Friday, December 30, 2022

The Third Instinct by Kent Lester Book Review

About the Book:

A shadowy group of bio-hackers called the Firemen threaten to worsen the Covid pandemic by releasing an even more lethal version of the pathogen. But what drives the Firemen and how do their motivations relate to the wealth of the Roman Empire and to the third basic human instinct?

The answers may lie with prediction scientist Dan Clifford. Unemployed and struggling with two years of pandemic isolation, he is rebuilding both his career and personal life. His plans to propose to his adrenaline-junkie girlfriend, Rachel Sullivan, are interrupted by the FBI. Dan must connect a maze of clues from the shadowy underworld of Savannah's hacker community, to the ancient powerbrokers of Rome and in doing so, uncover a hidden agenda of big Pharma and a two-thousand-year-old battle for control of public opinion.

My Review:

Much of this novel was beyond my familiarity and understanding. Most of the terminology was foreign to me. The plot took a long time to get going. Dan going to a hacker convention and then party was not an engaging concept to get me invested in the novel.

I did find it interesting to read about many of the things hackers were inventing. I had read about the masks avoiding facial recognition software and a vendor at the hacker convention was selling such items. I was amazed at the gene editing that could be done by innovative people with just the right equipment needed. There is a ton of cutting edge technology and political intrigue ultimately included.

After a multi-page virtual reality adventure, I struggled to retain interest in the plot. It was just too far from my experience. I think this novel would appeal more to younger readers who are interested in gaming. Lester's writing style just did not appeal to me. I liked all the futuristic content but the novel in general did not appeal to me.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author:

Kent Lester writes both fiction and non-fiction. During his eclectic career, Kent has worked in the construction, photography, and computer industries. He has built single family homes, worked in the CAD/CAM construction industry, and consulted with builders on accounting and estimating software.

He currently lives in Atlanta. You can find out more at

Forge Books, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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