James Rollins’ Sigma Force Series

JamesRollinsAbout the author:

James Rollins aka James Paul Czajkowski

Born: August 20, 1961 Chicago, Ilinois

Education: DVM- University of Missouri, Columbia 1985

Website: http://www.jamesrollins.com/

Thriller Sub-genre: Techno-thriller

Publishers: Harper-Collins/William Morrow Publishers

Future of series: The next book in the series is The Demon Crown was released on 12/5/17.

Review of  The Seventh Plague

The Simon Review

If you are looking for a novel that has a lot of good-guy-kicks-bad-guy’s-butt, then James Rollins’ Sigma Force Series should more than satisfy that butt kickin’ crave. The Sigma Force gang is a bunch of eggheads with a bite that makes Indiana Jones look like a pantywaist. I must warn you though, if you are looking for anything that has a hint of reality, then you are in for a disappointment. Sigma Force escapades are no different than Arnold Schwarzenegger being the only survivor of a nuclear blast and not have his hair messed up.  The action begins right from the beginning and never lets up, making this one of the most fun series I have read. In fact, James Rollins’ Map of Bones is what got me hooked on thrillers nine years ago and I have been a fan ever since.

Love the 'Do'! Flickr Common Image
Love the ‘Doo’!
Flickr Common Image

Sigma is a covert organization within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Sigma is the fictional brainchild of Rollins but DARPA is a real life organization. The Sigma Force is made up of scientifically skilled operatives whose job is to protect the nation as well as the world from any technology, whether ancient or modern, that is considered a threat. Sigma deals with a number of bad guys and one of the worst is the Guild. The Guild is a secret evil organization motivated by greed and power whose leaders hide in a cloak of secrecy. Sigma confronts this group on a number of adventures.

The best part of reading the series is the development of the characters that make up the Sigma Force. The leader of the Sigma Force is Painter Crowe, part Native American, he makes the difficult calls when sending his operatives into dangerous situations. He cares deeply for the people that work under him which means he probably has a decent stash of Pepto-Bismol in his desk drawer. He is romantically involved with and eventually marries Dr. Lisa Cummings, the medical expert at Sigma, who made her first appearance in one of Rollins’ standalone novels, Deep Fathom. One of the more complicated characters of the series is Commander Gray Pierce. Pierce is an ex-ranger with skills in biology and physics. After spending a year in Leavenworth for striking an officer, he was recruited by Painter Crowe to work at Sigma. Pierce has an on and off relationship with Rachel Verona, an Italian police officer that he met in an adventure in the novel Map of Bones. There is also a budding romance between Pierce and a Guild operative, known as Seichan that develops throughout the series. Seichan is a beautiful Eurasian woman and is incredibly feisty. Seichan feels she belongs to nobody whether it is the Guild or Sigma, however, her feelings for Pierce complicates these feelings and chips away at her tough exterior. Sigma wouldn’t be complete without the only married couple with kids in the organization, Monk Kokkalis and Kathryn (Kat) Bryant. Kokkalis is the all American tough guy but when it comes to his feelings for Bryant and the kids, he turns into a Pooh Bear. Bryant isn’t somebody you want to pick on either, beautiful and sexy; she has no problem cutting an enemy’s throat when the time arises. Kokkalis and Bryant have to juggle between having a family and saving the world, which isn’t easy but they seem to find a way. Other characters that have been added later in the series is Joe Kowalski, munition expert and brawns of Sigma, Tucker Wayne and his canine companion Kane, and Duncan Wren, who puts body piercing to an extreme.

For those of you that are die-hard Sigma Force Fans, Rollins provides a very good summary of all of Sigma’s exploits which covers the series starting with Sandstorm all the way through Bloodline which he calls the Sigma Guide and can be downloaded for free on Rollins website. For the most part, the series should be read in order.

Simon’s pick:

Most Favorite Novel in the Series-Bloodline, because much of the secret behind the Guild is exposed in this novel.

Least Favorite Novel in the Series-Sandstorm, because this was the first in the series and Painter Crowe was the only character from Sigma that stays on through the series. I like the series with Gray Pierce and the rest of the gang.

What about the science? Rollins first started out as a veterinarian, which means he knows a fair amount of science.  Even though Rollins depiction of science has an element of reality, he has an art of taking that reality and morphing it into something that is larger than life, so the science in this series teeters on the edge of science fiction.  With a name like Czajkowski (Rollins real name) I am betting that he is Polish and brought up in the Catholic Church (I would know because I am half Polish and had a Catholic upbringing), and this is evident in several of his novels.  Rollins likes to explore the tenuous balance between faith and science.  I could only imagine what was going through his mind when he was sitting through those boring Catechism classes when he was a kid, I bet it was fun.

