Riddle's tenth novel and his first new release in two years. Audio rights were acquired by RecordedBooks for $400k. The book will be released concurrently in hardcover, paperback, and eBook on 2 Nov 2021. If you're a bookseller or librarian, please email about how to order.

Thank you for your interest in The Extinction Trials.

Past Praise for A.G. Riddle

"...reads like a superior collaboration between Dan Brown and Michael Crichton."
The Guardian on Pandemic

"I finished the book fast because I just couldn't wait..."
WIRED GeekDad on Departure

"Riddle... keep(s) the focus on his characters... rather than the technological marvels"
Publisher's Weekly on Departure

"This is apocalyptic sci-fi at its best."
Daily Mail on The Solar War

"Well-constructed and tightly-wound as a fine Swiss watch—DEPARTURE has non-stop action, an engaging plot and, of course, wheels within wheels."
Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Outlander


After a mysterious global event known only as "The Change," six strangers wake up in an underground research facility where they learn that they're part of the...

Marketing Plan

- Online advertising campaign (planned $250k in paid ads in the first 12 months after release)

- Outreach to the author's email list (100k subscribers) and social media

- Early-reader review programs via Edelweiss, NetGalley, and Goodreads

- Online advertising campaign (planned $250k in paid ads in the first 12 months after release)

- Outreach to the author's email list (100k subscribers) and social media

- Early-reader review programs...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781940026299

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)

Average rating from 59 members

Featured Reviews

I got a RAC of this book through NetGallery in exchange of an honest review.
It was my first time reading one book from A.G. Riddle and i must say i loved it. even the moments that seem slow, are in the right speed for me, and the ones with action, are also well written and well described, for me it was the perfect novel, even knowing that you will have the after trials book it feels complete.

The book follows a group of survivors that awake inside a "Fallout shelter" of the sorts, more closely Owen and Maya that we are introduced to their life before waking up, Owen is a fireman, a brave man that cant read faces or read into the situation since he was born and he has his mom in a nursing home and he cares deeply for her, Maya in other hand, we dont get to know much about her because she seems to be forgeting her past.. only knowing for sure that she wants to know her mom and sister are ok and people seem to want to hurt her.
i did like this story very much and even having romance, its for all ages, people helping each other and working for a comum goal, it was a very nice read!


Was this review helpful?

5 stars, The world as they knew it has ended, now what?


A small group of people wakes up in a fallout shelter and as they are learning about what is going on, one of the people waking up murders the man who was telling them about the state of the world at this time. They find that they have to work together to get any further with their escape.

Highly recommend a great dystopian science fiction novel.

Many thanks to #netgalley #legionbooks for the complimentary copy of #theextinctiontrials I was under no obligation to post a review.

Was this review helpful?

This book is the reason I love reading AG Riddle. It was interesting,fast paced and totally entertaining.I am hoping there will be a sequel.

Was this review helpful?

Today, coffee was not a want, but a NEED because I spent all night reading A.G Riddle's 'The Extinction Trials' and refused to put it down, not even for one second.

Here is what I thought...

A global event simply known as ' The Change' has seemingly caused the end of the human race, but not all hope is lost. Six strangers wake up, years later, in an underground research facility with one goal - to save the human race.

I couldn't help but fall in love with each of the characters, who each had an interesting story to tell, try and uncover how they are all connected and find out what brought upon 'The Change' and is it reversible?

The Extinction Trials is 893 pages of pure perfection, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi masterpiece, and I urge you all to pre-order your copy now!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Legion Books and NetGalley for this exciting new sci-fi mystery book!

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!n
Now I'm off to get his Pandemic book!

Thank you again for the opportunity to read this outstanding novel!
I will post to my platforms closer to pub date!

Was this review helpful?

Another winner from A G Riddle. I have read quite a few of his works and you can always depend on him for a fast-paced sci-fi thriller and this one doesn't disappoint either.

Others have summarized the plot so I won't go into much details. Suffice to say that this one is about a (near) extinction event and the quest of the survivors to find out what happened to them. They wake up from a comatose state and are in a race against time to find out what happened to them, who is a friend and who is a foe.

Looking forward to the next one!

