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The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) Hardcover – Unabridged, June 21, 2011
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From New York Times bestselling author James Rollins comes a novel of boundless imagination and meticulous research, a book that dares to answer a frightening question at the heart of America: Could the founding of the United States be based on a fundamental lie? The shocking truth lies hidden within the ruins of an impossibility, a lost colony of the Americas vanished in time and cursed into oblivion. A place known only as The Devil Colony. Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery—hundreds of mummified bodies—stirs international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts about 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 ashes 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 among 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 Painter discover the truth—one that could topple governments—before it destroys all he holds dear?
A Q&A with Author James Rollins
Q: There are some pretty fantastic settings in The Devil Colony, all pretty much right here in the good ol’ US of A. Was it nice to be able to set a book mainly in America? Were you able to visit the stunning locations in the book, such as the Arizona desert and the Rocky Mountains?
Rollins: I had great fun researching this novel set in my own backyard (so to speak). For the past decade, I’ve been fielding questions from readers about setting a Sigma novel within the United States. But I knew it had to be the perfect story, a novel thrilling enough to justify coming home. I’ve been searching for that story for about five years, and when I finally discovered it, the book still took me a full two years to write. It’s one of the biggest and most shocking of my novels. It took me trekking across the country and back, from Washington, D.C. and Fort Knox out east, to Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park out west. I interviewed Mormon scholars, read scientific and historical abstract, and studied ancient petroglyphs. It is a story never told—but one that needs to be finally revealed after two hundred years of secrets.
Q: Thomas Jefferson—while he never appears in this story—plays a significant role. Why Thomas Jefferson? What intrigues you about him?
Rollins: Everyone knows Thomas Jefferson as the architect of the Declaration of Independence. Volumes have been written about the man over the past two centuries, but of all the founding fathers of America, he remains to this day wrapped in mystery and contradictions. He was both politician and scientist.For instance, it was only in 2007 that a coded letter, buried in his papers, was finally cracked and deciphered. It was sent to Jefferson in 1801 by a colleague who shared a passion for secret codes. Jefferson was fascinated to the point of fixation on Native American culture and history. At his home in Monticello, he put together a collection of tribal artifacts that was said to rival museums of the day (a collection that mysteriously disappeared after his death). Many of these Indian relics were sent to him by Lewis and Clark during their famed expedition across America. But what many don’t know is that Jefferson sent a secret message to Congress in 1803 concerning Lewis and Clark’s expedition. It revealed the true hidden purpose behind the journey across the West. In The Devil Colony, you’ll learn that purpose—and so much more about the founding of America. And it has nothing to do with freemasons, Knights Templar, or crackpot theories. The truth is as illuminating as it is disturbing.
Q: Your books often include high-concept scientific theory. While not wanting to spill any secrets about the plot of The Devil Colony, what are some of the breaking-news scientific concepts laced through the pages of this book?Rollins: The science in this novel addresses the next big leap in scientific research and industry. It can be summarized in one word: Nanotechnology. In a nutshell, it means manufacturing at the atomic level, at a level of one billionth of a meter. The nanotech industry is exploding. It is estimated that this year alone $70 billion worth of nanotech products will be sold in the U.S. alone: toothpaste, sunscreen, cake icing, teething rings, running socks, cosmetics, and medicines. What’s the downside of such a growth industry? These nanoparticles can cause illness, even death. It’s a new and wild frontier. There is presently no requirement for the labeling of nano-goods, no required safety studies of products containing nanoparticles. But there’s an even darker side to this industry. This technology has a history that goes back further than the twentieth century—much further. The Devil Colony explores those dark roots of this “new” science.
Q: As a reader, it’s a huge treat to re-connect with the Sigma Force team, all of whom are such beloved characters. As an author, is it a similar experience for you to write about them? Do you feel like you’re visiting with dear friends?
Rollins: Definitely. I’ve been living and breathing these characters for going on a decade. We’ve seen them grow, have children, face the challenge of balancing work with family, and deal with losses. While the Sigma team is chocked full of talented and dedicated people, they are still people with real-life challenges alongside the world-spanning adventures. In this book especially, those two worlds collide in a harrowing manner for one of my characters. To me, that’s what makes these characters feel so alive in my heart. They are not a static team who run into adventure after adventure. Instead, they change, they mature, they get life-altering injuries—and yes, they also die. It’s that fragility, that mortality, that breathes life into a character.
"Magnificent....This is wild, unrestrained storytelling at its level best, and Rollins is the best pure action writer out there today, bar none." -- Providence Journal
“James Rollins delivers one of the best thrillers of the year in The Devil Colony, an amazing amalgam of history, science and adventure.” (Associated Press 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)
“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)
“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)
“A first-class, breathtaking adventure that will have readers whizzing through the pages. The only thing wrong with this tale: it has to end.” (Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars) on The Devil Colony)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved it! Good story from the start...can never put these books down once I start a new one! Can't wait to start the next one!Published 2 days ago by Matthew Kuhlmeier
This story was one of my favorites by James Rollins. He introduces a few new characters and they're all like able, even the bad guys. Great job!Published 5 days ago by MajorT
Another excellent addition to sigma series. Would give it a 5 , could have been a little shorter .Published 9 days ago by MMRBZE
I ordered my second copy because I gave the first away to a friend and wanted to read it again.Published 11 days ago by Thom
Great story. Much better than the previous book in this series, which was a good story itself.Published 21 days ago by wolf
Love the Sigma Force series. Can't wait to read the next one. Great read for anyone who loves history, suspense and lots of action!Published 29 days ago by Anne Graham
A good twist of the past and present. Well researched as always. The series golds strong with the Devil Colony.Published 29 days ago by RockiesR0gue