Six Impossible Things

A Blog About Fiction and Reading

The Judas Strain

JudasThe Judas Strain by James Rollins

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Last week, I was discussing with a friend of mine our mutual affinity for a killer premise.  During the discussion, James Rollins came up, and lo and behold, the day after we had the discussion, I found The Judas Strain, the latest from Rollins, waiting for me on my desk.  Serendipity?  I suppose.  But, knowing the basic premise of most Rollins novels, it’s probably something far more mystical and sinister.

In his latest, Rollins returns to Sigma Force, which is starting to become more and more like a team straight out of a Clive Cussler novel.  This time, they’re investigating an outbreak of a poisonous cyanobacteria in the Indian Ocean on a cruise ship, which of course brings the Guild, the Sigma Force’s arch-enemy (think S.P.E.C.T.R.E.), back into the picture.  And, if you know anything about Rollins’ basic style, you’ll know that this isn’t just some sea-faring adventure; the story combines archeology and mysticism into the mix, making it something akin to an Indiana Jones story.

Of course, the problem with this type of story is that it’s full of plotholes and moments where you’ll say to yourself, “There’s no way these people would really make these sorts of decisions!”  Luckily, they’re not so bad that they’re detract too much from the story.  Because, really, this book is all about the adventure, so it’s easy to overlook some structural problems along the way.

My own biggest issue with the book was that it borrowed a bit too much from The Da Vinci Code.  The quest took the characters across different ancient cities, looking for the clues that would take them to the next ancient city, and there were even little tokens with clues embedded into them to keep them moving.   Other than that, though, the story kept moving, and kept me engrossed.

So, the book was released in early July, just in time for most people who are heading to the beach.  I doubt that’s any coincidence, either, since it’s a perfect beach read.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the release date is part of some grand ploy of the Guild’s to make vacationers less productive while on vacation….

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July 14, 2007 - Posted by | Adult Fiction, Reviews

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