Was this review helpful?

After a short/cryptic prologue where we are teased about an experiment/project that is meant to restart the human race via what is referred to as The Extinction Trials, we get our first opportunity to meet our first participants in the trials. Now while there are more than two participants, these two main characters, Owen Watts and Maya Young, are the only ones we are introduced to in the time before the trials start. Owen in a fireman, though with the advancements in society much of his work has become obsolete with robots and automation handling much of the work, but soon we see that something is wrong with those automated systems. When we meet Maya we don’t know much about her, she’s completing a workout class when she collapses and ends up in a hospital, where she isn’t sure what is going on, only knows that something isn’t right and she believes she’s in danger. We start to get hints that something isn’t right in the world, that Maya may be infected with something known as the Genesis Virus and that something known as The Change is happening around the world.
Then we jump ahead, though how long is unknown, with Owen, Maya, and several others being woken up in some kind of station/bunker were they are informed that the world as they know it is over and they are survivors. Thus begins the real meat of the story, the journey to not only survive but to figure out what has happened. This all happens in the first 10-15% of the book or so and I’ll stop the recap here to spare any spoilers, but seriously this is just the beginning of the mysteries that need to be solved. It’s an interesting cast of characters and quite an exciting and gripping story.
While I could compare the “what the heck is going on?’ feeling I got to such shows as Lost, the truth is when I started reading this book I actually keep thinking about the feelings I had when I first read Blake Crouch’s Pines (first book in his Wayward Pines series). The books aren’t actually all that alike but as I said it gave me a similar feeling. An addictive need to know what was going on so I just kept saying I’ll read one more chapter…well maybe just one more, again and again.
I’d like to thank Legion Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an eARC of A.G. Riddle’s The Extinction Trials.

Was this review helpful?

AG Riddle writes stories that include world-changing events and suspenseful travel. My first introduction to Riddle’s writing was with his Atlanta Gene series. Just like The Extinction Trials, there was travel, suspense, and budding world change.

In The Extinction Trials, two main characters quickly emerge, a neurological scientist and a fireman. Both did their career jobs nobly intending to save lives. But competing world factions, bent on wiping out existing humanity and restarting a new population, ended their prospects. One political faction used a memory steeling pandemic to accomplish that goal while the other used technology to create killer robots out of all the service robots. Fortunately, a third faction cryogenically preserved as many non-aligned citizens as possible to facilitate the survival of the human species.

The factional wars continued, but The Extinction Trials’ story is primarily about the two main characters, put into cryogenic sleep, who wake up in a dystopian future and are left with vague clues leading to the third faction’s sanctuary. The two end up battling other survivors on the way and mistakenly end up in the pandemic-spreading faction’s control. That faction attempts to chemically alter their minds to make them more compliant to its cause. But they escape before the changes manifest and manage to get to the sanctuary.

At the sanctuary, two advanced androids meet them and assure the couple that they can remove the changes to their brains and preserve them along with the rest of humanity. The couple emerges thousands of years after the rest of the awakened population and find themselves on a new virgin planet. During the time of their extended cryogenic sleep, humanity had built new civilizations on earth and was at a technical level similar to the 1960s. The robots provided the two main characters with a large endowment in the form of diamonds, stones that were plentiful in their former world but are rare on earth and very valuable. Using that endowment, the couple invests in promising world-changing technology companies. At the end of the book, they are going on to prepare the population for settling other planets so that the human race no longer faces extermination at the hands of its political factions.

The book’s story and its pace kept me engaged. I spent many a late hour reading when I should have been resting in preparation for the following day’s obligations. As a result of AG Riddle formulary writing, I don’t think that I would have enjoyed The Extinction Trials if I had read immediately following the Atlantis Gene. Fortunately, this is a new book that came out long after I read that series so I didn’t need to.

Was this review helpful?

