June 21, 2010

The Doomsday Key by James Rollins

At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peter's Basilica. In Africa, a U.S. senator's son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. Three murder victims on three continents, linked by a pagan Druidic cross burned into their flesh.

Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force have only days to solve an apocalyptic puzzle dating back centuries. Aided by two women from his past-one his ex-lover, the other his new partner-Gray must uncover a horrifying secret that threatens America and the world, even if it means sacrificing the life of one of the women at his side. The race is on-from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway to the lost tombs of Celtic kings-and the future hangs in the balance. For humankind's ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint-an ancient artifact known as . . . The Doomsday Key.

James Rollins action/adventure thriller novels are always far fetched, though the scientific details always have a basis in fact. This time, in The Doomsday Key, the scientific storyline delves into the areas of genetically modified foods, fungal viruses and super enzymes. The regular cast of characters are there, Gray, Monk, Painter, etc. with the addition of Rachel and Seichan in a new twist.  I'm always very keen on the scientific elements and arcane bits of knowledge, and in this, the novel does not disappoint. But The Doomsday Key does have too much of an overemphasis of the scientific problem at hand and I missed the emotional intensivness of the past two novels in the series, The Last Oracle and The Judas Strain.

I found this storyline less balanced and fluid in the doling out of details and the switching between description and character interaction. Consequently the pace of the story gets bogged down.  But the storyline is redeemed with the emotional wrenching and poignant events at the end that wrap up all the loose ends. James Rollins certainly thrills me and he will you too! Next up is The Devil Colony to be released in hardcover August 3, 2010.

Just want to reiterate that I detest the tall paperback format, as it makes my Rollins collection off kilter in height.  I saw this new "wide paperback" format of The Judas Strain in Indigo Spirit the other day. Wacky!  Hope it doesn't become mainstream.

My Rating: 4.0

Related Posts:
The Last Oracle by James Rollins
Ice Hunt by James Rollins
Deep Fathom by James Rollins
Subterranean by James Rollins


  1. LOL - oh gosh, I feel the same way about certain book formats that mess up my collections. Drives me nuts!

  2. Yeha...I don't know what the publishing companies are trying to accomplish but I wish they would still with the tried and true format.