The Sigma Force Technical Word in Review: Quantum foam-the term was coined by Nobel Prize winner John Wheeler in 1955, to describe the fabric of space. The idea is based on the fact that space is not really empty but instead is made up of high energy virtual particles. A virtual particle has properties similar to a real particle but is very transient and exists for only a brief period of time. This transient state could better be described to be more like foam, where bubbles are constantly forming and then popping. The particles themselves are extremely small, far beyond any detectable limits and for this reason make it difficult to prove their existence. Some preliminary data obtained from the Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov telescope is encouraging as proof to their existence, but the results have yet to be confirmed and experiments are ongoing.

Quantum Foam? Wikimedia Common
Quantum Foam?
Wikimedia Common

Vigor lifted an eyebrow. “And you think the cross carries this energy? What, like a battery?”

“Very crudely put, but yes. Possibly. I can’t know for sure without examining it. But such matters are my field of expertise. My theoretical calculation suggest dark energy is the result of virtual particles annihilating one another in the quantum foam that fills all space and time in the universe.The Eye of God


Books in the Series by Order:

Most Favorite in the series: Bloodline with a score of 4.24

Least Favorite in the series: Sandstorm with a score of 3.94

Based on overall ratings from Goodreads, Library Thing and Amazon (US & UK)

Sandstorm#1 Sandstorm- 2004

Listed #56 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

Listed #13 out of 172 on Goodreads Best Science Thrillers Book List

First Line:

Harry Masterson would be dead in thirteen minutes.


Characters

Sean McKnight: The original Sigma Director before Crowe

Painter Crowe: Sigma operative and future director of Sigma Force and ex-navy seal

Coral Novak:  Sigma operative

Kara Kensington: On a quest to find the lost city of Ubar

Dr. Safia al-Maaz: Adopted sister and friend of Kara


The Setting

England and Oman


An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum, setting off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world. And now the search for answers is leading Lady Kara Kensington; her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery’s brilliant and beautiful curator; and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, into a world they never dreamed existed: a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert. But others are being drawn there as well, some with dark and sinister purposes. And the many perils of a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmare waiting to be unearthed at journey’s end: an ageless and awesome power that could create a utopia… or destroy everything humankind has built over countless millennia.


Traces of blue energy laced through the devil with unnervingly silent crackles. She could smell the ozonelike odor. It was a phenomenon unique to the sandstorms of the dry desert: static electricity.


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.19 out of 5 stars based on 938 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 3.82 out of 5 stars based on 82 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 3.94 out of 5 stars based on 33,580 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.69 out of 5 stars based on 446 ratings

Total Score 3.94  (updated 10/21/17)

 

DNA2

 

 

Map_of_Bones#2-Map of Bones- 2005

Listed #34 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

First Line:

The archbishop’s men fled into the shadows of the lower valley.


Characters

Painter Crowe

Vigor Verona: Italian priest who is a distinguished Vatican official and historical scholar

Rachel Verona: Lieutenant in the Italy’s military police force the Carabinieri Corp and niece to Vigor Verona

Gray Pierce: Sigma operative and ex-ranger, specializes in biology and physics

Monk Kokkalis: Sigma medic, ex-green beret, specializes in forensic medicine and biotechnology, husband and father

Kat Bryant: Sigma operative, specializes in intelligence services and coordination, wife and mother

Seichan: Eurasian women that is a Guild operative


The Setting

Germany, Italy, Egypt, France and Switzerland


“During a crowded service at a cathedral in Germany, armed intruders in monks’ robes unleash a nightmare of blood and destruction. But the killers have not come for gold; they seek a more valuable prize: the bones of the Magi who once paid homage to a newborn savior . . . a treasure that could reshape the world.”

With the Vatican in turmoil, SIGMA Force leaps into action. An elite team of scientific and Special Forces operatives under the command of Grayson Pierce and accompanied by Lieutenant Rachel Verona of Rome’s “carabinieri,” they are pursuing a deadly mystery that weaves through sites of the Seven Wonders of the World and ends at the doorstep of an ancient, mystical, and terrifying secret order. For there are those with dark plans for the stolen sacred remains that will alter the future of humankind . . . when science and religion unite to unleash a horror not seen since the beginning of time.


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.17 out of 5 stars based on 731 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 74 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars based on 46,539 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.77 out of 5 stars based on 537 ratings

Total Score 4.06   (updated 10/21/17)

 

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James Rollins#3-Black Order- 2006       

Listed #68 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

First Line:

The body floated in the sludge that sluiced through the dank sewers.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, and Kat Bryant

Dr. Lisa Cummings: Sigma’s medical expert, who specializes in human physiology and marine sciences


The Setting

Poland, Nepal, Denmark, and Germany


A sinister fire in a Copenhagen bookstore ignites a relentless hunt across four continents. Arson and murder reveal an insidious plot to steal a Bible that once belonged to Charles Darwin. And Commander Gray Pierce dives headlong into a mystery that dates back to Nazi Germany…and to horrific experiments performed in a now-abandoned laboratory in Poland.