The world as humanity knows it seems to be coming to an end. With a sudden bang. A new super-virus called Genesis Virus strikes left, right, and centre, causing headaches, nose-bleeding, and complete memory loss, sometimes even death; and the countless self-driven vehicles and other AI-operated machines meant to help people get out of control one day, maiming and killing everyone in their reach. Both former scientist-cum-secret-service-informant Maya and firefighter Owen learn it the hard way. The former almost dies from an outbreak of the virus and is rescued in the very last minute by government colleagues before falling into a coma. During a routine intervention that turns out way more dangerous than he thought, the latter is seriously injured and transferred to a hospital, where he loses consciousness. Both wake up in glass tubes and find themselves in a freezing underground bunker together with a bunch of other people—a bus mechanic, an ER doctor, an IT specialist, a little girl, an unsuspicious-looking old man, and an android, Bryce. Their proctor. Bryce tells them the world has really ended what seems like eons ago and that they are one of several separated groups of survivors enrolled in a secret repopulation program called the Extinction Trials. That’s the good news. The bad news: the outside world has become deathly, the power system of their bunker is failing, and… end of explanation. The seemingly harmless old guy bashes Bryce’s head in, depriving them of further information, before dashing outside. Luckily, no one follows him, because through the airlock door window, the other six can only watch with horror as he dies a death that is as gruesome as it is sudden. The question is: what with the power failing, food rations being scarce, and no way to find out a) what has happened, b) where they are, and c) what to do or where to go, they are trapped in this God-forsaken bunker and…

And that’s as far as I’m willing to go, plot-wise. Why? Because. Several “becauses”, in fact, the main of them being that any further information would be a spoiler. And I really wouldn’t want to spoil the reading pleasure for anyone. Believe me: if you’re into cleverly thought-out dystopias and gripping world-building, you WILL find pleasure in reading this book. Immense pleasure. I was hooked after the first page and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it, and I can tell you, it’s a novel filled with unexpected (and unexpectable) twists and turns galore. You never really know who is who, who’s telling the truth and who’s lying, what really happened, or into what hellhole the world has truly been transformed while the main characters were asleep. The only constants in this trust-nobody-trust-nothing world are Owen and Maya, who take turns not telling the story (that would be dull and bad writing) but lending you their eyes, ears, even thoughts and memories in order to show you. They both have weak spots, blind spots even (Owen for instance seems to be born with a light brain damage that makes him incapable of interpreting body language or facial expressions), and yet, they’re the driving force that will make or unmake the whole group’s survival and understanding of the new situation.

It’s been quite a long time that I haven’t read such a great book—well written, well developed, entertaining in the sense of making your heart beat faster and your breath get laboured while you’re turning the pages almost in a frenzy. The plot turned out waterproof, with just enough new elements per chapter to keep this reader’s curiosity well alive and kicking yet without overwhelming him or pushing the pace over the top. No, there were moments of respite where I could calm down while getting to know the two main characters better. Everything in this really cleverly written book is there for a purpose, each detail, each clue, even the romantic subplot that necessarily comes to light at one point—they all add new layers, new depths. Yep, although being highly addictive and entertaining, this is no shallow read; it points out questions we humans should ask ourselves before it’s too late. And the final twist—a masterpiece. I highly recommend this book!

Was this review helpful?

Others have summarized the story below so I'll keep it brief but this follows a group of people waking up after an extinction event trying to find out what happens to them. This is fast paced and action packed. It's original and just when you think you know what will happen next, a twist is thrown at you to keep you engaged. It's a page turner!

Was this review helpful?

Just when you think this book was going in a certain direction... the twist was entirely unexpected but was the deciding factor in me giving this 5 stars! I also loved the beautiful message of the importance of family, both given and found. Special thanks to Netgalley for this advance copy!

Was this review helpful?

The Extinction Trials by A.G. Riddle

This book starts off with a lot of intensity and doesn’t ever slow down. I enjoyed the concept of a purposeful, man-made apocalypse and a scientific endeavor to determine how humans could survive it. The ending of the book brought the story in a full circle and felt very fitting and satisfying.

Towards the beginning of the book it was sometimes difficult to tell at first who was narrating the chapter, as the characters’ voices were quite similar, but it got easier as time went on.

I struggled the most with Blair’s character, who felt very ambiguous. She’s described as a young child and her age is never directly stated, but it’s implied she may be just starting to read, so roughly 5-7 years old. However her speech is incredibly articulate for that age and she reads more like a pre-teen/teenager in that regard. While she is part of the main group of characters, I struggled to connect with her in any meaningful way.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read that I looked forward to picking up again every time I had to put it down.

