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The Doomsday Key: A Novel

1 rating: 4.0
A book by James Rollins

Bestseller Rollins's labyrinthine sixth Sigma Force thriller (afterThe Last Oracle) offers plenty of intriguing science and history lessons. Sigma Force director Painter Crowe gathers the usual crew—Cmdr. Grayson Pierce; Pierce's best friend, Monk … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: James Rollins
Publisher: William Morrow
1 review about The Doomsday Key: A Novel

A fun and interesting thriller

  • Jun 23, 2010
This is my first James Rollins book, and I am really pleased with what I have read. I wanted an entertaining and suspenseful novel for my beach read, and this book delivered just that. Since I never read any of Rollins' works before, I was unfamiliar with any of the characters or the Sigma Force, but that did not hinder my understanding of the plot line. Most of the characters are somewhat generic, even in terms of their idiosyncrasies. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I can see how they might become tiresome after the readings of a few more of such novels.

This novel has a very strong "Da Vinci Code" feel to it - an ancient secret that has been hidden for millennia is being pursued by a secret organization that is bent on destroying the World, or at least our idea of the world. The conspiracy, of course, involves the Catholic Church and the Vatican, although to Rollins' credit he doesn't try to unnecessarily malign this institution. In fact, the novel has a mildly favorable take on the Catholic Church and some of her venerable saints. Rollins is also very forthright about which parts of the book are completely fictional and which ones are based on historic facts. A brief list of the sources of some of his ideas is given at the end, and I felt that the book actually had some good educational value.

My biggest problem with the story are the several themes and secondary plot developments that seemed unmotivated and gratuitous. Some of these might be relevant from the point of view of the larger Sigma Force series, but others seemed to be put there just because Rollins thought they were cool and would have added to the thrill factor of the book. These things are a minor objection though, and as long as you don't try to overanalyze what you read you will probably not be too bothered by them. Overall this was a fun and interesting thriller, with some educational value to boot.

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