Book Review: The Bone Labyrinth

The Bone Labyrinth (Sigma Force #11)

A war is coming, a battle that will stretch from the prehistoric forests of the ancient past to the cutting-edge research labs of today, all to reveal a true mystery buried deep within our DNA, a mystery that will leave readers changed forever . . .

In this groundbreaking masterpiece of ingenuity and intrigue that spans 50,000 years in human history, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins takes us to mankind’s next great leap.

But will it mark a new chapter in our development . . . or our extinction?

In the remote mountains of Croatia, an archaeologist makes a strange discovery:  a subterranean Catholic chapel, hidden for centuries, holds the bones of a Neanderthal woman. In the same cavern system, elaborate primitive paintings tell the story of an immense battle between tribes of Neanderthals and monstrous shadowy figures. Who is this mysterious enemy depicted in these ancient drawings and what do the paintings mean?

Before any answers could be made, the investigative team is attacked, while at the same time, a bloody assault is made upon a primate research center outside of Atlanta. How are these events connected? Who is behind these attacks?  The search for the truth will take Commander Gray Pierce of Sigma Force 50,000 years into the past. As he and Sigma trace the evolution of human intelligence to its true source, they will be plunged into a cataclysmic battle for the future of humanity that stretches across the globe . . . and beyond.

With the fate of our future at stake, Sigma embarks on its most harrowing odyssey ever—a breathtaking quest that will take them from ancient tunnels in Ecuador that span the breadth of South America to a millennia-old necropolis holding the bones of our ancestors. Along the way, revelations involving the lost continent of Atlantis will reveal true mysteries tied to mankind’s first steps on the moon. In the end, Gray Pierce and his team will face to their greatest threat: an ancient evil, resurrected by modern genetic science, strong enough to bring about the end of man’s dominance on this planet.

Only this time, Sigma will falter—and the world we know will change forever.

Review:
I really wanted to like this book — it hit a lot of the right buttons for me. I was in the mood for a thriller, the story involves archaeology and Atlantis, there is action and adventure, and Rollins is a highly recommended, prolific author. But, despite all of my expectations, I only found the book OK.
The characters were good, the kind of tough guys you would expect in a thriller. I like that not all of the tough guys were “guys” — some were women too.
And you can’t fault Rollins on his research. It is clear from the early pages that he has researched all of the science and archaeology behind the book. That part really was interesting, thinking of the possibilities of Adam and Eve, a historical leap of intellect, and the presence of Atlantis. Great stuff.
But then there were the other things. I actually felt uncomfortable reading parts of this book. The big antagonist was basically all of China. There was no redeeming quality of anything Chinese. The whole country was depicted as inhumane, cut-throat, and immoral. I know there needs to be bad guys, but vilifying an entire country is not OK.
The writing, for the most part, was good. There did need to be more editing, however as there were a few occasions when a paragraph or description was repeated practically word for word within several pages. And much of Rollins’ research was presented in an info dump format — a character would go to the library and research then come back and tell everyone everything for several pages.
And, I couldn’t figure out from a story point of view, why Sigma Force took the people they were supposed to be protecting to Ecuador and put them in harm’s way. There needed to be a better rationale for going against their assignment of keeping these people safe than curiosity. From the book point of view, it was interesting and they learned a lot, but from a plot point of view the officers of Sigma Force were not doing their job by putting their charges in life threatening danger when there was no pressing need.
Overall, there was a lot to enjoy in The Bone Labyrinth, but I’m not sure I’ll be picking up another Sigma Force book soon.
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Author Interview: D.R. Shoultz

Today I am happy to have author D.R. Shoultz on my blog.

drHello D.R. Can you describe yourself in a few sentences.

I grew up in a small, Midwestern town, the son of a self-employed home builder. I was a better than average student and an athlete in high school, but quickly became a small fish in a big pond at college. After graduating with degrees in education and mathematics, I spent 32 years in corporate America where I traveled the world and uprooted my wife, son and daughter eight times. Shortly after retirement, I lost my beautiful wife of 33 years in a traffic accident. I spent the next several years finding myself. After a long-distance relationship, I married Claudia in 2012, who not only became my wife, she became my writing partner and editor. We live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with our rescue dog, Milo. Our interests include reading, writing, hiking with Milo, golfing, drinking wine at sunset, and spending time with friends and family. Read more

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Author Interview: Steve Kemp

Today I am happy to welcome author Steve Kemp to my blog, where he is commenting on many different topics related to his writing.

steve kempAdvice for writers

I’m fascinated by the spectrum of published writers. James Mitchner said if 1 person reads your book then you are a published writer. Stephen King wrote a book about writing which I struggled to grasp a majority of the concepts in. I fall somewhere in the middle myself.

If my entire writing career means just the people I know have read my book it will have been a successful process. Write the story you want and let the chips fall where they may. I received some advice once about pov and decided to follow them strictly. The next book I read was a best seller and broke all of those rules.

I’m not an English major and to tell the truth my eyes gloss over when one starts talking. They strive to write to the levels of Chaucer, Dickens, Shakespeare and Hemingway. I could go to school for a decade and never reach their level, nor do I want to. Regular people read books too and someone has to tell those stories. Read more

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Author Interview: Nik Krasno

Today I am happy to introduce author Nik Krasno on my blog.

11.6.15 001What book are you promoting right now? What is it about?
I’m promoting (if you can call that publishing the books on Amazon and my humble attempts to socialize on Goodreads and social networks) my Oligarch Series, which currently consists of two published books: ‘Rise of an Oligarch‘ and ‘Mortal Showdown‘ and the third one being beta-read and edited and hopefully ready for release soon. The books are written in a gritty, hard-boiled, realistic style and belong to international thriller, historical and contemporary fiction and action/adventure genres.

What inspires you to write?
I have a relatively rare in English – speaking world experience of practicing law and doing business in former USSR countries. So when someone looks at the Forbes list of billionaires and see some unfamiliar Russian and Ukrainian names high up on the list and asks ‘where the hell did they come from, how did they make their fortunes’, I think I can partially answer these questions by showing what was going on behind the Iron curtain after the Big Bang of the USSR, which schemes or scams were practiced, all in a fictional entertaining manner. I believe it’s an interesting, exotic, revealing story. Read more

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