In Bloodline (New York: William Morrow-HarperCollins, 2012), James Rollins allows the members of Sigma Force to solve the mystery of the Guild, their nemesis in previous novels. If it weren’t for a couple of hints in Bloodline, I’d think that it might be the last novel in the series.
I hope Rollins will use the new characters, Tucker and Kane, in future novels.
In the past I’ve been impressed with the amount of research James Rollins had apparently done for his novels. However, while reading The Devil Colony (New York: William Morrow, 2011), I discovered that isn’t the case since he incorporated LDS (Mormon) beliefs and culture, which I know about, into the novel. Rollins clearly didn’t do enough research in that area.
He didn’t even get the name of the church right. The “Mormon Church” is actually The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not the “Church of Latter-Day Saints” (58).
A major character, Hank Kanosh, is LDS and a professor at BYU. If Hank really had been chewing on a cigar (24) and had engaged in an affair (27), he would have broken BYU’s Honor Code, which he would have agreed to observe by accepting an appointment to the faculty. The honor code specifically states
As a matter of personal commitment, students, faculty, and staff of Brigham Young University. . . are expected to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will:
- . . . Live a chaste and virtuous life
- . . . Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Hank would also have been ineligible to go to any LDS temple, as he does at the end of the book (468-69).
In addition, no Latter-day Saints that I know “believe a more allegorical version of [any] part of [the Book of Mormon]” (199), though there are parables in sermons. LDS scripture includes the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Latter-day Saints “believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” and “the Book of Mormon to be the word of God” (“The Articles of Faith“).
Matt Reilly‘s combination of science with history and archeology in Temple reminds me of a lot of James Rollins‘s books. I’m looking forward to reading more of Reilly’s novels.
I didn’t like The Doomsday Key as well as some of Rollins‘ other Sigma Force books. I don’t know if I’m getting burned out on this genre or if this book was more depressing or its plot less complex than the others. It’s still a good read–just not as good.
I think Dan Brown‘s best novel is Angels & Demons followed by The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, in that order. His first two rank far behind the others. I don’t want to spoil things for people who haven’t read The Lost Symbol yet, but I was disappointed. I’m probably spoiled after recently reading so many novels by James Rollins and Steve Berry.
I wonder why it takes Brown so much longer to finish a novel than it does Rollins or Berry, when their plots are more complicated and require a research on more subjects.
James Rollins intertwines the Oracle of Delphi, the Punjab region of India, Gypsies, Chernobyl, intuition, and autism in The Last Oracle (New York: Harper Collins-WilliamMorrow, 2008). I’m amazed at how he ties these disparate threads together in an entertaining and exciting yarn.
In the “Author’s Note to Readers: Truth or Fiction,” Rollins lists some of his sources that might be worth reading (431-34):
The only book in the Sigma Series that I haven’t read is The Doomsday Key. It came out in June of this year, and I’m number 32 of 34 holds at the library.
* The real title appears to be Born on a Blue Day.
The last few months, I’ve been reading, and enjoying, suspense novels by Steve Berry and James Rollins. Unfortunately, I’ve read all of Berry’s novels except The Paris Vendetta, which will be available in about a month, so I’ve been looking for other authors who write the same type of books, which remind me of The Da Vince Code and Indiana Jones–maybe with cutting-edge science and technology thrown in.
I’ve found the following authors, who seem to write in this genre, and requested the indicated books from my county library:
In The Judas Strain (New York: Harper Collins-WilliamMorrow, 2007), James Rollins ties together Marco Polo, angelic script, the plague, and modern discoveries about bacteria and viruses. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and would love to know where he gets his ideas.
The next book in the Sigma Series is The Last Oracle.
In Black Order (New York: Harper Collins-WilliamMorrow, 2006), the second Sigma Force novel (not counting the prequel), James Rollins only goes back a few decades in history, to the Nazis, rather than centuries as he has in the other novels that I’ve read. The Black Order was Heinrich Himmler’s SS. It’s interesting how Rollins ties the Nazi’s search for the ideal Aryan to quantum mechanics and evolution. In his “Author’s Note: Truth or Fiction,” Rollins mentions a couple of books that sound interesting:
- The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook
- Quantum Evolution by Johnjoe McFadden
As I mentioned when I wrote about Steve Berry’s The Venetian Betrayal, which was published in 2007, in that novel Berry made “a passing reference to Painter Crowe from James Rollins‘ Sigma Series.” That may have been in response to Rollins’ mention in Black Order of a book store in Copenhagen owned by “an ex-lawyer from Georgia” (43), who must be Berry’s protagonist Cotton Malone.
The next book in the Sigma Series is The Judas Strain.
As I mentioned in a previous post, in Steve Berry made a reference to James Rollins‘ Sigma Series in The Venetian Betrayal. I was curious about their relationship, so I did a search. I found this video in which Berry explains how they met: