The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force Series)

The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force Series)

4.3 344
by James Rollins
     
 

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James Rollins, the New York Times bestselling master of nail-biting suspense and historical mystery, combines cutting-edge biotechnology with a centuries-old secret in an apocalyptic story that reveals where humankind is truly headed
The Doomsday Key

At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist

Overview

James Rollins, the New York Times bestselling master of nail-biting suspense and historical mystery, combines cutting-edge biotechnology with a centuries-old secret in an apocalyptic story that reveals where humankind is truly headed
The Doomsday Key

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. The three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their fl esh.

The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries, to a ghastly crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex. The fi rst clue is discovered inside a mummifi ed corpse buried in an English peat bog—a gruesome secret that threatens America and the world.

Aided by two women from his past—one his exlover, the other his new partner—Gray must piece together the horrifying truth. But the revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Gray will have to sacrifi ce one of the women at his side. That alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom.

Sigma Force confronts humankind's greatest threat in an adventure that races from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint—an ancient artifact known as the Doomsday Key

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rollins takes fans on a frenetic roller-coaster ride through the streets of Rome, across England and into Norway. The Sigma Force is in a race to find a link between a nearly 1,000-year-old mystery and a modern conspiracy that could cause the starvation of billions of humans. Comdr. Gray Pierce leads a team that includes his former lover and his current enemy, getting them to work together to save each other's lives long enough to save the world. Peter Jay Fernandez serves up an entertaining gravelly Scottish brogue and a plausible Norwegian accent and gives every character his or her own distinctive voice, allowing easy identification by using inflection and cadence. He keeps listeners involved through lengthy descriptive passages, convoluted scientific explanations and historical fact and speculation, and does well at raising the tension as the narrative escalates into explosive, action-packed scenes. A Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 27). (July)
Library Journal

Rollins's (The Last Oracle) prose explodes off the page in a twisty and compelling thriller that explores the issues of human overpopulation and genetically modified food. The Sigma Force must unravel the mysterious deaths of a geneticist, a senator's son working for the Red Cross in Africa, and someone with close ties to the Vatican. Gray Pierce and his team follow the clues starting from Rome, while Sigma leader Painter Crowe takes his group to meet with the head of a corporation that appears to be genetically modifying food. VERDICT Swashbuckling adventure, elite team effort, and religious symbology all add up to another gripping and terrifying read. Rollins somehow juggles all of these elements and incorporates them into an amazing and brilliant technothriller that might be his best to date. [See Prepub Alert, LJ3/15/09.]—Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.


—Jeff Ayers
Booklist
“This guy doesn’t write novels—he builds roller coasters....Rollins excels at combining action and history with larger-than-life characters....A must for pure action fans.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061231407
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Series:
Sigma Force Series , #6
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

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Meet the Author

James Rollins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People magazine). In each acclaimed novel, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Sacramento, California
Date of Birth:
August 20, 1961
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois

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The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force Series #6) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 344 reviews.
FlaBookworm More than 1 year ago
Praises again for James Rollins! Personally, I think he is one of the most underrated authors in fiction today. I have read every book he has written and will continue to do so. He continues to deliver complex plots with well developed characters. The only sad part is having to wait a year between books. I hope he never resorts to coauthoring works in order to increase productivity like some of the other big names in fiction.
readtolive_livetoread More than 1 year ago
Indiana Jones meets the Andromeda Strain in this back and forth fast action adventure romp to find both the way to eliminate mankind, and the cure. Twists and turns as expected with Rollins and a fair share of blood and guts as well. those you trust the most will be the ones who betray, as an added touch of spice. The scarry thing about all this, is that most of it is, or can be, fact. Things we may have not given notice to in our day to day lives may ultimately result in our total extinction. The future and past are approaching... A corporate cabal out of Oslo is is doing extensive research to fund a project that will not only make the company a lot of money, but also be a key to the world's progression into its next phase as well. What I find most interesting about this premise is that the problems being recited that the Oslo Corp. is trying to fix are very real and will need fixing-but perhaps they are going about it the wrong way...which is what the SIGMA FORCE is there to find out and stop! Tons of great science and information as well as action and plotting in this thriller. Da Vinci Code Fans (I know that is contrived) and those of historical fact based thriller will love this one. There are quite a few of these types of books out now, but James Rollins' name is bigger than most except for Dan Brown-there is a reason for this. I enjoyed this book a lot and loved the plot/premise as well.
RichardB More than 1 year ago
I've read most of James Rollins novels so when I came across "The Doomsday Key" I was quite excited to read it. Now that I've finally finished (most of his books I couldn't put down, this one took forever) I have to say that this effort is definitely not up to his usual standards. I don't understand how anyone can give 5 stars to this poorly thought out plot line. Some of the action borders on the ridiculous. I mean when Monk is about to be overrun by overwhelming odds, Mr. Rollins has many dozens of crazed polar bears rush out of the forest attacking the enemy troops and saving the day for the hero's. I mean really....'polar bears'?? The whole effort seems like something Mr. Rollins wrote in collage rather than his the well thought out, heart racing adventures he usually gives us. If he hadn't already made a name for himself, I doubt this work would even get published in its present form.
TheCrowdedLeaf More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this book. Normally when a new Rollins is released I'm at the store the same day. Perhaps it was because I was afraid the goodness couldn't last forever, but I should have had better faith in Mr. Rollins. The Doomsday Key was fabulous. It contains all the necessary ingredients for a successful smörgåsbord of action-adventure-thriller-suspense entertainment. There are certain criteria you need for an endeavor like this: the good guys, the bad guys, comedic relief (oh, Kowalski), conspiracy rooted in historical truth (popes and prophecies), gunfights and explosions, caves, caves that cave in, a deadly disease, a finger in a leather bag with ancient symbols burned on the outside, a good dosing of betrayal, some stone circles and smelly peat bogs, oh and a few cliffhangers thrown in for good measure. It's all here! This time around, Sigma is back to work with a shadowy double agent operative named Seichan who also works with the Guild (see: bad guys). We still don't know if Seichan is true to us (and by us I mean Sigma, of course) or if she's just out for her own benefit. Either way, if Commander Gray Pierce doesn't work with her, the whole world could be taken over by a nasty spore; a fungus that grows mushrooms inside of you. Yeah, gross. Doomsday is the sixth Sigma novel, and it could be my favorite. Sometimes after the first few books in a series an author teeters out, the books become formulaic and predictable, but Doomsday is none of these. This one is more mature than its predecessors; I even got teary at one point toward the end. Not to mention there was so much information related to true historical facts that my head was spinning, and I came out the other side smarter for it. Google Saint Malachy and his prophecies, or the legend of the Black Madonna, or colony collapse disorder, and you'll see what I mean; but you won't understand how they all go together until you read this book. It really makes you think. if the facts and details used to make a plot are real, what if Rollins' theories as put down in fiction are actually true? And that, that right there, is why I love his books. I suggest you run your person out to the closest book store and start with Sandstorm (Sigma prequel) and work your way up from there. 5 stars. His next book is not Sigma, but I love his individual adventures too, so I can't wait for the Altar of Eden on December 29.
SaraChung More than 1 year ago
I have come to love James Rollins reads for great action adventure tied into fascinating historical and archeological themes. His books have taken over a place that used to be reserved for Cussler's Dirk Pitt adventures. Doomsday Key started out kind of weak for me, the action is there but it all felt a bit too formulaic. I could almost read Rollins mind as he was writing "Ok, I need a car chase here and then a shoot out followed by...." Thankfully this feeling did not last as I got deeper into the story and the surrounding mystery. This time out the ancient Druids and the mystery of Stonehenge play a part in the plot, and in typical Rollins fashion more true unusual facts and pieces of ancient mysteries are woven into his fictional mystery. I agree with another reviewer, one of my favorite parts of a Rollins Book is reading the after-words and learning what the truth really is! This is another solid adventure read From Rollins and his fans should be more than satisfied. If you're a fan of action adventure steeped in ancient mystery do try "A Tourist In The Yucatan!" A gritty thriller wrapped in the mystery of the ancient Maya!