A continent away, madness ravages a remote monastery in Nepal, as Buddhist monks turn to cannibalism and torture. Lisa Cummings, an American doctor investigating the atrocity, is suddenly a target of a brutal assassin. And Lisa’s only ally is Painter Crowe, director of SIGMA Force, who already shows signs of the baffling malady.

Now it is up to Gray Pierce to save them both as SIGMA Force races to expose a century-old plot that threatens to destroy the current world order . . . and alter the destiny of humankind forever.


“What’s this Black Order?” Monk asked.

“It was another name for Himmler’s SS. But more accurately, the Schwarze Auftrag – the Black Order – was a name given to Himmler’s inner circle, a secret cabal that traced its roots back to the occult Thule Society.”


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.35 out of 5 stars based on 572 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.18 out of 5 stars based on 56 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.14 out of 5 stars based on 25,674 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.80 out of 5 stars based on 441 ratings

Total Score 4.14   (updated 10/21/17)

 

molecule

 

 

Judas_Strain#4-The Judas Strain- 2007

Listed #61 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

Listed #17 out of 172 on Goodreads Best Science Thrillers Book List

First Line:

The screams had finally ceased.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Seichen, and Vigor Verona

Joe Kowalski: Is the brawns of Sigma who specializes in demolitions and munitions


The Setting

Indian Ocean, Italy, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, and Cambodia


From the depths of the Indian Ocean, a horrific plague has arisen to devastate humankind–a disease that’s unknown, unstoppable . . . and deadly. But it is merely a harbinger of the doom that is to follow.

Aboard a cruise liner transformed into a makeshift hospital, Dr. Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis–operatives of the shadowy covert organization SIGMA Force–search for answers to the bizarre affliction that has inexplicably washed ashore. But there are others with far less altruistic intentions. In a savage and sudden coup, terrorists hijack the vessel, turning a mercy ship into a floating bio-weapons lab.

At a Fourth of July celebration a world away, SIGMA’s commander Gray Pierce thwarts the murderous schemes of a beautiful assassin–a would-be killer who holds the first clue to the discovery of a possible cure. With the fate of every man, woman, and child on Earth hanging in the balance, Pierce joins forces with the woman who wanted him dead, and together they embark upon an astonishing quest–one that winds through Venetian tombs, Byzantine cathedrals, and jungle-encrusted ruins–following the trail of the most fabled explorer in history: “Marco Polo.”

But time is an enemy as a worldwide pandemic grows rapidly out of control. And as a relentless madman dogs their every step, Pierce and his unlikely ally are being pulled into an astonishing mystery buried deep in antiquity and in humanity’s genetic code. And as the seconds tick closer to doomsday, Pierce will realize he can truly trust no one–not the bewitching enigma who runs at his side or even those who are closest to him–for any one of them could be . . . “a Judas.”


Devesh continued. “From studying the genetics of anthrax and other toxic bacteria, microbiologists have predicted the existence of an ancient strain of viruses. A strain that created the early ancestors of anthrax and other plague bacteria. Scientists have even coined a name for this ancient strain of viruses, one that turns friend into foe: the Judas Strain.”


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.29 out of 5 stars based on 1,741 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.54 out of 5 stars based on 101 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.15 out of 5 stars based on 23,511 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.81 out of 5 stars based on 386 ratings

Total Score 4.16  (updated 10/21/17)

 

planet

 

 

Last_Oracle#5-The Last Oracle- 2008

Listed #80 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

First Line:

They had come to slay her.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Joe Kowalski, and Sean McKnight


The Setting

Ukraine, Russia, and India


In Washington, D.C., a homeless man dies in Commander Gray Pierce’s arms, shot by an assassin’s bullet. But the death leaves behind a greater mystery: a bloody coin found clutched in the dead man’s hand, an ancient relic that can be traced back to the Greek Oracle of Delphi. As ruthless hunters search for the stolen artifact, Gray Pierce discovers that the coin is the key to unlocking a plot that dates back to the Cold War and threatens the very foundation of humanity.

An international think tank of scientists known as the Jasons has discovered a way to bioengineer autistic children who show savant talents — mathematical geniuses, statistical masterminds, brilliant conceptual artists — into something far greater and far more “frightening,” in hopes of creating a world prophet for the new millennium, one to be manipulated to create a new era of global peace… a peace on their own terms.

