Review of James Rollins’ Latest Novel – The Bone Labyrinth

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The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels, but writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.   James Rollins just recently added book #11, Bone Labyrinth, to the Sigma Force series.


I got hooked on thrillers about 11 years ago when I read James Rollins’ Map of Bones and I have been a fan ever since.  So I have been waiting in anticipation since last summer when I found out that The Bone Labyrinth would be released just in time for the holidays.  Unfortunately, I did a disservice to myself by reading A.G. Riddle’s Origin Mystery series before reading The Bone Labyrinth as there a lot of similarities between Riddle’s series and Rollins’ The Bone Labyrinth.  Both Rollins’ and Riddle’s novels deal with Homo sapiens’ evolutionary “Great Leap Forward” which occurred about 80,000 years ago and was a time period in which a rapid advancement in human behavior and tool production occurred.  There are a number of theories on why this occurred including the possibilities in changes to the human genome.  Both Rollins and Riddle have their own more imaginative theory on the “Great Leap Forward” which included the lost mythical island of Atlantis.  Because of the similarities between Riddle’s and Rollins’ writings, my anticipation that had been built up before reading the The Bone Labyrinth was totally deflated because I got stuck making comparisons between the two writings.

There were, however, some very positive occurrences in The Bone Labyrinth that made this a worthy addition to the Sigma Force series.  Much of The Bone Labyrinth centered on the character Joe Kowalski.  Kowalski was introduced in the fourth book of the Sigma Force series, The Judas Strain, as an expertise in munitions.  He is the brawns of Sigma Force and is somewhat out of place with the brainier cast of the Sigma Force collective.  It seems that Rollins added Kowalski to be the comic relief and his role has always between secondary.  Not so in The Bone Labyrinth, as the readers find out that there is a lot more to Joe Kowalski than being a hardened warrior.

I would say that the The Bone Labyrinth is the most educational of all the Sigma Force novels, with interesting tidbits of science and history.  Rollins writes a very interesting afterword that I highly suggest reading as it explains a lot on what inspired Rollins to write The Bone Labyrinth. What I really found interesting was the uncanny coincidences about the moon and the number 37.  It has to really make you wonder, even for a scientist like me.

The Bone Labyrinth has all the thrills and fun that you would expect from James Rollins, and the new as well as the seasoned Sigma Force fan will not be disappointed.

To learn more about the series check out James Rollins’ Sigma Force Series.

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