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Showing 1-10 of 336 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 379 reviews
on December 28, 2012
The hero of this novel is Army Ranger Seargent Jeff Stone. He is on duty in Afghanistan with JEFF(Joint Expeditionary Forensic Facility).They are headquartered in Bamiyan Valley. The facility recieves a distress call from an archeological team that is doing exploratory work. The facility gets a distress call from the team. It is in a strange language that was spoken in ancient times. Stone is able to get the call interpreted by one of his group named Professor Thomas Thomas Atherton. Stone and a rescue team are dropped off at the camp location by a U.S. Army ranger helicopter. They discover to their horror that a massacare has taken place at the camp site. There is blood everywhere but no bodies. It is then that a fierec snowstorm blows in.While
riding out a snow storm they discover a 10 year old survivor of the massacare. The little girl isd traumitized and in a state of shock.She gives them an incoherent description of what took place. During the night they are attacked by beasts who are wanting to kill them. Sgt, Stone leads the beast to the site of the archeological dig in the Shar-e-Gholghol. He makes a stunning discovery . He is then forced to fight for his life. This is a very good short that you will find very enjoyable.
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on June 14, 2017
I enjoy reading anything written by James Rollins. I had fun reading this short story and the only complaint I have is that I wish it would have been longer. The Order of the Sanguines Series is a great read and I highly recommend it.
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on May 13, 2014
I have been wanting to read Rollins for quite a while now but have never gotten around to it. I have always been intriqued with his subject matter and book titles. When I found this short story when waltzing through Amazon, I thought it would be a perfect introduction. In the end, though, I came away disappointed.

I don't want to begrudge Mr. Rollins his success, because he obviously is a successful novelist, but I found the writing itself to be distractingly poor. Poor grammar, poor punctuation, illogical paragraph breaks... The characters were flat and 2 dimensional, despite a couple of brief references to the protagonist's Iowa farm boyhood. Absolutely no character development (granted, this was a short story and there isn't a lot of time for character development). It was like I was reading the writer's unedited notes for a longer story, or for an action movie screenplay. It is really sad because I really wanted to like Rollins' work.

That being said, I found the story engaging. I liked the thematic elements, the juxtaposition of the logical and supernatural, and the mystery behind the plot. The pacing was good and it was definitely a page turner. At no time was I tempted to stop reading it and move on to something else, so it held my interest. It was reminiscent of a Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt story, of which I have read a couple.

I realize that I need to take this for what it is, as short introduction to the characters and marketing tool for the series. But I would think that for what it is, it would contain some of the author's best writing. I would hate to think that is the case with this story.
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on October 31, 2012
I'ma diehard James Rollins fan and new to Rebecca Cantrell's work. Having said that, I'm a new fan!

This E-only novella introduces a military forensic team--think NCIS or CSI. It is led by farmboy turned solider Jordan Stone and his team. They're called upon to investigate a massacre of an archeology team. They find one survivor, a young traumatized girl, and a huge mystery. As Jordan and his team struggle to find answers, an ancient curse may doom them all.

This is clearly a teaser to introduce Jordan and whet the reader's appetite for the authors' full-length debut in January. I, for one, am hooked. The authors had me spellbound from the first few words--masterful opening hook! The idea of combining history, science and military forensic investigation hooked me from the first page and the multi-chapter teaser for the book already has me riveted.

The authors worked together seamlessly--I never felt as if there was anything awkward or choppy about the author voice.

Is it January yet? What about now? :)
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on February 23, 2013
The cursed city, Mao Balegh,is the ruins of an ancient site where Genghis Khan, mad with power, and red-eyed with blood thirst revenge because he blamed the citizens for killing his favorite grandson, slaughtered 100,000 people. Later, Buddhist monks inhabited the area until it was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
Army Ranger Sergeant Jordan Stone, a team leader for the Joint Expedition Forensic Facility (JEFF),receives news that an archaeologist group has been massacred amidst the ruins of Shahr-e-Gholghol.
A ten year old girl is the only traumatized survivor. No other bodies were found, earning speculation that they were carried off by a leap of leopards. A belief arose that the girl was possessed by an escaped djinn.
Rollins and Cantrell meld their skills in this intricate adventure by blending action, historical fact and fiction with the mysterious unknown.
A transmission, barely discernible, was supposedly in Bactrian. "A lost language of Afghanistan. It has not been spoken since....for centuries." The whispery words said, "The girl is ours."
This short story version is an introduction for the Rollins and Cantrell New series, The Blood Gospel, which is the first book in the Order of the Sanguine series.
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on November 20, 2012
I like James Rollins' books. They are a pulse-pounding blend of action, intrigue, sci-fi/fact and the occult.
Each reads like a terrific popcorn movie; and, it they have a flaw, its that the characters tend to be lightly drawn.

