The Atlantis Gene By A.G. Riddle

The Atlantis Gene
The Atlantis Gene

Book Details

Book NameThe Atlantis Gene
AuthorA.G. Riddle
Publication DateMarch 27, 2013
Paperback642 pages
Word WiseEnabled
File Size3787 KB
PublisherLegion Books; 1st Edition (March 27, 2013)
Text-to-SpeechNot enabled
Enhanced TypesettingEnabled
Simultaneous Device UsageUnlimited
Best Sellers Rank#1,126 in Kindle Store
#3 in Medical Thrillers
#9 in Myths & Legends Fantasy
#10 in Genetic Engineering Science Fiction eBooks

An Extended Look At The Atlantis Gene

70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct.
We survived, but no one knows how.
Until now.

The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.

Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep within an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, and something is guarding it. Could it be the fabled city of Atlantis? Or is it something more dangerous?

At the same moment, in Jakarta, Indonesia, a brilliant geneticist named Kate Warner has just discovered a breakthrough treatment for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more deadly—for her and for the entire human race. Her work could unleash the next stage of human evolution. It might also hold the key to unlocking the mysterious structure off the coast of Antarctica.

On the other side of Jakarta, Agent David Vale is racing to uncover a conspiracy with far-reaching implications. But he’s out of time. His informant inside the conspiracy is dead. His own organization has been infiltrated—and his enemy has turned the hunt on him. Now he’s on the run. But when he receives a coded message related to an imminent attack, he risks everything to save the one person that can help him stop it: Dr. Kate Warner.

Together, Kate and David race to unravel a global conspiracy and learn the truth about the Atlantis Gene… and human origins. Their journey takes them to the far corners of the globe and into the secrets of their pasts. Their enemy is close on their heels and will stop at nothing to obtain Kate’s research and force the next stage of human evolution—even if it means killing 99.9% of the world’s population. David and Kate can stop them… if they can trust each other. And stay alive.

The Atlantis Gene Summary

A. G. Riddle’s novel The Atlantis Gene (2013) deals with the origin of the human race. Using scientific theory, it delves into human evolution, grappling with the mysteries of the past. On a humanistic level, it focuses on a group of characters trying to come to terms with their pasts and discover their truths. The mysteries of the world at large are juxtaposed against the individual mysteries of the characters in the story. The Atlantis Gene is the first in the trilogy The Origin Mystery; subsequent titles are The Atlantis Plague and The Atlantis World.

An article entitled “Once We Were Not Alone” that appeared in Scientific America in 2000 presented some of the scientific information Riddle uses in his books. The article offers that upwards of one hundred thousand years ago there were other hominoids in addition to Homo sapiens inhabiting the earth. As thousands of years passed, only Homo sapiens survived to go on to develop civilizations. Many theories exist as to why one group survived while the others did not include some, such as an awareness that was granted by a race more powerful than man’s own, that go beyond the idea of natural selection.

Set in the present, Riddle paints the “Great Leap Forward” as a gift bestowed by extraterrestrials. David Vale is a mercenary who had been a CIA agent. It is Vale’s responsibility to protect Dr. Kate Warner, a geneticist, from those for whom she works and her own family. The world is suffering from a plague more deadly than the Black Death and the Spanish Flu combined. In the novel, scientists work with portions of human genetic DNA considered “junk” DNA (the ninety-seven percent of DNA that does not fit with any genetic code) by actual scientists. Having fictional scientists consider whether this DNA might hold keys to why some genes become activated and others do not allow for complicated stories dealing with genetics that remain believable to readers.

As the plot unfolds, David Vale and Kate Warner battle to protect the world from genocide. They need to find out why two children suffering from autism who was in Dr. Warner’s care have been kidnapped and why the agency Vale works for is being taken over by an outside group. They find out that a two-thousand-year-old group, the Immari, is trying to isolate a gene known as the Atlantis Gene. The Immari believe that gene is the next step in the evolution of the human race. The two autistic children have been taken because Dr. Warner has discovered how to activate the gene; the Immari want that information. The Immari feel an urgency to obtain this information because they are aware of a superior race known as the Atlanteans, which exists in a dormant state beneath the ice of Antarctica. The Immari believe the Atlanteans to be a threat to the human race.

Vale and Warner, meanwhile, want to stop the genocide of the Atlanteans by the Immari. In addition, they want to stop the killing of weaker members of the human race who are being sacrificed in the name of research to advance the discovery of the Atlantis gene. Vale and Warner do not consider the Atlanteans a threat to the human race. They see them as having protected the human race from destruction seventy thousand years ago. The novel takes on a global scope as Vale and Warner travel far and wide seeking clues to understand the plans of the Immari and to put in place their plan to save mankind.