Was this review helpful?

Maybe you have seen the 1997 movie The Cube. If so, something in this book will sound a little familiar to you. In the movie, 7 people awake in a cube shaped maze with deadly traps. This time around, we get a bunch of people in an underground research facility. And no obvious traps. But not less deadly. Only we don't start at this point like the movie.

Instead, we start into a world of tomorrow that seems to be a bright world at first glance - AIs being utilized the right way, robots relieving mankind from the most dangerous activities (like firefighting). It looks to be a promising world!

And then, of course, everything goes south. Looks can be deceiving. It's true in everyday's life, and it is especially true in the world of the extinction trials. Before we reach them, though, we get a good look at our two main heroes. Immediately likeable characters are a boon for every story, but especially for stories of dystopian suffering that want you to suffer alongside their characters.

When the real part of the trials begin, our two protagonists will be joined by a bunch of other characters. Those are as much of an enigma to the heroes as to us, and soon everything starts to look like a (deadly) game. A game that begs the question - who can you trust?

There is some mistrust here, and as stories of prior members of the Extinction Trials emerge, those are given more substance.

"Tonight, they are evil.
Tomorrow, they are survivors.
The next day? They are visionaries."
-- About 38 % in

The world is intriguing (and there is far more than meets the eye), everything after The Change is shrouded in mystery, characters are relatable as well as likeable. So how about pace?

I think it's done just right. It starts with a good pace, followed by a build up that will have you turning page after page without even realizing it. Scene changings between characters feel natural and happen at moments that are dramaturgical right, further increasing the action and the pace. I love it when an author thinks about where their scene changes should be, and it just feels good here.

I've talked about The Cube at the start, and while our group is not in a maze filled with deadly traps, their situation is similar: They are - kind of - trapped in a small underground research facility (with failing power), fighting for their survival and totally unaware of any details - where they are, how they got there, how long they've been there, what happened in the meantime. The only person who could shed some light unto those questions suffers from partial memory loss.

Speaking about memory: There are also philosophical ideas and concepts spread throughout the book. How do our memories of the past shape or future? If our memories could be altered, what would that mean for us?

Besides some of these questions, our heroes are also facing riddles (the author lives up to his name) they have to solve with the breadcrumbs of clues they have been given. And it soon becomes clear they make an excellent pair.

There are some psychological things here coming into play, what with all the mistrust going around. And - not too surprising - we find some philosophy at the core of the story. And at the very heart the conclusion that mankind itself is it's greatest adversary. <em>Homo homini lupus</em>, as Thomas Hobbes wrote (or <em>lupus est homo homini</em> in the original words by Plautus).

I also had a feeling that A. G. Riddle was, at least in parts, taking a bow to George Orwell. Because if you reach a certain point in the story, you can't help but notice the 1984 vibes.

And then there's the final twist. I'm not telling you anything, but it did not come totally unexpected. And the prologue was rounding up everything in a very satisfactory way.


When all is said and done, this is an excellent book! I rate it 4.5 out of 5 (rounded up to 5 on sites that don't support half stars).

The half star reduction is because there are some minor inconsistencies here. Like (sorry, minor spoiler) - where does Bryce's (severed) thump come from that Maya is suddenly wielding? I would have thought the thump walked out of the airlock together with the rest of Bryce. And where did the flashlights everyone is brandishing come from? I know these are really minor details, but since the whole story is so gripping, it's actually something that registers with me, disturbing my immersion into the story.

There are also some other things that seem to be slightly off for me, and I can't tell you about without spoilering too much. But that's really criticism on an absurd high level.

Was this review helpful?