In the short story, 'City Of Screams', Mr. Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell introduce a compelling new hero: Sergeant Jordan Stone, head of a US Army Forensics Investigation team. Their job is to examine military crime scenes (ambushes, I.E.D.'s, bombings, etc.), and determine the who-what-why-when-where & how.

'City Of Screams' takes the Sarge & his team of stalwarts to a haunted mountain, where they have to confront the mystery of a missing group of soldiers/scientists, a legendary hidden stronghold and cursed lovers. The authors take these elements and blend them into a spine-tingling, hair-raising spook story that lingers long after you turn the last page.

What I liked best was that the authors let you 'get-to-know' Sergeant Jordan in the short length of this story, much more then many other Rollins protagonists at the end of full-length novels. Hopefully, the authors plan on bringing back the Good Sergeant and Co. very soon...and, perhaps, Mr. Rollins will enhance his already formidable skills with more fully fleshed-out characters?

Bottom line: Army procedural, historical mystery, supernatural horror...this little gem excels at them all. Read it!
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on November 27, 2013
This short story is a prequel to the full length novel, "The Blood Gospel." This story takes place in Afghanistan where Sergeant Jordan Stone works for the Joint Expeditionary Forensic Facility (JEFF). He is a crime investigator for the military. If there was a mystery, it was his team's responsibility to solve it. And ... the mystery is a SOS call received at 4:32 a.m. of an apparent firefight with sounds of screams and then words, "They're coming again!" After listening to the tape 14 times one of his team advisors tells him the message was sent from an archaeological team in Bamiyan Valley, which is comprised of four men and one woman, all Americans. Professor Thomas Atherton, who has worked with the team, listens to the tape, hearing the last unintelligible words and immediately becomes shocked. He recognizes the words of a language, Bactrian, a language not used for centuries. What does it mean? He interprets it as, "The girl is ours!" Jordan and his team, along with the professor, board a helicopter and head to the valley to solve the mystery. This story is highly paced and mystifying. A well written prequel to the full novel of "The Blood Gospel" which also includes the hero, Jordan Stone. Don't miss out reading James Rollins' outstanding thriller.
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on July 1, 2014
Admittedly, I'm a HUGE fan of James Rollins. While I don't usually review anything, I welcome this opportunity to heap praise on an author who can consistently produce what I've come to call the '24' chapter endings. You know, the endings where the reader can't but help start on the next chapter only to see what happens, be it midnight, a work night, a school night, a wedding night....well maybe not that night but...
Okay, the characters are cardboard cut-outs of real people, but the story is always SOOOOO good that,really, who cares!
For PERFECT summer reading, Patterson (and his staff of dozens) can't hold a candle to Rollins at the top of his game. I IMMEDIATELY bought "Blood Gospel" to which this book is an intro and it, too, is a doozy!
James, thank you, thank you, thank you. Rebecca, best of luck keeping up with this writer!!! But, seriously, welcome aboard and thanks for your help. Great stuff! Again!!
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on December 13, 2012
I've been interested in reading some of James Rollins' work for a while before I stumbled upon The Blood Gospel and figured this would be up my alley. Since I wanted to check out the kind of work he would be doing with Rebecca Cantrell, I thought this would be a good indicator.

Basically, the idea behind City of Screams is way more interesting then the actual application. The entire story feels rushed, right up to the summarized ending that tidies up loose ends without bothering to show the action that lead to that point. Despite the rush job on the ending, however, it felt like the only properly paced part of the entire story. The rest of City of Screams felt forced and, as a result, made reading it something of a chore.

The writing aside, I will reiterate that the story itself is fairly interesting. Its your typical "expedition unearths ancient evil and bad stuff happens" schtick, but that's something I enjoy and anyone else who likes that sort of thing will find at least something here.

A side note on this package as a whole, I didn't notice any glaring errors on my Kindle and I had no trouble with the formatting. This does come with a sneak peak of the first three chapters of The Blood Gospel as well. I will say that I found the preview more interesting and better paced than City of Screams. Writing a story this short just might not be Rollins and Cantrell's thing. Since I bought this only as a way of determining if I'd like to buy The Blood Gospel, I can say that the preview sold me more than the short story itself.
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on July 9, 2017
Rollins has never disappointed. This short story is a quick read but leaves you on the edge of your seat. Definitely wanting more.
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