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The Last Oracle (Sigma Force) Paperback – May 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Sigma Force (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061230952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061230950
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 3.9 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

SIGMA force returns in Rollins's latest high-tension mystery that plays out in the slums of India, ancient temples in Greece and even the diseased remnants of Chernobyl now in Ukraine, all in search of the Greek Oracle of Delphi. There are plenty of historical references and a plethora of pulse-pounding action, and narrator Peter Jay Fernandez makes good use of it all to create a compelling and fun listening experience. He reads with a solid voice that is straightforward, honest and rich. There is a mysterious, almost foreboding element in his tone that carries the story forward into deeper and darker territory, while bringing listeners to the edge of their seats. Fernandez offers layered characters who engage his audience and ground the far-fetched plot. A Morrow hardcover (Reviews, May 12). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Lots of absorbing scientific information and tantalizing sentences.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Rollins combines real-world science with high-octane action to create rousing stories of adventure that are as exciting as any movie.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“Once again, the action is nonstop.” (Sacramento Bee)

“The perfect escape novel, an edge of-your-seat read.” (Knoxville News-Sentinel)

“Rollins has outdone himself with this fabulous mix of history, science, and adventure that will easily increase his growing number of fans.” (Library Journal)

“Go out and buy James Rollins’s latest saga. He just keeps getting better and better.” (The Barnstable Patriot)

More About the Author

Questions from Readers for James Rollins

Q
When can we expect a new Order of the Sanguines book? Loved the first two and am anxious for the third.
Judy Croy asked 4 days ago
Author Answered

The rumour is January 2014. Subscribe to my very infrequent newsletter for a confirmation or update here: http://www.jamesrollins.com/contact/newsletter

James Rollins answered 15 hours ago

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Action" 47
  • "Writing" 46
  • "Characters" 34
  • "Suspense" 15
  • "Emotional" 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The first James Rollins book I ever read was SUBTERRANEAN. It was a "lost world" adventure, about an underground world that spawned the marsupial creatures that inhabit Australia. The book was a blistering good read and I read it - held completely in thrall - in a single sitting. Not many 400-page novels can do that to me these days.

Rollins is the pseudonym of Jim Czajkowski, but he also writes fantasy novels under the pen name James Clemens. As Clemens, he's written and published seven high fantasy novels so far, with more in the works.

Writing under the Rollins name, he wrote five stand-alone thrillers that took readers inside the earth -- SUBTERRANEAN, into high mountains -- EXCAVATION, to the ocean's bottom -- DEEP FATHOM, through the deepest jungles -- AMAZONIA, and to the most remote and dangerous pole in the world -- ICE HUNT. He also wrote the novelization of the newest Indiana Jones movie, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.

In SANDSTORM, Rollins introduced a covert espionage team called Sigma Force that deals with archeological and scientific threats to the world. Made up of scientists and military personnel, Sigma Force goes anywhere and battles anything to ferret out puzzles and mysterious left throughout history. Imagine Dan Brown on steroids with Tom Clancy weaponry and you've got a good idea of what Rollins does in these books.

His interest in science and history are immediately noticeable in these books. They're carefully researched (albeit with an eye toward getting Rollins and his fans where they want to go in high adventure), and the pacing is absolutely frantic. Not only does Rollins present information, but he also leavens the exciting mixture with no-holds barred conjecture on his part.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Last summer, the diabolical Mr. Rollins left his fans with a cliff-hanger ending that was simply TORTUROUS. Let me start this review by telling readers that the unresolved questions are answered thoroughly and in a completely satisfying manner. And, you don't have to wait `til the end of the book to learn those answers. Yes, that's all very vague, but I don't want to give away a thing.

Now the above paragraph may seem pretty intimidating or off-putting if you haven't read the novel that precedes this one, The Judas Strain. Well, here's the most impressive thing about The Last Oracle: It absolutely works as a stand alone novel. Yes, it's great if you're a long-time fan of the Sigma Force novels, but Rollins manages to jump-start this tale from the opening pages, and I don't think you'd need any back story to dive right into this adventure. And never once did I feel like there was that awkward exposition you often see in series novels. Bravo!

The hard part of reviewing any James Rollins novel is trying to summarize the plot. This novel opens in 398 A.D., with the eponymous Oracle of Delphi. The final moments of the temple are depicted. A few pages later we're in Romania, circa 1959. The Ruskies are rounding up a bunch of charming villagers. And a few pages after that we're at last in modern-day DC, with our old friend Gray Pierce of Sigma. Walking across the Mall, he's approached by a "homeless" man. As he pauses to give the guy a hand-out, a shot rings out. Gray is safe, but the derelict is killed. Later investigation suggests the stranger was the intended target, not Gray. This is confirmed when Gray's boss takes one look at the body and say's, "I know this man."

It turns out the man was an important part of Sigma history.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Cochran on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I haven't read another James Rollins novel. THE LAST ORACLE was my first, and I enjoyed it. While this style of plot-driven novel is definitely not for everyone, I'd be hard-pressed to name another author who is more on top of his game writing action and suspense than Rollins is in THE LAST ORACLE.

The story concerns a group of autistic savant children who have been bred and surgically altered to improve their savant skills. A rogue Russian senator has plans to create a nuclear disaster that will vault him to global power, and he plans to use the children's talents in his new, self-appointed position. Furthermore, the children's ancestry dates to the ancient Oracle of Delphi, which acts as a historical backdrop for the story.

SIGMA Commander Gray Pierce leads the band of folks who must stop him, navigating from SIGMA's headquarters in Washington DC, to India, to Chernobyl, and finally to the Ural Mountains in the former Soviet Union. Many people try to kill them along the way.

James Rollins has clearly done his research to ground THE LAST ORACLE in a reality that fits the story, and the fear of nuclear waste left available in the former Soviet Union is an issue that needs to be addressed. The political unease underlying the novel works to ratchet the tension, and Rollins does a remarkable job of juggling multiple storylines to enhance the suspense even further.

I'm not convinced that a writer in this genre can't create realistic, emotionally-complex characters, but it does seem like they might get in the way of the plot. That said, if you're looking for a fun action-suspense novel, Rollins is your man. He is at the top of his game in THE LAST ORACLE, and I do recommend this novel.
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