The Judas Strain - Sigma Force, Bk 4 Author:James Rollins ju·das strain, n. A scientific term for an organism that drives an entire species to extinction — New York Times bestselling author James Rollins returns with a terrifying story of an ancient menace reborn to plague the modern world ... and of an impossible hope that lies hidden in the most shocking place imaginable: within the language of... more » angels.
From the depths of the Indian Ocean, a horrific plague has arisen to devastate humankind--a disease that's unknown, unstoppable ... and deadly. But it is merely a harbinger of the doom that is to follow. Aboard a cruise liner transformed into a makeshift hospital, Dr. Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis -- operatives of SIGMA Force -- search for answers to the bizarre affliction. But there are others with far less altruistic intentions. In a savage and sudden coup, terrorists hijack the vessel, turning a mercy ship into a floating bio-weapons lab.
A world away, SIGMA's Commander Gray Pierce thwarts the murderous schemes of a beautiful would-be killer who holds the first clue to the discovery of a possible cure. Pierce joins forces with the woman who wanted him dead, and together they embark upon an astonishing quest following the trail of the most fabled explorer in history: Marco Polo. But time is an enemy as a worldwide pandemic grows rapidly out of control. As a relentless madman dogs their every step, Gray and his unlikely ally are being pulled into an astonishing mystery buried deep in antiquity and in humanity's genetic code. And as the seconds tick closer to doomsday, Gray Pierce will realize he can truly trust no one, for any one of them could be ... a Judas ...« less
Once again, James Rollins has written a cliffhanger that will leave you guessing. As all his past books has done, this one takes the unimaginable and makes it very real. Imagine a virus that invades a body, taking the bacteria that is in all of us, and starts turning our body against us. An ancient virus that Marco Polo discovered as he was traveling home from China, that destroyed most of the crews of his ships, leaving only a handful of survivors. On his death bed, Marco left clues to a virus so deadly, so devastating that he refused to speak of where his travels had taken him. Fast forward to present day, and the on going fight between The Guild and Sigma Force. Add this deadly virus, and the race is on for who will gain the knowledge, and control, of the possible end, or salvation, of the world. A definite page turner!
This was another fast-paced action novel from Rollins. As usual, he threw in a lot of interesting premises including the Judas Strain itself and bioterrorism, the use of the "angelic script", and the historical mystery of Marco Polo and what happened to his fleet on his return trip to Venice. The novel also takes the reader to several interesting locations including Angkor in Cambodia, Christmas Island, and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (I was unaware of the details about this massive structure). Along the way he also throws in cannibals and pirates, eletrified killer squids, and nasty land crabs -- what more could you ask for in an action novel!
Excellent fast pace read. I couldn't get enough of this one. A dormant ancient virus is awakened and spreading on an isolated island with the threat that is may spread across the world. The secrets of the source of this virus lay hidden by the vatican in an ancient story from Marco Polo's travels. If you liked the Dan Brown Books you'll love this one.
Wow! Marco Polo, red land crabs, glowing squids (and people), the Vatican, cannibals, Angkor Wat, angelic language, Christmas Island, and liver flukes. Mix all these (and more) up into an exciting story that holds logically together. It never lost momentum or my interest. Interesting, capable, resourceful people; hairbreadth escapes; constant surprises.
This is the third book in the Sigma Force series that I've read and absolutely loved. James Rollins writing is historically accurate and amazingly detailed. It's one of those books that draws you in from the first horrific chapter and keeps you turning pages as fast as your fingers (and eyes) allow. Of course there are multiple things going on: a historical trail and a scientific trail which ultimately converges with dire consequences. I particularly liked the inclusion of Kowalski, an ex-military man who is now doing security for Sigma Force. He is included on the mission to provide muscle not brains but his one-liners are spot on and hilarious. He provided a much needed dose of comic relief.
Sigma has one major enemy in the war against terrorism...The Guild, they are a badass outfit that is usually one step ahead of Sigma but Sigma always wins the race. Guild agent Seichan, shot in the gut, ends up crashing her motorcycle in Commander Gray Pierce's driveway. Seichan and Gray have a past and it's not a friendly one. The historical trail involves Gray, Seichan, a Catholic priest and Kowalski reversing Marco Polo's historic journey from China and discovering the cure for a nasty bacteria that is currently killing people off the coast of Australia but which could eventually decimate the entire human population. Bad guy on this leg: Amen Nasser (Guild operative) who immediately kidnaps Gray's parents to get the upper hand.
The scientific trail involves Sigma operatives Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis out on Christmas Island trying to find the cause of the recent plague-like outbreak. Bad guy here: Devesh Patanjali, Guild operative who has hijacked a cruise ship full of evacuees from Christmas Island to use as guinea pigs while looking for the cure so The Guild can use the disease for bio-terrorism. Fortunately both Lisa and Monk are on board and working against Devesh's evil.
Taken on an adventurous ride this thriller took me with it's first pages. Rollins' held a firm grasp on a plot so compelling that the book keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
Ancient history reaching from the past into the future in the form of an ancient strain of viruses turning friend into foe: The Judas Strain.
There is no Dan Brown here. There is something with believeable substance That takes you into the past, present and future. Likeable characters, blended fact and fiction create a masterpiece in the thriller genre. One that stays with you for a long time.
Enjoy the ride ! You're going to travel from the Indian Ocean through Venetian tombs, Byzantine cathedrals and jungle-encrusted ruins - following the trail of the most fabled explorer in history: Marco Polo.
Once again the Sigma force saves the world!
When an ancient virus threatens to release a world-ending pandemic, Grey and the Sigma force embark on a mission to locate, understand and contain it. Naturally, the Guild is on a mission to obtain and weaponize it.
From Rome to Cambodia and Ankor Wat the rival teams race to stop the pandemic and fulfill their differing motives.
As with all Rollins novels, there is plenty of action and treachery. People aparently die and are brought back, futuristic weapons are revealed and used, new partnerships are forged, and secrets are revealed.
Rollins always manages to pull together scientific fact, historical legend, modern weaponry and exotic locales into an exciting and very readable adventure novel.
If you like Rollins, you'll love "The Judas Strain". And if you have never read Rollins this is an excellent place to start.