139 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner--why do I even doubt?
Yes, I doubted, very briefly. I'm ashamed. It's not that The Doomsday Key doesn't start off in a readable and totally entertaining manner. It really does. Rollins has what he does down to a science by now. He quickly reintroduces the main players (a few of whom we haven't seen in a while: Rachel Verona and Seichan) and establishes their relationships with each other...
Published on June 23, 2009 by Susan Tunis
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Da Vinci Code formula
There is a plot afoot in this novel and it is insidious. The plot is to get you to believe in the blurb enough to buy the book. Sadly, Rollins (or his intern or whomever actually puts all these "ideas" into a readable format relies too heavily on the formulaic and the cliched. When every chapter is written as a breath-taking cliffhanger, when every set of dialogues is...
Published on May 30, 2010 by California Will
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139 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner--why do I even doubt?,
After the characters are reestablished, (again, as you'd expect) the action starts. A motorcycle chase here, a shootout there, a dash of international travel. Now, I love James Rollins with all my heart, but these opening salvos--while very well-written--felt a little... generic. My moment of doubt.
Happily, it didn't last long. Once Rollins set the main plot in motion, all such thoughts vanished. Seriously, WHAT was I thinking? For me, things really kicked into high gear with the introduction of a new character, Professor Wallace Boyle, whose lecture on peat bogs thrilled me to my soul. I know, peat bogs, who'd a thunk it? But again, that's Rollins' gift. He must look at the world through curiosity-colored glasses; he can find the wonder in the most unlikely of places and subjects. And even more brilliantly, he manages to string together a laundry list of disparate fascinating topics into the plot of a tight, tense thriller. And he does it again and again.
I know I'm being very, very vague about the plot. It would be a shame to give too much away. The central plot revolves around a plague from the past and a plague of the future: hunger. As characters in the novel expound, there will soon be a tipping point where there are far too many people on this planet to feed. Who gets to choose who lives or who dies? If you had the power and resources to make the hard choices, what would you do "to save the world?" And would you be a hero or a villain?
It is the exploring of the above questions that entails ancient artifacts, hidden rooms, booby traps, prophecies come true, missing bumble bees, miracle-performing saints, love triangles, the final resting place of Merlin the wizard, polar bears, teddy bears, and the world's healthiest apple. And I didn't even give you a hint of the real shocker!
A lot of thrillers make the goal, save the world, whatever, and end abruptly. Not so here. There was a nice... cooling down period after the action ended. It's a chance to check in with all the major characters, and a chance for Rollins to leave us with another of his signature cliff-hangers. This one isn't as brutal as some he's written, but those invested in the series will be left with a question to keep them wondering for the coming year.
A final note: Is it wrong that the author's afterwards have become my very favorite part of these novels? This may be the longest one yet (And for God's sake, DON'T read it before you finish the book!), and I am staggered by how much true stuff was worked into the novel. I mean, pretty much every too-amazing-to-be-true fact was, in fact, true. James Rollins, you rock my world!
105 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best. Novel. Yet.,
As always, summarizing the story is the hardest part. First, because I'd hate to spoil any surprises. And secondly, because it's just really hard to summarize one of Rollins's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plots. The main action of this book opens in present day Utah. From two boys who can't resist the lure of the forbidden, a great and terrible discovery is made at a sacred Native American site. There are bodies. There is an artifact. And, astonishingly, something that goes to the very core of Mormon theology!
Just as the scientists on site are beginning to grasp what they've discovered, there is a huge explosion. The explosion is blamed on a Native American activist, but it's clear that this wasn't your standard bomb. It's something far more dangerous, with implications that spread further and further afield, and which drag Sigma operatives into the story on differing assignments and for different reasons. All the usual suspects are back, including the enigmatic Seichan, who is again paired in an uneasy alliance with Gray Pierce. Painter Crowe is also back in the field this time around. Operatives from the Guild are up to their usual tricks, and even as readers learn more about the shadowy organization in this novel, new questions are raised for the next book. (It's infuriating how he does that.)
In provocative messages leading up to the publication of The Devil Colony, James Rollins repeated asked, "Was America founded on a lie?" The plot of this novel does get right to the heart of the formation of this country. What were Lewis and Clark really up to? What was Thomas Jefferson communicating in secret ciphers? It also explains the fate of some of the most mysteriously lost cultures through history. It delves into the not only the most cutting-edge technology, but also some amazingly advanced ancient technology. And, yes, it also explores the foundation of the Mormon Church. Oh, and there's a super-volcano! And killer whales! And the heist of all heists!
Seriously, I could go on like this all day. The scope of this novel is breath-taking. What's amazing is that Rollins pulls all of these diverse threads together SO plausibly that you'll find yourself wondering if he has indeed solved half the puzzles of the ages in one fell swoop. As always, there's a staggering amount of fact laced throughout his fantastic plot. It's enough to make you go, "Hmmm."
