A nod towards Princess Bride, perhaps

The 6th Extinction by James Rollins; 2014; $27.99; 426 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-178481-1; Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library; 8/18/14-8/20/14

I feel like Rod Serling when I talk about James Rollins books.  Imagine if you will a subterranean world beneath the ice in the Antarctic, with its own unique ecosystem.  Some scientist in California has a problem with a genetically engineered virus that kills everything, not just people, flora and fauna and sterilizes the earth.  Meanwhile there is a mad scientist in a hidden lair in the mountains of South America who wants to re engineer the entire world with his genetically engineered creations.  Throw in a series of maps of Antarctic that go back thousands of years including an account from Charles Darwin.  Sigma Force is tasked with shutting down the mad scientist and saving California while fighting the bad guys.  As usual they use their military and science skills to save the day.

Did I enjoy it?  Yes it was an exciting page turner that I enjoyed.  I really enjoy the combination of science, history and military skills.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  One of the ancestors of the bad guy is Cuthbert Cary-Elwes.  Cary Elwes played the male lead in the Princess Bride.

 

Libby, there has been a change in policy

The Kill Switch, A Tucker Wayne Novel by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood; 2014; $27.99; 388 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-21325-4; Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 5/27/14-5/29/14

Tucker Wayne is a former Army Ranger who has a K-9 companion named Kane who have fought together for years in the mountains of Afghanistan.  Retired from the Army he is working freelance, when he and Kane are tasked by Sigma Force to escort a Russian scientist out of Russia.  Since nothing is ever simple, Tucker and Kane are trying to stay ahead of several groups of bad guys, deal with an arrogant scientist and decipher a 100 year old riddle.  The action runs all from Russia to South Africa and is action packed.  The relationship between Tucker and Kane is awesome as is the action that is depicted from Kanes’ point of view.

Did I like it?  Yes, Rollins and Blackwood do a great job of combining history, science, action and relationships.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  I had once told my friend Libby that I wouldn’t read books by a well known author and anyone else.  I have read several and am changing my policy.  Because as I have often said, “A good story is a good story.”

 

He was right the first time

Long Live The King, Book One of the Charlemagne Saga  by Guy Cote; 2012; $12.99; 313 pages;  World Castle Publishing, Pensacola, FL; 9781938243790; Purchased from the Author at Wordstock, November 2013; 5/6/14-5/9/14

What is the story?  A down and out strippers daughter in Arizona, somehow runs to her grandfathers home in Germany.  Wait a minute how did she get a passport and able to make a immediate reservation to Germany.  The improbabilities just keep piling on, now and in the past.  A group in Germany that wants a united Europe decides to clone Charlemagne to rule Europe and decides to use the daughter as an incubator.  A group that doesn’t want one a single ruler for Europe is fighting the cloning.  The young woman runs back and forth between the US, France and Germany.  One minute she is carrying the clone of Charlemagne, next she is told that it is actually Charlemagnes’ son Pippin the Hunchback.  The clues that she chases down are so far apart, so contradictory that no reasonable person could put them together but this girl with no education who works at a fast food place manages to figure everything out.  One character is a university professor who is an expert on Charlemagne and he is also at the same time a mob boss and no one has ever  put these two together.  He is also in many ways the central character of the story.

Did I like it?  Ok, it was interesting but there were just too many coincidences*, the references were way too obscure and too many contradictions.*Rule 39, There are no coincidences.

Grade-C

What is with the title of the review?  When I first asked the author about the book he told me it was like the Da Vinci Code, told him I didn’t like it and he would have a sale if he told me it was like James Rollins or Steve Berry.  Next time I walked by that is what he told me, it was more like Dan Brown than James Rollins or Steve Berry.

Really? Really?

Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell; 2014; $27.99; 437 pages; William Morrow, New York; 978-0-06-199106-6; Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, St. Johns; 1/31/14-2/3/14

Why did I pick this up?  Because I have liked everything else I have read by James Rollins and I liked the first book in this series.

What is the story?  I can’t do it justice but it involves Vampire priests that work for the Vatican and drink consecrated wine instead of blood, an immortal Judas Iscariot, a young boy who has part of the spirit of the archangel Michael, an immortal seer, a professor of archaeology and a Army Ranger.  It also involves a blood gospel, various international locales and myths and legends.

Did I like it?  Yes, the authors spin an exciting yarn and tell a great story.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  It is the catchphrase of WWE Superstar The Miz and is probably what you are saying after reading this review.

Genghis Khan, St. Thomas the Apostle and Dr. Who

The Eye of God by James Rollins; 2013; $27.99; 410 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-178480-4; Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Holgate; 7/24-7/25

Why did I pick this up?  I really like James Rollins books so I had this one in my bag when I left World Leader Pretend at work.  So I read this and am now back to that one.

What is the story?  It will sound farfetched but Rollins ground his stories in so much historical and scientific fact that it all seems plausible. Genghis Khan encounters the Apostle St. Thomas and together they leave an artifact that can save the world if only the members of Sigma Force and those helping them can solve the riddles that lead them around the world.  Meanwhile Sigma Force seems to have gained  a new recruit, some new allies and some new villains.  Many of the familiar characters are back and they is a new recruit who is more indicative of the current generation with tats and bio hacking.

Did I like it?  Yes, I haven’t found one of James Rollins books that I didn’t like.  They are great adventures that are firmly rooted in history and science.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  Genghis Khan and St. Thomas the Apostle are said to have met way back in the day and that meeting is part of the plot.  Dr Who doesn’t actually appear in the story but he has much in common with the space time continuum and thinking of that outside our regular three dimensions, as does the story.