I don’t typically read fiction, but I wanted to get away from non-fiction for a bit and this book looked interesting. I’d never read Riddle before, and they did not disappoint. It only took a week to zip through this page turner.
The book begins with Owen going out on a routine call that goes haywire and ends with him unconscious. Maya is living her life as normal and ends up in the hospital. She is visited by someone she doesn’t remember, but ends up passing out from her illness before anything gets answered for her.
They wake up in a station with a small group of other people, none knowing what’s going on. They learn that they’re in a post-apocalyptic world and participants in something called The Extinction Trials. Each person has an envelope containing an item they recognize from their past, but no reason why the items were left. They learn the power to the station is failing and they need to leave. What follows is a series of events and twists that reveal everything isn’t quite as it seems. Even once everything is more or less resolved and you think the story is finished, there’s one or two final twists at the end.
I thought this was going to be another climate change novel. I was wrong. I especially liked how the ending came out of left field.
While I was reading this, I would explain what happened to my girlfriend. She quickly became invested in the story and urged me to read more so she could find out what happened. It’s safe to say both of us would recommend this book.
Overall, this was a great read and I’ll definitely be checking out Riddle’s other books.

Was this review helpful?

There is a lot to like in this book and not just for hardcore sci-fi fans. In fact the strongest aspect of this book is the relationships among the main characters and the themes of loyalty, friendship, family and integrity, all of which are very well explored. Also the action in this book, although in small doses, was well written and you could feel the suspense rising. As for the sci-fi fans, I think you'll like what you'll find here, but not be blown away by its originality or complexity. The ending was quite clever but still I could use with some more explaining.
I didn't have any big issues with mr. Riddle's book besides one or two things I awsn't a fan of.
Firstly I found some choices/decisions from the main duo of protagonists not that convincing and finally I also felt that the first part of the book was a bit too slow for my liking and it took me a while to get totally hooked on the story.
As I said above, this is a book that will appeal to a lot of readers sci-fi fans or not.

Was this review helpful?

The blurb of this novel was an absolute hook for myself, the concept of a group of random individuals being put through a set of trails in order to rescue the remainder of mankind, was just too hard to turn down. I thought to myself, 'What could go wrong with a blurb like that?' ..... Lucky for me, I am hardly ever wrong and this was no exception. This book was an absolute pleasure to read form start to finish.

Starting this book was swamped in absolute mystery - the cast if characters opening their eyes, trapped inside an unknown tube with in a completely unknown location. A strange android that greets them and to let them know the world as they know it is no more. And it is up to them to save humanity, but only a strange set of clues and each others distant memories to guide them. The beginning third of this book hooked me instantly. Learning about each of the character, understanding their personalities and taking the journey of discovery alongside them. The two main character in Owen - an ex-fire fighter who had an issue with the fire robots turning on their crew and Maya - contracting a deadly virus that is slowly erasing her memory. These two characters are both engaging and the chemistry between them is believable and the author did an excellent job at using these two characters as a platform for telling the story.

Dystopian fantasy or sci-fi has always been an interesting setting throughout all mediums and Riddle has done a fantastic job crafting his world. It is completely void of hope, the characters seeming isolated throughout the story. I could picture myself scavenging through the base in the beginning of the story, escaping into the unknown wilderness beyond. Throughout feeling true isolation and loneliness. As the story develop, the world becomes slightly busier with more and more sci-fi elements filling out the details, with understandable explanations. One of my pet peeves with writing, is when an author makes ideas of concepts too complicated without justifying it with the appropriate explanation or spending the time needed with the reader. However, Riddle paves the story well, holding your hand just gently enough to understand the science in play without removing you from the story itself.

Was this review helpful?

I am a fan of Riddle and this book does not disappoint. The plot is richly woven and keeps the readers interest until the last page. There are many twists and turns in plot so you never know what is going to happen next.

Was this review helpful?