They fight an ancient evil that has contributed to acts of terror throughout man’s history. This evil was part of the Nazi regime as well as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Vale and Warner face a difficult task. The Immari will do anything necessary to advance its mission. Vale and Warner have to solve the mystery of the origin of the human race in an ever-shrinking window of time as they battle an organization that seems to have a limitless cache of resources and will stop at nothing, including the annihilation of most of the population of the world, to achieve its goal.

One of the strengths of The Atlantis Gene and the follow-up novels cited is the author’s research into the scientific and historical events that drive and enhance the plot. In an interview with, Riddle explains, “I spent almost two years researching and writing The Atlantis Gene. I started with a mystery that had always intrigued me: 70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct. From there, I did a lot of research and wrote a ton of background, pulling together several topics of interest for me (everything from Nazi conspiracies to Atlantis to autism research).”

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

“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

Editorial Reviews


“…reads like a superior collaboration between Dan Brown and Michael Crichton.”
–The Guardian on Pandemic

An Exclusive Excerpt
From The Atlantis Gene


Research Vessel Icefall
Atlantic Ocean
88 miles off the Coast of Antarctica

Karl Selig steadied himself on the ship’s rail and peered through the binoculars at the massive iceberg. Another piece of ice crumbled and fell, revealing more of the long black object. It looked almost like… a submarine. But it couldn’t be.

“Hey Steve, come check this out.”

Steve Cooper, Karl’s grad-school friend, tied off a buoy and joined Karl on the other side of the boat. He took the binoculars, scanned quickly, then stopped. “Whoa. What is it? A sub?”


“What’s under it?”

Karl grabbed the binoculars. “Under it…” He panned to the area under the sub. There was something else. The sub, if it was a sub, was sticking out of another metallic object, this one gray and much larger. Unlike the sub, the gray object didn’t reflect light; it looked more like heat waves, the kind that shimmer just over the horizon of a warm highway or a long stretch of desert. It wasn’t warm, though, or at least it wasn’t melting the ice around it. Just above the structure, Karl caught a glimpse of some writing on the sub: U-977 and Kriegsmarine. A Nazi sub. Sticking out of… a structure of some sort.

Karl dropped the binoculars to his side. “Wake Naomi up and prepare to dock the boat. We’re going to check it out.”

Steve rushed below deck, and Karl heard him rousing Naomi from one of the small boat’s two cabins. Karl’s corporate sponsor had insisted he take Naomi along. Karl had nodded in the meeting and hoped she wouldn’t get in the way. He had not been disappointed. When they had put to sea five weeks ago in Cape Town, South Africa, Naomi had brought aboard two changes of clothes, three romance novels, and enough vodka to kill a Russian army. They had barely seen her since. It must be so boring for her out here, Karl thought. For him, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Karl raised the binoculars and looked again at the massive piece of ice that had broken off from Antarctica nearly a month ago. Almost ninety percent of the iceberg was underwater, but the surface area still covered forty-seven square miles–one and a half times the size of Manhattan.

Karl’s doctoral thesis focused on how newly calved icebergs affected global sea currents as they dissolved. Over the last four weeks, he and Steve had deployed high-tech buoys around the iceberg that measured sea temp and salt-water/fresh-water balance as well as took periodic sonar readings of the iceberg’s changing shape. The goal was to learn more about how icebergs disintegrated after leaving Antarctica. Antarctica held ninety percent of the world’s ice, and when it melted in the next few centuries, it would dramatically change the world. He hoped his research would shed light on exactly how.

Karl had called Steve the minute he found out he was funded. “You’ve got to come with me–No, trust me.” Steve had reluctantly agreed, and to Karl’s delight, his old friend had come alive on the expedition as they took readings by day and discussed the preliminary findings each night. Before the voyage, Steve’s academic career had been as listless as the iceberg they were following, as he floated from one thesis topic to another. Karl and their other friends had wondered if he would drop out of the doctoral program altogether.

The research readings had been intriguing, and now they had found something else, something remarkable. There would be headlines. But what would they say? “Nazi Sub Found in Antarctica”? It wasn’t inconceivable.

Karl knew the Nazis had been obsessed with Antarctica. They’d sent expeditions there in 1938 and 1939 and even claimed a part of the continent as a new German province–Neuschwabenland. Several Nazi subs were never recovered during World War II and were not known to have been sunk. The conspiracy theorists claimed that a Nazi sub left Germany just before the fall of the Third Reich, carrying away the highest ranking Nazis and the entire treasury, including priceless artifacts that had been looted and top-secret technology.

At the back of Karl’s mind, a new thought emerged: reward money. If there was Nazi treasure on the sub, it would be worth a huge amount of money. He would never have to worry about research funding again.

The more immediate challenge was docking the boat to the iceberg. The seas were rough, and it took them three passes, but they finally managed to tie off a few miles from the sub and the strange structure under it.

Karl and Steve bundled up and donned their climbing gear. Karl gave Naomi some basic instructions, the long and short of which were “don’t touch anything,” and then he and Steve lowered themselves to the ice shelf below the boat and set off.