Halfway around the world, a man wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of who he is, knowing only that he’s a prisoner in a subterranean research facility. With the help of three unusual children, he makes his escape across a mountainous and radioactive countryside, pursued by savage hunters bred in the same laboratory. But his goal is not escape, nor even survival. In order to thwart a plot to wipe out a quarter of the world’s population, he must sacrifice all, even the children who rescued him.

From ancient Greek temples to glittering mausoleums, from the slums of India to the toxic ruins of Russia, two men must race against time to solve a mystery that dates back to the first famous oracle of history — the Greek Oracle of Delphi.

But one question remains: “Will the past be enough to save the future?”


“A secret that trails all the way back to Delphi,” Elisabeth added.

She pictured the child back in Washington. Could she truly be a descendent of the last Oracle of Delphi?


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.36 out of 5 stars based on 391 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.48 out of 5 stars based on 40 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.15 out of 5 stars based on 25,083 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.88 out of 5 stars based on 316 ratings

Total Score 4.15  (updated 10/21/17)

 

 

virus

doomsday-key#6-The Doomsday Key- 2009

Listed #77 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

First Line:

The ravens were the first sign.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, and Joe Kowalski


The Setting

Ukraine, Russia, and India


At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peter’s Basilica. In Africa, a U.S. senator’s son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. The three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh.

The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries, to a ghastly crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex. The first clue is discovered inside a mummified corpse buried in an English peat bog — a gruesome secret that threatens America and the world.

Aided by two women from his past — one his ex-lover, the other his new partner — Gray must piece together the horrifying truth. But the revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Gray will have to sacrifice one of the women at his side. That alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom.

Sigma Force confronts humankind’s greatest threat in an adventure that races from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint — an ancient artifact known as the Doomsday Key.


Krista continued. “But with the artifact secure again, now is our chance to hunt for what remains missing. To discover what Giovanni sought.”

Ivar’s attention focused fully back on her. He could not keep the desire out of his voice. “The Doomsday Key…”

Such a discovery would not only secure his plan, it could make history. The key had the potential to unlock a mystery stretching back millennia.


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.29 out of 5 stars based on 1,741 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.54 out of 5 stars based on 101 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.16 out of 5 stars based on 22,088 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.91 out of 5 stars based on 290 ratings

Total Score 4.17  (updated 10/21/17)

 

 

saturn

 

Skeleton_Key#6.5-The Skeleton Key- 2011 (A Novella)

First Line:

She woke with a knife at her throat.


Characters

Seichan and Gray Pierce


The Setting

France


Seichan is ripped out of the Sigma series for an adventure all her own—but can she survive? The beautiful and elusive assassin wakes in a hotel in Paris with a deadly electronic collar fastened to her throat. Joined by a boy who is similarly threatened, she must rescue the son of a hated enemy, who has fallen under the sway of the nefarious leader of an apocalyptic cult. To survive, she must venture into the dark world beneath the City of Lights, into the infamous catacombs of Paris. Caught between two enemies, she must fight for her life…while time ticks down toward a fiery apocalypse. But in the dark, surrounded by the moldering bones of the dead, even success does not equal survival. In the end, the only true hope for the world lies in a stunning act of betrayal.


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.44 out of 5 stars based on 195 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 3.50 out of 5 stars based on 24 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.14 out of 5 stars based on 5,981 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.63 out of 5 stars based on 43 ratings

Total Score 4.14  (updated 10/21/17)

 

DNA3

 

 

#7-The Devil Colony – 2011

Listed #53 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

First Line:

The skull of the monster slowly revealed itself.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Seichan, and Joe Kowalski


The Setting

USA, Japan, and Iceland


Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery — hundreds of mummified bodies — stir international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts to the bodies’ origins, the local Native American Heritage Commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.

During a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly: burned to ash in a fiery explosion in plain view of television cameras. All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans, including one agitator, a teenage firebrand who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls on the one person who might help: her uncle, Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force.

To protect his niece and uncover the truth, Painter will ignite a war across the nation’s most powerful intelligence agencies. Yet, an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a frightening chain reaction, a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the U.S.

From the volcanic peaks of Iceland to the blistering deserts of the American Southwest, from the gold vaults of Fort Knox to the bubbling geysers of Yellowstone, Painter Crowe joins forces with Commander Gray Pierce to penetrate the shadowy heart of a dark cabal, one that has been manipulating American history since the founding of the thirteen colonies.

But can he discover the truth — one that could topple governments — before it destroys all he holds dear?


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.29 out of 5 stars based on 1,741 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.47 out of 5 stars based on 66 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.17 out of 5 stars based on 18,867 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.77 out of 5 stars based on 200 ratings

Total Score 4.18  (updated 10/21/17)

 

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Tracker#7.5-Tracker- 2012

A Sample Clip of the Audiobook

First Line:

He knew she was being hunted.


