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The Last Oracle (Sigma Force) Mass Market Paperback – May 26, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
At the start of bestseller Rollins's rousing fifth Sigma Force novel (after The Judas Strain), the group's leader, Cmdr. Gray Pierce, encounters a homeless man as he's crossing the Mall in Washington, D.C., near Sigma Force's secret lair far beneath the Smithsonian Castle. The man, who's really an MIT neurology professor, collapses in Pierce's arms and dies after passing him a strange coin, thus kicking off a far-flung adventure whose plot threads include the Oracle of Delphi, autistic savant children with strange implants behind their ears, Gypsies, power-mad Russians bent on unleashing enough radioactivity to poison the world, rogue American spy agencies and genetically enhanced wolves and tigers. Lots of absorbing scientific information and tantalizing sentences like With two rifles strapped to his back and a boy and a chimpanzee in tow, Monk marched down the pitch-black tunnel keep the pages flying by. 10-city author tour. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“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)
Top customer reviews
In the last book, Mr. Rollins leftfans with a cliff-hanger ending which I wont spoil. I`ll 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. So here we go.
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 Russians 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. Two clues from his murder lead Gray to the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History. There he meets Elizabeth Polk, who becomes a major player in the novel. The scenes in the museum (where I once worked in real life) are among my favorite that Rollins has ever written. The action picks up at this point, and as one clue leads to another, Gray, Elizabeth, and an assortment of Sigma and non-Sigma characters find themselves globe-trotting from India to Russia. With this author, it's pretty much a given that the action comes fast and furious, and the pages will fly by at lightning speed. Along the way, Rollins explores the connections of autism to the Oracle of Delphi, the history of the Romani (Gypsy) people, and the advancement of the human race. We get to visit with old favorite characters from books past (though some you'll expect are notably missing) and we'll meet some new characters too. Not all are human.
In short order, Rollins has got his plot up and running, separating Sigma Force into teams and branching out with different avenues of action. Director Painter Crowe and his group try to figure out the mystery of the Russian girl that falls into their hands while Gray Pierce follows up on the trail of bread crumbs Dr. Polk has left behind. On another front, we pick up the story of yet another Sigma Force member who's fighting for his life to escape enemy clutches with a cadre of the psychically gifted children. And then there are the machinations of the bad guys.
As always, there was some real science entwined in the plot that absolutely floored me! Sometimes it's almost an aside and you just wish the entire novel was about the fact that, apparently, human beings (all of us) can see two or three seconds into the future. And again Rollins provides an afterward to clarify fact vs. fiction and cite some of his sources. He also manages to incorporate up-to-the-minute current events into the novel's plot. Something that he always does.
Overall this is a book that any fan of action adventure books should read along with anyone who might be autistic you will also learn a lot of information about autism itself and be kept on the edge of your seat. The Last Oracle is fantastic addition to the Sigma novels, You need a great airplane book or a beach read or summer read? This is the book you're looking for.