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The Genius Plague

Narrated by: Nick Thurston
Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

Non-member price: $35.84

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Publisher's Summary

The contagion is in your mind

In this science fiction thriller, brothers are pitted against each other as a pandemic threatens to destabilize world governments by exerting a subtle mind control over survivors.

Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker for the NSA when his brother Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn't have before.

But that's not the only pattern - the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, deadly goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret, unexplained alliances form between governments that have traditionally been enemies, and Paul becomes increasingly secretive and erratic. Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction.

Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the free will of every human on earth at stake. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Genius Plague

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  • RJPF
  • 14-10-2017

Intriguing idea poorly executed

I really wanted to like this book - I had to make myself listen to the entire thing. This book has received 4-5 stars on multiple sites.

The reader appears to be chosen for his ability to pronounce Portuguese words correctly but doesn't catch things like "neuron star".

The main character is totally ridiculous - the brilliant 21 year white male old college drop out who solves the problems that no one else can. He loves the NSA! He can't wait to be part of the team! Yay! He doesn't freak out when the head of the NSA - he is travelling with him - is murdered in an explosion in Brasilia! The head of his group - a 70 something lifetime employee of the NSA - just loves her new hire and defers to the snotty know it all! This is a matter of national security! Just yuck

The premise is interesting but vague - it has big holes in some areas. I am usually willing to suspend belief for a good sci-fi story - after all, it is fiction - but this story pushed it past my limits.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 17-10-2017

Predictable and Tedious

This felt fairly uninspired, I would not waste your time, money or energy on this book. I say that as a lover of science fiction, fantasy and even non fiction. A protagonist NSA agent, an antagonist mycologist and an Alzheimer’s patient all within one family group. If any other character was important in the story I’m sure they would have ended up being a close relative as well. Groan.

3 people found this helpful

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  • D Randall
  • 03-04-2018

the main character was horrible

Good premise. Interesting idea. But the character development was horrible. First, the NSA is an intelligence agency. WHY IS THIS KID TELLING EVERYONE he works for the NSA? It's supposed to be secret. WHY IS HE TELLING EVEN THE PEOPLE HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING? That makes no sense.

In the book the protagonist goes up to some girl and basically starts divulging classified information he shouldn't be. Like... WHY. It wasn't even relevant to the plot. At all.

Like don't get me wrong. The concept itself was very interesting. But the protagonist was absolutely CLUELESS. I found myself screaming at the protagonist while listening to the audiobook in traffic because his actions were so nonsensical. And the other people in the cars around me probably thought I was crazy.

And then the ending doesn't make a lot of sense either. I don't want to give away spoilers. So I won't. But the ending doesn't quite fit the premise.

2 people found this helpful

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  • jazmaan
  • 27-10-2017

There's a fungus among us!

Excellent hard sci-fi. I'm not going to post too much information here, because it will be more fun for you if you don't have any preconception of what's going on before you start enjoying this book. Suffice it to say that this book is well written around an intriguing and original concept. The Audiobook performance is not the best I've heard, but the narrator grows on you and is appropriately nerdy for the main character. His female voices aren't bad either. The hard sci-fi aspects are built around an emotional core of losing a family member to Alzheimer's, but the book is not overly sappy either. It's also got some good spy tech going on. And like all good hard sci-fi, you may actually learn something - in this case, about mycology! Highly recommended! I look forward to the author's next book!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Grant
  • 09-11-2018

Better living through Chemistry!

I am 100% on Paul's side. I would have accepted this fungal infection right off the bat no questions asked. I think the main character is infuriating with his defiance and ignorance. I often found myself relating with the main antagonist and rooting for his cause while I thought the NSA we're a bunch of punks.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 22-10-2018

one of the best

honestly it's a great book. the character development is a little lacking but over all a great book I would recommend this book to anyone

1 person found this helpful

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  • tony
  • 07-02-2018

Good Book - Very hard to put down!

If you could sum up The Genius Plague in three words, what would they be?

I’m surprised there isn’t more reviews for this book I thought it was one of the better ones I’ve listened to lately, and I listen to almost one a day.

What other book might you compare The Genius Plague to and why?

The first book in the Joe Ledger series, you know the basic worlds about to go to hell in a handbag and it’s up to a team of misfits to save us all!

What about Nick Thurston’s performance did you like?

The way I judge the performance is if I fail to notice the reader after a few chapters and he was able to do that.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

not really

Any additional comments?

starting the next one by him now.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bill Mathews
  • 26-01-2018

Summary of this book (slight spoilers)

Short review: this book proves that while mushrooms are jerks, people are worse. That’s about it. I liked the narrator but hated his accents. Story was pretty good though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shaun P.
  • 31-10-2017

Unique, wonderful when combining fact and fiction

Well developed story. Eases you into the leaps from realities of known biology onto a constantly changing edgenof your seat story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. Schultz
  • 12-10-2017

Evolution, Co-Opted

Like author David Walton's previous books, Superposition and Supersymmetry, The Genius Plague is high-energy, high-velocity intrigue. With ingredients like Amazon adventure, brain-boosting mushrooms, shadowy NSA activities, fluid global alliances and even some good-old brother-against-brother challenges thrown in, The Genius Plague is a potent brew and will draw in and transfix even the most casual listener. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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  • D Caddick-brown
  • 20-12-2017

Great!

Very engaging with some very interesting ideas. This is the first book I've read (listened to) in just a couple of days in a while!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-01-2020

Brilliant story!

For anyone interested in eco fiction. This is an enticing novel and I couldn't put it down!

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  • harry
  • 09-11-2018

Eh reader, pretty good book.

I ended up not liking the reader's voice. On the more objective side, he sometimes mispronounced English words, and while he uses different tones for different characters, he sometimes mixes them up. The frequent Portuguese words in the book make it a little jarring to listen too with the contrast of it in-between English. This might possibly not be a problem if you knew Portuguese. As for the book itself, it seems somewhat amateur linguistically; things like overuse of 'said' and what I consider to be an overuse of monologue and explanation; the authors talking points are pretty transparent whenever he tries to build them up. There's also some sort of fetish for the NSA and chess. I love the premise however, and the plot and it's argument is fairly well constructed, if a little cheesy at times.