The pace starts to race early on, and it just never slows down. The stakes in the book simply get bigger and bigger. Technically, it's a well-structured page-turner. But in the end, it's the story that got me and held me. Every part of it was just so inventive, exciting, and so darn interesting! I entitled this review "Best. Novel. Yet." I don't anticipate Mr. Rollins topping The Devil Colony any time soon, but I hold out hope. He wrote this one. What wonderful tales can we look forward to in the future?
43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Solid Sigma Book,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) (Kindle Edition)When taking the time to review a book, one must look at several factors: story line, plot development, depth of characters, and research accuracy. Once again this book has all of those factors and more. As with most novels by this author, I could easily sink into the book and get lost in the storyline. I had read the novella that was the framework for this book. I held off till last week to do so, it did nothing but making me want to know more! Then I turn and find a nice little teaser of the book after, it was enough to tell me this was going to be another book, with the characters I look forward to reading more of. I have stolen time during my clinicals, and reading another Rollin's book with my son (Jake Ransom & the Skull King's Shadow) since The Devil's Colony was released to read the book, it is solid.
I was surprised to see the low ratings on here, I go to look, and saw they have nothing to do with the book, but with the pricing. Now was I thrilled to pay 15.00 for my Kindle edition of the book. Nope, not even close. The price is set by the publisher, not by the Author. The authors have no say in pricing, the publishers do. On Amazon, the ratings have no sway with the publishing company, but it does help or hurt the author. If you want to communicate your distaste with the pricing, add it to your review, or contact the company. Do not penalize the Amazon standing of your favorite authors because of the pricing. Content is what is to be reviewed here, not the price of the product.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Da Vinci Code formula,
In the beginning, Rollins' books were slapdash, but entertaining. There were a few unexpected twists and treacheries; no longer so. Like Dan Brown's and Dean Koontz's, this is factory-wrought prose of the "cheaper, faster" variety melded sloppily with character behavior that is not so much "expected" as it is "re-hashed" without flavor or depth. Motivation is reduced to absurdity. Rollins has always tailored his "adventure" stories to a lower common denominator reading public, but this sinks the travesty to a new level of "take the money and run" novelism. If you can taste the bitter grief of a reader seeing a former entertainer not simply stumble but plunge willingly into the abyss of sheer commercialism, then you can grasp the point of my review. Sic transit gloria, James Rollins...I shall not read nor buy another.
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devilishly good,Gods of Ruin or anything by Preston & Child, you're going to love the latest by James Rollins. I'm a big fan of the Sigma series and I was glad to hear about them coming back home for a mission though that meant I wouldn't be able to travel vicariously through Team Sig as they traipse from Norway to Rome to Nepal.
One constant in these Rollins treasures is the wealth of history and science that the author weaves into the story. It's seamless and feels right (like `Gods' mentioned before) and you get to take something away from each story besides some thrilling action. Also, Rollins likes to integrate multiple story lines and you never really know which character is the true protagonist. They all are.
The Devil Colony is no different except the history is our own this time and the mysteries surrounding the story could be a big shock for the reader. This book explores the founding of the country and specifically the push westward and of course, the Mormon connection. Fascinating stuff.
Rollins's stuff is not nearly as hokey as da Vinci Code and he doesn't get into crazy conspiracy theories. As Rollins said, the truth is pretty thrilling in itself! I highly recommend this one and if you want to go back to the beginning, get "Sandstorm". It's my favorite of the series.
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Aging Sigma Force Gets the Job Done, Barely...,
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far--this is THE BEST novel to date from Rollins--and that says a LOT,
The Sigma Force series, which began with Sandstorm (yet another home run hit, btw), has never been better, and with The Devil Colony, we have the best to date. Its hard to summarize this story without giving too much away...let me ask you this: what does Thomas Jefferson have to do with the founding of America...? You probably only THINK you know the whole truth. The famous trek West by Lewis & Clark, did it have a secret agenda that history has ignored--or have we purposely been kept in the dark about? The Great Seal of the United States has a connection with an all but forgotten American Indian, who some consider a Lost Founding Father...so what is the connection all about? Did some ancient cultures actually manufacture tools which have nanotechnology built in...fiction or did it in fact actually happen? What does the Book of Mormon have to do with it all? Trust me, it takes an unusually skilled author to bring all of these elements together as seamlessly as Rollins does. Not only are most the topics 100% true--it becomes increasingly difficult to separate fact & fiction as you progress further into this Sigma Adventure. One of my favorite parts of reading a Rollins novel is going through the last few pages which--thankfully--answers the question as to what really IS truth and what was simply grand storytelling (sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction).
Whether you find yourself in the mountains of Utah, inside Fort Knox or making a grand discovery of what happened to the Anasazi Indians who inexplicably disappeared hundreds of years ago without a trace, The Devil Colony is a force to be reckoned with from literally the first page on. I've said for years now that while I really LOVE all his books, Map of Bones was Rollins best all-around tale...but with The Devil Colony, its time I made a much-needed amendment to my opinion. Hands down the most all-out entertaining novel I've read in at LEAST 5 years. I KNOW how irritating it is when I see blurbs on the backs of books which say 'once you start, you can't stop'...mostly 'cuz the phrase is SO over-used...but honestly, I cannot think of anything to say other than be careful: once you start this book, it is VERY difficult to put down. I found as I read late into the night that I would make deals with myself, saying I'd stop...after the NEXT chapter, only to break that promise time & again. Maybe you have better self-control, but I guess if I'm going to have a lapse, I'm glad it was while reading this.