Characters

Tucker Wayne: An ex-ranger who trained military dogs

Kane: Wayne’s military dog and best friend


The Setting

Budapest and Hungary


Off the blustery streets in the medieval heart of Budapest, Captain Tucker Wayne and his war dog, Kane, rescue a mysterious woman fleeing three armed men. The secret she holds will unlock a terrible treasure, one steeped in blood and treachery, tied to a crime going back to the fall of Nazi Germany and a heritage of suffering and pain that reaches out from the past to wreak havoc today. In a final showdown in the depths of a lost cemetery, truths will be unearthed, treasures exposed, and the fate of all will rest upon the shoulders of one man and a dog whose courage is beyond measure.


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.48 out of 5 stars based on 473 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 3.98 out of 5 stars based on 62 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.11 out of 5 stars based on 3,906 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.94 out of 5 stars based on 34 rating

Total Score 4.15   (updated 10/21/17)

 

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Bloodline#8-Bloodline – 2012

Listed #57 out of 552 on Goodreads Best Technothriller Ever Book List

Listed #31 out of 172 on Goodreads Best Science Thrillers Book List

First Line:

They once called her a witch and a whore.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Seichan, Tucker Wayne, Kane and Joe Kowalski


The Setting

USA, Somalia, Dubai, and Zanzibar


Galilee, 1025. A cunning Templar knight uncovers a holy treasure: the Bachal Isu — the staff of Jesus Christ — a priceless icon that holds a mysterious and terrifying power that will forever change humanity if unleashed.

A millennium later, Somali pirates hijack a yacht off the coast off the Horn of Africa, kidnapping a young pregnant American woman and brutally killing her husband. Painter Crowe and his SIGMA team are enlisted for the top secret rescue mission. The kidnapped woman is Amanda Gant-Bennett, the daughter of U.S. president James Gant. Crowe is more than a little suspicious that the kidnapping masks a far more nefarious plot.

In the field, Commander Gray Pierce leads his small team of operatives into the treacherous African jungle to find the missing woman. But what should be a straightforward rescue turns into a fiery ambush and a deadly act of betrayal. As Commander Pierce and his team discover, the hostage is a pawn in a shattering act of terrorism with dark and shocking repercussions. And the danger is only beginning…


Others of her family, of her bloodline continued to manipulate the knightly order from within and without: gathering wealth and knowledge, searching for powerful relics from lost crypts and ancient créches across Egypt and the Holy Lands.


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.46 out of 5 stars based on 979 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.72 out of 5 stars based on 102 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.23 out of 5 stars based on 15,475 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars based on 143 ratings

Total Score 4.24   (updated 10/21/17)

 

electricity

 

 

Eye_of_God#9-The Eye of God – 2013

A Sample Clip of the Audiobook

First Line:

The king died too slowly atop his wedding bed.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Seichan, Rachel Verona, Vigor Verona and Joe Kowalski

Dr. Jada Shaw: Physicist with a specialization in dark energy

Duncan Wren: Sigma operative that has magnets inserted under his fingernails to allow him to sense different electronic signatures


The Setting

USA, Mongolia, Italy, Hong Kong


The crash of a U.S. military research satellite in the remote wilds of Mongolia triggers an explosive search for the valuable cargo it holds: a code-black physics project connected to the study of dark energy, the energy connected to the birth of our universe. But the last blurry image from the falling satellite captures a chilling sight: a frightening look into the future, a view of a smoldering eastern seaboard of the United States in utter ruin.

At the Vatican, a mysterious package arrives for the head of Pontifical ancient studies, sent by a colleague who had vanished a decade earlier. It contains two strange artifacts: a skull scrawled with ancient Aramaic and a tome bound in human skin. DNA testing reveals both are from Genghis Khan — the long-dead Mongol king whose undiscovered tomb is rumored to hold the vast treasures and knowledge of a lost ancient empire.

Commander Gray Pierce, and Sigma — joined by a pair of Vatican historians — race to uncover a truth tied to the fall of the Roman Empire, to a mystery bound in the roots of Christianity’s origins, and to a weapon hidden for centuries that holds the fate of humanity.


Luckily, to accomplish this task, engineers had to only slightly modify the earlier mission satellite. A part of its original design included a perfect sphere of quartz buried in its heart. The plan had been to set the sphere to spinning once the satellite was in orbit, creating a gyroscopic effect that could be used to map the curve of space-time around the mass of Earth. If the experiment was successful, the beam of dark energy from one spacecraft to the other should cause a minute disturbance in that curve of space-time.

It was a bold experiment. Even the acronym IoG was now jokingly referred to as the Eye of God. Painter appreciated the new nickname, picturing that whirling perfect sphere as it waited to peer into the mysteries of the universe.


