Top positive review
A very informative suspense novel
on May 9, 2016
James Rollins has written an exciting venture story featuring the agents of Sigma, a small elite force under DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Program Agency) matching their wits and skills against the Guild, an evil international force led by a group of persons referred to as the Echelon.
The action takes place mainly in northern Europe with stops in Norway inside the Arctic Circle, Oslo. northern England, and off the coast of Wales. However, key parts of the plot take place in Rome, northern France, and Mali.
As usual in reading a book by this author I found the story educational and informative. I was re-introduced to: the Club of Rome with its prophecies of doom; the ludicrous production of biofuel and its monstrous effect on food supply; the concepts of the human genome; genetically modified organisms and the need for further testing; the early inhabitants of the British Isles featuring the Neolythic tribes and Fomorians around 1,500 BC, and the Celts and Druids. I learned about extremophiles, rare ancient bacteria which play a prominent role in the plot. Our heroes had to defend themselves against new terrifying weapons which the author documents as actually existing..
The characters are extremely competent, intelligent and persevering, especially Commander Grayson Pierce who frequently leads his comrades into extremely dangerous situations but usually succeeds with the help of his admirers such as Seichan, a Guild operative, to extract them from the jaws of almost certain death. Somehow, within all the action and historical and technological description, the author manages to sneak in a fair amount of romance.