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The Eye of God: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins

eye of god

I like all of James Rollins’ novels. After first discovering his books last year I did a “Complete Alternate Reality Immersion” (CARI) and read everything he had published in about 3 weeks. That was 16 books. And I enjoyed every second of it.

Rollins is known for creating amazing quazi-historical, semi-real places… and then completely obliterating them. If you have read his work you know what I mean. You’ll be reading along thinking “wow, what an amazing temple/forest/cave” only to check yourself and almost immediately  think “how is Rollins going to blow it up?”

So it was with excitement and a wee bit of trepidation that I picked up “The Eye of God” last night.

Rollins delivered – again.

The Sigma Force team finds themselves trying to avert the end of the world. Literally the end of the world. And as in most of his books science and faith both play a large part.

On the faith side Monsignor Vigor Verona and his niece Rachel are back in the thick of it after receiving a strange package from another priest.

On the science side we meet a super smart astrophysicist with some complex theories on dark energy and a new SIGMA member with multiple science degrees and kick-ass combat skills.

While there is not nearly as much Painter as I would like (you can never have enough Painter) we do get to spend some quality time with Seichan and Grayson. Kowalski and Monk are back as well.

The huge blurry gray line that lies between science and faith is at the heart of this book. And Rollins does an excellent job of balancing the two. One of the themes running through not only his SIGMA Force novels, but many of his stand alone books and his YA series as well, is that not only are science and faith not mutually exclusive, they are actually incredibly intertwined.

One is used to explain and prove the other. This should end up seeming a lot less plausible than it ends up being. That is what Rollins does really well. Making Dark energy and quantum theory pair perfectly with St. Thomas and Genghis Khan = brilliant!

He also creates diverse and interesting characters who the reader is able to develop a connection to over the course of the series.

He also treats these characters as real people- meaning he sometimes kills them. And you curse outloud when he does it.

But if you like intelligent action stories liberally peppered with historical, religious and scientific awesomeness you need to read this.

 

Now… for some spoilers…. So if you haven’t read the book, stop now and come back when you have to read the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not kidding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok – I’m assuming you are here by choice, so here goes.

He didn’t blow it up!!!!! I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that the golden room in the awesome ice cave is all in 1 piece.

I love it – don’t get me wrong- but it is surprising to say the least.

But Rachel and Vigor are both dead. Talk about a double whammy. I really thought somehow Rachel was going to survive in our reality (not just the alternate one). Rollins prepped us for Vigor’s death,it still sucked, but we were ready for it. Rachel some out of the blue though. A real gut punch.

Seichan’s story  seems a little played out to be honest. I like her as a character, but I either want her to actually join the team or go away. To be clear – I think she would make an excellent team member.

I’d like to see Tucker Wayne back in the mix – I missed him.

 

 

 

Colony East: The Toucan Trilogy Book 2 by Scott Cramer #Review

In November of last year I was offered the chance to read and review the first book in this series, Night of the Purple Moon. I loved it. So I was excited to be offered the chance to read and review the second book a couple of weeks ago.

Scott Cramer has delivered a fantastic and moving sequel to that first book.

If you haven’t read the first book (go read it – now!) you can read my review here which will give you the background.

Colony East picks up almost exactly where we left off. Abby and Jordan have gone to get the pills that will save their lives and must journey back to the island to deliver them. Again the incredibly stark contrasts between the choices that each child left alone makes are startling and thought provoking. Abby and Jordan do make it back to the island but the cost of that journey is hard to quantify.

We then fast forward a year. The pitifully few remaining adults are trying to “rebuild society” and have 3 small enclaves on the North American continent into which they have brought the few children they deem worthy. The rest of children are left to fend for themselves.There is also a new threat in threat in the form of a mutated form of the sickness that killed the adults.

Abby and Jordan are both almost 2 years older than when we first met them. They have both lost people they had grown to love and in the process done more growing up than I can personally fathom. Their younger sister, Toucan, has grown up as well and shows quite brilliantly the innate resilience of children. She and the other youngest survivors do not carry the heavy burden of memory and loss that the older children do. Instead they are learning to thrive and succeed in this new world.

Colony East actually refers to one of these adult developed enclaves. Some inspiration was obviously drawn from many of the dystopian worlds that have been created before – but it never feels derivative or like it is overtly copying any of them. The adults have a plan and quite naturally while intentions maybe good – execution and results are not.

Along with further exploring this devastated world from the children’s point of view, we also begin to see it from the view of the few adults left. The contrasts between the two are massive and telling. Cramer manages to comment on modern society and preconceptions while not feeling preachy in the least. An impressive feat all by itself. Managing to do this in a beautifully written and youth friendly novel is breathtaking.

I look forward immensely to the third in this series and hope to read more from this author.

 

 

I was provided a copy of this book for the purpose of review.