Latest book review: BLOODLINE by James Rollins

New release (June 25, 2012) in the tremendously popular Sigma Force series by James Rollins!  I had the privilege of reading an advance copy 🙂

by James Rollins

(excellent; top 30% of SciThri)

Year published: 2012
Category: science thriller; series (Sigma Force #8)

Tech rating (out of 5):

Summary (from the publisher):

Galilee, 1025. Infiltrating an ancient citadel, a Templar knight uncovers a holy treasure long hidden within the fortress’s labyrinth: the Bachal Isu — the staff of Jesus Christ — a priceless icon that holds a mysterious and terrifying power that promises to change humankind forever. A millennium later, Somali pirates hijack a yacht off the coast of the Horn of Africa, kidnapping a young pregnant American woman. Commander Gray Pierce is enlisted for a covert rescue mission into the African jungle. The woman is no rich tourist: she’s Amanda Gant-Bennett, daughter of the U.S. president.

Suspicious that the kidnapping masks a far more nefarious plot, Gray must confront a shadowy cabal which has been manipulating events throughout history…and now challenges the current presidency. For this unique mission, SIGMA is aided by a pair of special operatives with unique talents: former Army Ranger Captain Tucker Wayne and his military war dog, Kane. But what should be a straightforward rescue turns into a fiery ambush and a deadly act of betrayal, as Gray and his team discover that the hostage is a pawn in a shattering act of terrorism with dark repercussions. And the danger is only beginning…

Halfway around the world, a firebombing at a fertility clinic in South Carolina exposes a conspiracy that goes back centuries…a scheme that lies within our genetic code. With time against them, SIGMA must race to save an innocent unborn baby whose very existence raises questions about the nature of humanity, asking:

Could you live forever?
Would you live forever?


James Rollins does it again with an action-packed, can’t-stop-reading thriller loaded with plenty of science-y plot elements. The Sigma Force series is now eight volumes deep; Bloodline continues the team’s adventures and follows their personal lives. This installment has a special focus on development of the character Seichan. {If you’re a thriller fan and you haven’t read any Sigma Force novels, you simply must. I recommend you start at the beginning, with Sandstorm, though Rollins makes it easy for new readers to pick up and enjoy any volume in the series. Check out the whole list of Rollins’ books here.}

What’s new in Bloodline? The science themes are related to advanced reproductive technologies, a molecular biology secret kept by a hidden society across millenia, and the key to immortality.

What fans will really be talking about, however, is two new characters who temporarily join Sigma Force in this novel: Captain Tucker Wayne and his war dog Kane, who are absolutely sensational. Rollins’ veterinarian bona fides shine through with scenes set in the dog’s point of view. (Get a glimpse of this duo in the short story ebook exclusive Tracker, now available for download.)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Rollins’ novels are just plain fun to read. Highly recommend. As a bonus, they’re suitable for a wide audience (PG-13 at most), are always imaginative, and have excellent portrayals of female characters–some of the best written by a male author.

Biohazard rating: 3 out of 5. Science is an essential part of the plot, but as is typical of Sigma Force novels, the tech wanders (happily) from science into speculative fiction.

Note: Author James Rollins begins a nationwide book signing tour on June 26. Check here to find out when he will be in your neighborhood.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FCC disclaimer: I received a free digital ARC of this book and did not make any promises in exchange.

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2 Responses to Latest book review: BLOODLINE by James Rollins

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