For the next forty-five minutes, neither man said anything as they trudged across the barren ice mountain. The ice was rougher toward the interior, and their pace slowed; Steve’s more than Karl’s.

“We need to pick it up, Steve.”

Steve made an effort to catch up. “Sorry. A month on the boat has got me out of shape.”

Karl glanced up at the sun. When it set, the temperature would plummet and they would likely freeze to death. The days were long here. The sun rose at 2:30 A.M. and set after 10 P.M., but they only had a few more hours. Karl picked up his pace a little more.

Behind him, he heard Steve shuffling his snow-shoes as fast as he could, trying desperately to catch up. Strange sounds echoed up from the ice: first a low drone, then a rapid hammering, like a thousand woodpeckers assaulting the ice. Karl stopped and listened. He turned to Steve and their eyes met just as a spider web of tiny cracks shot out across the ice below Steve’s feet. Steve looked down in horror, and then ran as hard as he could toward Karl and the untouched ice.

For Karl, the scene was surreal, unfolding almost in slow motion. He felt himself run toward his friend and throw a rope from his belt. Steve caught the rope a split second before a loud crack filled the air and the ice below him collapsed, forming a giant chasm.

The rope instantly pulled tight, jerking Karl off his feet and slamming him belly first into the ice. He was going to follow Steve into the ice canyon. Karl scrambled to get his feet under him, but the tug of the rope was too strong. He relaxed his hands, and the rope slid through them, slowing his forward motion. He planted his feet in front of him, and the crampons beneath his boots bit into the ice, sending shards of ice at his face as he came to a halt. He squeezed the rope, and it pulled tight against the ledge, making a strange vibrating sound almost like a low violin.

“Steve! Hang on! I’m going to pull you up–”

“Don’t!” Steve yelled.

“What? Are you crazy–”

“There’s something down here. Lower me, slowly.”

Karl thought for a moment. “What is it?”

“Looks like a tunnel or a cave. It’s got gray metal in it. It’s blurry.”

“Okay, hold on. I’m going to let some slack out.” Karl let about ten feet of rope out, and when he heard nothing from Steve, another ten feet.

“Stop,” Steve called.

Karl felt the rope tugging. Was Steve swinging? The rope went slack.

“I’m in,” Steve said.

“What is it?”

“Not sure.” Steve’s voice was muffled now.

Karl crawled to the edge of the ice and looked over.

Steve stuck his head out of the mouth of the cave. “I think it’s some kind of cathedral. It’s massive. There’s writing on the walls. Symbols–like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’m going to check it out.”

“Steve, don’t–”

Steve disappeared again.

A few minutes passed. Was there another slight vibration? Karl listened closely. He couldn’t hear it, but he could feel it. The ice was pulsing faster now. He stood up and took a step away from the edge. The ice behind him cracked, and then there were cracks everywhere–and spreading quickly. He ran full speed toward the widening fissure. He jumped–and almost made it to the other side but came up short. His hands caught on the ice ledge, and he dangled there for a long second. The vibrations in the ice grew more violent with each passing second. Karl watched the ice around him crumble and fall, and then the shard that held him broke free, and he was plummeting down into the abyss.

On the boat, Naomi watched the sunset over the iceberg. She picked up the satellite phone and dialed the number the man had given her.

“You said to call if we found anything interesting.”

“Don’t say anything. Hold the line. We’ll have your location within two minutes. We’ll come to you.”

She set the phone on the counter, walked back to the stove, and continued stirring the pot of beans.

The man on the other end of the satellite phone looked up when the GPS coordinates flashed on his screen. He copied the location and searched the satellite surveillance database for live feeds. One result.

He opened the stream and panned the view to the center of the iceberg, where the dark spots were. He zoomed in several times, and when the image came into focus, he dropped his coffee to the floor, bolted out of his office, and ran down the hall to the director’s office. He barged in, interrupting a gray-haired man who was standing and speaking with both hands held up.

“We’ve found it.”

From the Inside Flap

About the Author

A.G. Riddle spent ten years starting internet companies before retiring to pursue his true passion: writing fiction.

His debut novel, The Atlantis Gene, is the first book in The Origin Mystery, the trilogy that has sold over two million copies in the US, has been translated into 23 languages, and is in development to be a major motion picture.

His recently released fourth novel, Departure, follows the survivors of a flight that takes off in the present and crash-lands in a changed world. HarperCollins published Departure in hardcover in the fall of 2015, and 20th Century Fox is developing the novel for a feature film.

Riddle grew up in a small town in North Carolina (Boiling Springs) and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. During his sophomore year of college, he started his first company with a childhood friend. He currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, who endures his various idiosyncrasies in return for being the first to read his new novels. They welcomed their first child, a daughter, on September 2, 2016.

No matter where he is, or what’s going on, he tries his best to set aside time every day to answer emails and messages from readers. You can reach him at: [email protected]