The Extinction Trials Kindle Edition

by A.G. Riddle  (Author

Thank you to AG Riddle, the publisher and NetGalley for the complimentary reviewer's copy. I am choosing to leave a fair and honest review.
AG Riddle is one of the masters of apocalyptic fiction. His previous works include the Origins Series and the Extinction Files series. His ability to research and to apply that research for a fascinating story is second to none. And those abilities shine throughout the Extinction Files.
The Extinction Trials is the Hunger Games if Greg Brin and Michael Crichton wrote it and Ari Aster turned it into a movie
As a pandemic circles around a future world where AI and robots have taken all the dangerous world, our hero – Owen – a firefighter makes a life-altering decision that winds him up at the back of a triage system because of his injuries. After fading to sleep while awaiting care, he awakes to find himself in an underground bunker about to fight not only for his life, but the life of the remaining human race.
The story is woven tightly, leaving breadcrumbs that you think you understand then poof – nope, you don't.
Riddle's talent seems to grow with each book. In this case, the surprise at the end is a complete surprise and a well-earned one.
Riddle's writing is clean. It keeps moving except in the case of clothing. He brings up clothing over and over.
The story is told through Owen's and Maya's (the heroine of the piece) eyes. There is always a hint, from both of them, that we aren't seeing the whole picture. Their voices are similar but Riddle manages to keep them separate.
The plot has the feel of Hereditary or The Cabin in the Woods. When that second shoe drops at the end, it will leave with the same gasp.
All in all, an amazing read with a lot of fun science and an interesting turn on the end of the world as we know it.

5 stars out of 5

Was this review helpful?

The Extinction Trials by A.G. Riddle An epic dystopian science fiction novel with a message of hope and family. The novel is thought provoking. Well written and well developed with relatable and realistic characters. At the end of the novel. the author tosses in a a word during a conversation between Owen and Maya that gives the novel a whole new perspective. Highly recommended.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.

Was this review helpful?

There's a certain, for lack of a better phrase, je ne sais quoi to this book. It's captivating and yet I can't explain why. The pace is smooth without any extra un-needed explanation to the story. Although the story is a science fiction/dystopian, the dialogues between characters are natural and the vocabulary used is not overly complicated for the readers. The only thing I found that did not work is the relationship between Maya and Owen. It was not very convincing to me. In the end, I wanted more and I hope there will be a follow-up book that will continue this story.

Thank you to Legion Books and NetGalley for letting me read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I received this book from legion books via Netgalley for a review. Another exceptional read from A G Riddle. The master of the post apocalyptic novels and this is no exception, thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to legion books and Netgalley for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really loved the way we just jump in with the action. I was left with questions that were slowly answered as the book progressed. I enjoyed reading this adventure and by the end I felt like I knew them all and was rooting for their survival! This was a nice sci-fi read with a virus that causes the Change in the entire population of the planet, and causes a huge war between 2 main groups.
The survivors awake in a freezing fallout shelter and quickly find out they need to leave or risk dying as the power goes out. The main survivors are Owen a fireman who's limitations make reading facial expressions impossible, and Maya a scientist who is infected with the virus. The survivors must make life or death decisions while trying to find this mysterious safe haven the Coloney as their food stores dwindle. They must all contribute in their own way to the survival of the group, sacrifice themselves for the good of the group, and try to save mankind. The ending really surprised me and I loved it! Did they save mankind or will the same mistakes be made? I guess you'll have to read this page turner to find out!

Was this review helpful?

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!

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.)

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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!*

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

A. G. Riddle has been on my reading list for years but I’ve never actually gotten around to reading him. So I was super excited to get an ARC book from him.

The Extinction Trial follows seven strangers who wake up in a failing building with no memory about where they are, why they are there and what their future entails. This novel follows the characters as they explore their surroundings, follow clues about what happened to them and the world around themselves and slowly learn the truth about humanities future.

The plot was amazing with plenty of suspense, action, thrills and surprises. I was never sure what had happened in the past and why, so the big reveal was really exciting and shocking.

The character development was the best part of the novel. Each character was amazingly written with unique personalities. As the characters slowly regained their memories I loved witnessing the changing relationship between each character; some relationships became stronger while others slowly degraded.

The world building was great but it felt standard for post-apocalyptic novels (in comparison to the world of Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith for example).

The conclusion was perfect.

My one minor complaint was I got a little confused in the beginning. That quickly cleared up as the novel progressed though.

Overall this was a great apocalyptic novel with plenty of twists and action, great characters, an interesting world and a perfect conclusion. I would suggest it to all post-apocalyptic fans.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This was my first book by this author and it won't be the last. Whilst reading I could really see this as a movie.

Whilst reading you didn't know who to trust and I do love that in a book. This was another book that I had to read in one session to learn what happens next.

I was given an advance copy by the publishers and netgalley but the review is entirely my own.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: