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Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel Hardcover – June 26, 2012
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Amazon Exclusive: Q & A with James Rollins
Q: In Bloodline, you introduce two new characters, Tucker and Kane, a pair unlike any your readers have seen before. Tell us about them, and why you decided to write about them?
James Rollins: First of all, I wanted to honor these unique American heroes. Tucker Wayne is a former captain with the Army Rangers. After two tours of duty in Afghanistan, he leaves the service disillusioned after a bloody battle. Aided by members of his own unit, Tucker steals his war dog, Kane.
What I liked best about exploring this pair's unique relationship is a phrase commonly used by military war dog handlers--It runs down the lead--describing how the emotions of the pair became shared over time, binding them together as firmly as any leash. And it's that bond and ability for the two to operate as one that I wanted to explore in this novel.
Q: Can you tell us about your research into military dogs?
JR: About a year and half ago, I was lucky enough to participate in a USO tour of authors to military bases in Iraq and Kuwait. There, I saw several of these war dogs in action. I was also able to meet and talk to a veterinary school classmate of mine who works with the veterinary corps out in Iraq. After that encounter, it got me thinking about writing this book, of honoring these unique war heroes on the page.
Q: Women play a large role in Bloodline. How are you able to write from the point of view of women so well?
JR: I have three sisters who make sure I get those details correct, but also during my USO tour to Iraq and Kuwait, I got a chance to talk at length to women in the field--to hear what it's like to be a female in the armed services. And that'[s something I tried to capture accurately.
Q: Your novels always delve into the cutting edge of science. What is the scientific basis behind Bloodline?
JR: The root of this book came from a recent article in Time magazine. The cover declared: 2045, the Year Man Becomes Immortal. I read that and wondered how that could become true. Could immortality be achievable in our lifetime? It sent me into a yearlong and chilling investigation into the frontiers of life extension.
Q: What are some of these new discoveries involving immortality?
JR: I've learned that there are actually two competing schools of study when it comes to the search for immortality. On one side, scientists are looking at moving man into machines, moving our consciousness into a synthetic arena. Scientists in Switzerland right now are working with IBM to create the first virtual human brain and say they are about a decade off from achieving this goal.
On the other side of the scientific fence, researchers are also looking at moving machines into us: basically replacing our failing parts with artificial organs. We already have synthetic pancreases and mechanical hearts, and these scientific advancements continue to accelerate, especially with the explosive growth of nanotechnology, which involves engineering at the atomic level.
Q: Now to the last and most pressing question: How close are we to achieving immortality?
JR: That's a good question--and the answer is the most startling revelation I discovered while researching this story, something I share within the pages of this book. In Bloodline, readers will learn a shocking scientific truth about the nature of mankind: That immortal beings already walk among us today.
If you want to know who they are, if you want to learn how to live forever--read Bloodline.
"The science in Bloodline reads like the best of Michael Crichton. The machinations of government read like the best of David Baldacci. And the action and thrills read like the best of Clive Cussler. Rollins takes the best of all of these and creates an amazing thriller unlike any other." --Associated Press (Jeff Ayers)
“James Rollins is a master of international action and intrigue.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“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)
“From the hidden Indian treasure, to the Fort Knox secrets, to the conspiracy at the beginning of the United States The Devil Colony gives you every reason why you’ll want to be a member of Sigma Force.” (Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle on The Devil Colony)
“Terrible secrets, the sweep of history, an epic canvas, breathless action...nobody—and I mean nobody—does this stuff better than Rollins.” (Lee Child on The Devil Colony)
“Riveting....Rollins gets better with each book, and his position at the top of this particular subgenre remains unshaken.” (Publishers Weekly on The Devil Colony) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A bit of a low point in the series for me, but I will still continue reading Rollins's books.
As seems typical fashion for Rollins, the prologue starts with a cliff-hanger: Gray is positioned on a sniper perch. The target in his sights: the president of the United States.
The novel then immediately shifts, and starts off with suspense. Amanda, the daughter of President Gant, is convinced that her yet-to-be-born child is in danger. As such, she and her husband surreptitiously sneak out of the country and decide to lay low on a yacht off the coast of Africa. However, she's quickly discovered and subsequently captured by Somali pirates. Once captured, she learns the boundaries, regarding both ethics and biology, that an organization will take to obtain her child.
Demanding anything less than perfection, President Gant immediately enlists the help of the same organization that previously saved his own life: Sigma Command. Backed by a director of Sigma, who is suspicious of the president's activities, Commander Pierce leads a team into Somalia for a dangerous and riveting rescue mission. Little does he know, Commander Pierce and his teammates are being sent on another task that will ultimately lead to the revelation of secrets surrounding Sigma's notorious arch-rivals: The Guild.
The story recalls the past struggles of Commander Pierce, from "The Devil Colony." Having just lost his mother in a Guild-led attack designed for him, Gray feels the need for revenge. However, he does not know the extent that the revenge would go. The revelations that take place in this novel will shake the foundation upon which Commander Pierce has stood for his entire career with Sigma. He must choose between allegiance to his country and revenge that he feels must be taken.
The storyline behind "Bloodline" is perfect for either a novice to the Sigma Series, or an avid reader that understands the complex back stories. Rollins manages to re-capture the internal struggles and joys of all returning characters, such as Pierce, Monk, and Painter, without boring an established fan of the series. Yet, he manages to easily tie in new characters that seem to perfectly mesh with the emotions and personalities of the already-known individuals.
I would recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys non-stop action. Following multiple characters, Rollin's style of writing seems to never allow for a reader to put the book down! Furthermore, this book is not for those that are easily confused. It encompasses you with complex issues from the very beginning, until the end.