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Amazon Rating-US: 4.41 out of 5 stars based on 1,255 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.56 out of 5 stars based on 116 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.11 out of 5 stars based on 12,686 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.69 out of 5 stars based on 121 ratings

Total Score 4.14  (updated 10/21/17)

 

DNA2

 

Sixth_Extinction#10-The 6th Extinction – 2014

Listed #26 out of 172 on Goodreads Best Science Thrillers Book List

A Sample Clip of the Audiobook

First Line:

We should have heeded the blood…


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Seichan, and Joe Kowalski


The Setting

USA, Antarctica, and Brazil


Life always finds a way. . . .

A military research station buried in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California broadcasts a frantic distress call that ends with a chilling order:
“This is sierra, victor, whiskey. There’s been a breach. Failsafe initiated. No matter the outcome: Kill us . . . kill us all.”

The site is part of TECOMM, the U.S. Army Test Command. When help arrives to investigate, they discover that everyone in the lab is dead–not just the scientists, but every living thing for fifty square miles is annihilated: every animal, plant, and insect, even bacteria. The land is completely sterile– and the blight is spreading.

Only one team on earth has the scientific knowledge and military precision to handle this mission: Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma. The dead scientists were working on a secret project, researching radically different forms of life on Earth, life that could change our understanding of biology and humanity itself. But something set off an explosion in the lab, and now Sigma must contend with the apocalyptic aftermath.

To prevent the inevitable, they must decipher a futuristic threat that rises out of the distant past–a time when Antarctica was green and life on Earth was balanced on a knife’s edge. Following a fascinating trail of clues buried in an ancient map rescued from the lost Library of Alexandria, Sigma will make a shocking discovery involving a prehistoric continent and a new form of life and death buried under miles of ice. Gray Pierce and his dedicated team must race through eons of time and across distant continents to decipher millennia-old secrets out of the frozen past and untangle mysteries buried deep in the darkest jungles of today, as they face their greatest challenge yet: stopping the Sixth Extinction–the end of humankind.
But is it already too late?


From The Best Bad Reviews:

An Odd 1 from Goodreads gave James Rollins’ 6th extinction a poor rating.  Those darn evil cute cuddly dogs.

I like the medium print easier read, not modern trend to hip hop around viewpoints, date time stamps. I got young lads mixed up who are dear to their girls’ hearts Josh and Jason. One gets amputation, other gets ??. I’m confused. Always the cute cuddly (large) dog is supposed to be dear to us. I dislike tearjerker manipulation.

Smiling_Dog_Face
Rover The Manipulator- Wikimedia Common (Photo8.com)

Looking for a review of The 6th Extinction?  Check out:

JulzReads

Sciencethrillers

The Snarky Quill

Jacob Sahms

The Book’s the Thing

Book Banter

Fantasy Book Critic

The Review

Books and Lesser Evils

Mystery Sequels


Amazon Rating-US: 4.35 out of 5 stars based on 1,239 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.61 out of 5 stars based on 84 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.03 out of 5 stars based on 10,339 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars based on 98 ratings

Total Score 4.07  (updated 10/21/17)

 

gun

 

 

Midnight_Watch#10.5-The Midnight Watch – A Novella  (2015)

A Sample Clip of the Audiobook

First Line:

We’re under attack.


In the dead of night, a faceless enemy hacks into the Smithsonian Institution’s network of servers, but it is only the first strike masking a larger attack. To rescue a biologist trapped in the National Museum of Natural History and to discover the true intent behind an assault that grows bolder and bloodier by the minute, Sigma Force must unleash its most headstrong operative—Joe Kowalski—to do what he does best: lay waste to anything between him and his goal. From a daring rescue to a cross-city chase like no other, Kowalski will discover the shocking truth hidden in the most unexpected of places: the heart of the National Zoo.


Looking for a review of The Midnight Watch?  Check out:

Gopal’s Bookshelf


Amazon Rating-US: 4.35 out of 5 stars based on 279 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.65 out of 5 stars based on 26 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 3.95 out of 5 stars based on 1,891 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 11 ratings

Total Score 4.01 (updated 10/21/17)

 

Black hole

 

 

Bone_Labyrinth#11-The Bone Labyrinth – 2015

Click here for my review on The Bone Labyrinth

A Sample Clip of the Audiobook

First Line:

“Run, child!”


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Seichan, and Joe Kowalski


The Setting

Croatia, China, and Ecuador


A series of strange events throws the world into turmoil. As a manned Chinese rocket explodes upon launch, three American astronauts, each separated by thousands of miles, are murdered. Then an archaeologist in Croatia uncovers a new cavern system that reveals elaborate primitive paintings by a tribe of Neanderthals. The artwork, painted in blood, illustrates an immense battle between the Neanderthals—joined by Homo sapiens—and frightening shadowy figures.