Once again, the wait is on for whats coming next...THANKS, James, you hit a Grand Slam with this one, kudos--I simply loved it!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read The Books In Order,
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)The reading of this series needs to be done in the correct order to fully understand the background of the main characters.
An experimental farm in Africa where there is a massacre of all the staff and refugees in the farm. A member of the staff was the son of a US senator and the Sigma Force was given the task of investigating what happened. Monk Kokkalis, member of the Sigma Force, was about to interview the colleague of the senator's son, when a group of assassins killed the colleague and blew up his laboratory.
In Italy, an archeologist was murdered in a church and a subsequent explosion injures a Vatican official he was supposed to meet there. Rachel, a niece of the Vatican official, finds an ancient artifact hidden by the archeologist before his death. Fearing that nothing will come out of the subsequent police investigation, Rachel sends a message to Cmdr. Grey Pierce, asking for help to uncover the truth.
Grey was on the way to Italy to shadow Seichan, a deadly woman who has tried to kill him as well as helped him in the past. A common link to thess events were genetically modified food crops and the Doomsday vault containing seeds that can be used to grow new crops in case of a world wide catastrophe.
Three storylines interwoven in a very interesting book but I still wish that I had read the previous books in this series to understand the truer picture.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has one or two pacing flaws but is still excellent reading!,
The plotline of this entry focuses on an influential owner of a bioengineering company who has plans to "save" the world through controversial means as well as following along with Grey & company as they try to find a long lost "Doomsday Key" that is very much desired by Sigma's rival group the Guild. Grey has more than one thing on his mind as he has to figure out the clues as well as figure out his relationship dynamics with his previous lover Rachel as well as the enigmatic Seichan. (Well, first he has to figure out whether or not he can TRUST Seichan.)
Overall I enjoyed the book but I will admit that there were one or two points that seemed to be a bit of a lull. Mostly the "in between" scenes that were necessary to move the plot to the next part. I enjoyed learning more about Seichan but I found the whole Grey/Rachel/Seichan dynamics to be a little wearing at times & I didn't really feel any romantic sparks between Grey & Rachel in this book. (Then again, that may have been the author's intent for the relationship to be more of a desperation thing than a romance thing.) I did particularly enjoy Kowalski in this book. He's a meathead & a grunt, but he's great comic relief. It was a relief to have some plot movement with the Guild plot arc since that's something that has been dragged out for a while now. There is a bit of an ambiguous ending of sorts, but it's entertaining to think of the possibilities that could open up in the future. In the end though, this just wasn't Rollins' strongest novel in the Sigma series. He's written far better than this. It's not enough to put me off the series, but it's enough to make me admit that this will disappoint some readers.
Now I do have to put a disclaimer down. If you have never read any of the Sigma novels in the past, this is not the book to start with. While the bigger part of the plot is somewhat self contained, the overlying plot arcs & character dynamics will more than likely befuddle anyone who has no knowledge of anything that's happened before. The book calls on a lot of previous story arcs in this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I need a pace maker after reading this brilliantly written thriller! "First induction to J.Rollins",
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)My experience: Holy mac, I dont know what I have been missing with this author as I love this genre and even before I got past the first 25% of the novel, I thought I was going to need a pace maker after reading this novel. I am a female avid reader and love this genre, so hail James Rollins on my induction into his world of writing. The pace was fast, but gripping, and so much wonderful details to keep the reader enjoying the pace and painting a canvass so real. At times, I had to check in with myself and ask 'was that a real fact, or another brilliant piece of writing to bring the reader into the story?' The author was not afraid to give real emotions to his cast of characters and that helped you to endear them or fear them as you follow their journey on what feels like a Jack Bauer "24" episode, there is no restrooms visit!
What made this novel so gripping in its pace is how the plot and action unravelled: each chapter throws you into a new discovery about the plot. Often, the author leaves the chapter on a cliff hanger as he jumps onto the next chapter and picking up the cliff hanger that he last left another character! I found this approach kept the plot moving and still provided so much interest to keep you gasping in each chapter. I just wished i had an oxygen tank with me as I was holding my breathe on so many occasions that my husband was getting a wee worried about me staying a live to finish the book. The novel had a great plot and that is often missing in some of the great 'thriller' authors. This did not disappoint and I was thoroughly absorbed right to the end. More please!
if you are new to James Rollins and love this genre, this novel will not disappoint at all. For the rest of the fans, I have a lot of reading to do and catch up with the other novels in the Sigma series.
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The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins (Mass Market Paperback - March 27, 2012)