Who is the ancient enemy depicted and what does it mean? The search for answers will take Commander Gray Pierce of Sigma Force 50,000 years back in time. As he and Sigma trace the evolution of human intelligence back to its true source, they will be plunged into a war for the future of humanity that stretches across the globe . . . and beyond.

From ancient tunnels in Ecuador that span the breadth of South America to a millennia-old necropolis holding the bones of our ancestors, from the lost archives tied to the sunken continent of Atlantis to the first moon landing, Sigma embarks on its most harrowing journey ever—and faces off against its greatest threat: an ancient evil, resurrected by modern genetic science, strong enough to bring about the end of man’s dominance on this planet.

Only this time, Sigma will falter—and the world we know will change forever.


Looking for a review of The Bone Labyrinth?  Check out:

Jathan & Heather

Book Reviews

Books and Lesser Evils

For Winter Nights

Librarian Laura

The Book Addict

The Review

And A Brace of Pistols

Mystery Sequels

Purity Matters


Amazon Rating-US: 4.53 out of 5 stars based on 1,004 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.01 out of 5 stars based on 93 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.11 out of 5 stars based on 8,188 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.90 out of 5 stars based on 65 ratings

Total Score 4.15  (updated 10/21/17)

 

OortCloud

crashandburn#11.5-Crash and Burn– 2016 (A Novella) 

Click here for my review on Crash and Burn

First Line:

You got to be kidding me.


Characters

 Kowalski and Seichan


The Setting

One of the islands in the outer Azores


On a transatlantic flight, the two black sheep of Sigma Force–Seichan and Kowalski–must set aside their mutual dislike as a mysterious fiery force knocks their aircraft out of the sky. This unlikely duo must use every skill, weapon, and bit of ingenuity to survive a night on a remote volcanic island, where their only refuge is the haunted, bat-plagued grounds of a seemingly deserted resort. But something horrific awaits the two, something born of the latest science but rooted in our basest human instincts. To survive they will need to learn to work together–but even then, it may be too late.


Looking for a review of Crash and Burn?  Check out:

A Bookaholic Swede

Debbie’s World of Books


Amazon Rating-US: 4.53 out of 5 stars based on 222 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.67 out of 5 stars based on 15 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 3.99 out of 5 stars based on 1,124 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.42 out of 5 stars based on 6 ratings

Total Score 4.08  (updated 10/21/17)

 

bacteria

Seventh_Plague#12-The Seventh Plague – 2016

My review of the The Seventh Plague

First Line:

The high priestess knelt naked in the sand and knew it was time.


Characters

Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce, Monk Kokkalis, Kat Bryant, Dr. Lisa Cummings, Seichan, Dr. Safia al-Maaz, and Joe Kowalski


The Setting

Egypt, and somewhere in the arctic region


If the biblical plagues of Egypt truly happened–could they happen again–on a global scale?

Two years after vanishing into the Sudanese desert, the leader of a British archeological expedition, Professor Harold McCabe, comes stumbling out of the sands, frantic and delirious, but he dies before he can tell his story. The mystery deepens when an autopsy uncovers a bizarre corruption: someone had begun to mummify the professor’s body–while he was still alive.

His strange remains are returned to London for further study, when alarming news arrives from Egypt. The medical team who had performed the man’s autopsy has fallen ill with an unknown disease, one that is quickly spreading throughout Cairo. Fearing the worst, a colleague of the professor reaches out to a longtime friend: Painter Crowe, the director of Sigma Force. The call is urgent, for Professor McCabe had vanished into the desert while searching for proof of the ten plagues of Moses. As the pandemic grows, a disturbing question arises.

Are those plagues starting again?

Before Director Crowe can investigate, a mysterious group of assassins leaves behind a fiery wake of destruction and death, erasing all evidence. With the professor’s body incinerated, his home firebombed, Sigma Force must turn to the archaeologist’s only daughter, Jane McCabe, for help. While sifting through what’s left of her father’s work, she discovers a puzzling connection, tying the current threat to a shocking historical mystery, one involving the travels of Mark Twain, the genius of Nikola Tesla, and the adventures of famous explorer, Henry Morgan Stanley.

To unravel a secret going back millennia, Director Crowe and Commander Grayson Pierce will be thrust to opposite sides of the globe. One will search for the truth, traveling from the plague-ridden streets of Cairo to a vast ancient tomb buried under the burning sands of the Sudan; the other will struggle to stop a mad genius locked within a remote Arctic engineering complex, risking the lives of all those he holds dear.

As the global crisis grows ever larger, Sigma Force will confront a threat born of the ancient past and made real by the latest science–a danger that will unleash a cascading series of plagues, culminating in a scourge that could kill all of the world’s children . . . decimating mankind forever.


She remembered descriptions of the biblical seventh plague: Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth.

She stared at the shattering forks of lightening, the explosive barrage of ice, the fires burning across the skies. Thunderclaps boomed all around, shaking the ice and rattling the windows.

Is that what I’m witnessing?


Looking for a review of The Seventh Plague?  Check out:

Slapdash & Sundry

ParmenionBooks

For Winter Nights

The Real Book Spy

LibrarianLaura

Mystery Sequels

Books and Stuff

Just A Little Miss

Tyson Adams

The Savvy Reader


Amazon Rating-US: 4.38 out of 5 stars based on 618 ratings

Amazon Rating-UK: 4.50 out of 5 stars based on 38 ratings

GoodReads Rating: 4.00 out of 5 stars based on 4,967 ratings

Library Thing Rating: 3.51 out of 5 stars based on 40 ratings

Total Score 4.04  (updated 10/21/17)

planet

#12.1-Ghost Ship – 2017 (A novella)

First Line:

Now you don’t see that every day…


Characters

 Gray Pierce and Seichan


The Setting

Coast of Australia


The discovery of a burned body sprawled on a remote Australian beach shatters the vacation plans of Commander Gray Pierce. To thwart an ingenious enemy, he and Seichan are pulled into a centuries-old mystery surrounding a lost convict ship, the Trident. The vessel—with a history of mutiny and stolen treasure—vanished into the mists of time, but nothing stays lost forever. A freak storm reveals clues scattered across the Great Barrier Reef, but to follow those clues leads to bloodshed and savagery, for where this ghost ship is hidden is as shocking as the mystery behind its disappearance. It will take all of Gray’s ingenuity and Seichan’s deadly skills to not only survive—but to stop an enemy from destroying everything in his path.

 

 

#12.2-Kowalski’s In Love – (A novella) 2017

First Line:

He wasn’t much to look at…even swinging upside down from a hog snare.


Originally published in THRILLER (2006), edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author James Patterson.

In this Thriller Short from #1 New York Times bestselling writer, James Rollins, brings a story that’s no love story, at least not in the traditional sense. Fans of Rollins’s Sigma Force series know Joe Kowalski, a naval seaman with the heart of a hero, but lacking the brainpower to go with it. Kowalski stays in trouble and here readers will get to know a bit more about his backstory. One that illustrates something Kowalski seems to live by. Dumb luck is better than no luck at all. 

#13-The Demon Crown – 2017

First Line:

With time weighing heavily upon its passengers, the carriage climbed recklessly up from the snow-swept city of Genoa.


Off the coast of Brazil, a team of scientists discovers a horror like no other, an island where all life has been eradicated, consumed and possessed by a species beyond imagination. Before they can report their discovery, a mysterious agency attacks the group, killing them all, save one, an entomologist, an expert on venomous creatures, Professor Ken Matsui from Cornell University.

Strangest of all, this inexplicable threat traces back to a terrifying secret buried a century ago beneath the National Mall: a cache of bones preserved in amber. The artifact was hidden away by a cabal of scientists—led by Alexander Graham Bell—to protect humankind. But they dared not destroy it, for the object also holds an astonishing promise for the future: the very secret of life after death.

Yet, nothing stays buried forever. An ancient horror—dormant in the marrow of those preserved bones—is free once more, nursed and developed into a weapon of incalculable strength and malignancy, ready to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world.

To stop its spread, Commander Grayson Pierce of Sigma Force must survive a direct attack on the island of Maui. To be there first has always been the core mission of Sigma Force, a covert team forged to be America’s front line against emerging threats. But this time, even Sigma may not be able to decipher this deadly mystery, one that traces back to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution.

With each new discovery, the menace they hunt is changing, growing, spreading—adapting and surviving every attempt to stop it from reconquering a world it once ruled. And each transformation makes it stronger . . . and smarter.

Running out of time and options, Commander Grayson Pierce will be forced to make an impossible choice. To eradicate this extinction-level threat and expose those involved, he will have to join forces with Sigma’s greatest enemy—the newly resurrected Guild—even it if means sacrificing one of his own.

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4 thoughts on “James Rollins’ Sigma Force Series

  1. Kowalski. The rock
    Monk. Bas rutton
    Greys dad. Terry bradshaw
    Sechien. Lucy liu
    Painter. Graham greene
    Kat. Tina fey
    Grey. Channing tatum
    Sheun McKnight. Pierce Bronson
    Metcalf. Samuel l jackson

    1. I like how the someone had hypothesized the cast, however I do disagree with several choices. I think the Rock is not a goodd choice for Kowalski’s role nor would I choose C. Tatum for the commandef Pierce, unless you are looking for box office money.

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