Susan_Tunis More than 1 year ago
Yes, I doubted, very briefly. I'm ashamed. It's not that The Doomsday Key doesn't start off in a readable and totally entertaining manner. It really does. Rollins has what he does down to a science by now. He quickly reintroduces the main players (a few of whom we haven't seen in a while: Rachel Verona and Seichan) and establishes their relationships with each other. In addition to the ladies above, all the main Sigma players make their appearance, but as usual not all of them are heavily featured on this adventure. Seichan fans rejoice, she has a major role and experiences tremendous character development in this novel. After the characters are reestablished, (again, as you'd expect) the action starts. A motorcycle chase here, a shootout there, a dash of international travel. Now, I love James Rollins with all my heart, but these opening salvos--while very well-written--felt a little... generic. My moment of doubt. Happily, it didn't last long. Once Rollins set the main plot in motion, all such thoughts vanished. Seriously, WHAT was I thinking? For me, things really kicked into high gear with the introduction of a new character, Professor Wallace Boyle, whose lecture on peat bogs thrilled me to my soul. I know, peat bogs, who'd a thunk it? But again, that's Rollins' gift. He must look at the world through curiosity-colored glasses; he can find the wonder in the most unlikely of places and subjects. And even more brilliantly, he manages to string together a laundry list of disparate fascinating topics into the plot of a tight, tense thriller. And he does it again and again. I know I'm being very, very vague about the plot. It would be a shame to give too much away. The central plot revolves around a plague from the past and a plague of the future: hunger. As characters in the novel expound, there will soon be a tipping point where there are far too many people on this planet to feed. Who gets to choose who lives or who dies? If you had the power and resources to make the hard choices, what would you do "to save the world?" And would you be a hero or a villain? It is the exploring of the above questions that entails ancient artifacts, hidden rooms, booby traps, prophecies come true, missing bumble bees, miracle-performing saints, love triangles, the final resting place of Merlin the wizard, polar bears, teddy bears, and the world's healthiest apple. And I didn't even give you a hint of the real shocker! A lot of thrillers make the goal, save the world, whatever, and end abruptly. Not so here. There was a nice... cooling down period after the action ended. It's a chance to check in with all the major characters, and a chance for Rollins to leave us with another of his signature cliff-hangers. This one isn't as brutal as some he's written, but those invested in the series will be left with a question to keep them wondering for the coming year. A final note: Is it wrong that the author's afterwards have become my very favorite part of these novels? This may be the longest one yet (And for God's sake, DON'T read it before you finish the book!), and I am staggered by how much true stuff was worked into the novel. I mean, pretty much every too-amazing-to-be-true fact was, in fact, true. James Rollins, you rock my world!
Yzma-Amzy More than 1 year ago
Truth be told, I haven't read this one yet but I know already that is and will be one heck of an awesome read for any season and any day. I'm only two days away from owning my own copy of this one. The whole Sigma Force series is just beyond awesome. For those who haven't even picked up or even heard of James Rollins yet, you are missing out on the best thriller writer in America. I''ve read Brad Thor and Vince Flynn but they just don't have that special kind of touch that James Rollins has. Rollins has that cinematic touch that makes iconic and legendary Hollywood heroes Indiana Jones and James Bond sparkle with that golden age superiority and Rollins' Sigma Force hero, Gray Pierce, is those two wrapped into one. Put away the dvd player and the movies, go to the bookstore and grab all the James Rollins books you can bundle up with. He's worth the time and money.....get you a bookmark too because that will be your pause button.
xrayman073 More than 1 year ago
...by a great author. Mr Rollins has served up another fantastic novel. His writing style captures you and makes you feel as though you are part of the action. His blend of action, science, history and strong characters make his books very difficult to put down. I lose a lot of sleep once I start reading his books and this one in particular kept me awake for hours! I can only hope that Mr. Rollins will continue writing his Sigma series for a very long time. Thank you for allowing me to escape into your world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admit it. I like my serious literature, but for a good popcorn eating summertime read, James Rollins is fun. In this story he mixes peat bog perserved corpses, the disappearance of bees, the dark madona, celtic mythology, genetically modified crops, Merlin, the Domesday Book, and numerous other historical, mythological, and scientific subject matter to create a fast paced action adventure story. Rollins' Sigma Force action characters are back with lots of explosions, chase scenes, and shoot outs to keep the world safe from catastrophe until the next book. Rollins is one of the best writers of this genre and he does a good job of creatively blending a host of subject matter to build an entertaining story.
cuffs007 More than 1 year ago
James Rollins writes the most fantastic and imaginative stories. The basis for his works are most thoroughly studied and just enough outside the mainstream to keep you coming back for more. I don't even read what the dust jacket says anymore. I just simply buy his books knowing that I'll be entertained from beginning to end. The Doomsday Key has great historical references, extremely interesting religious figures, and characters that are at the top of their game. Never pass up a chance to buy his books!
Njduckhunter More than 1 year ago
The style and pacing of Rollin's writing provides a book that captures the readers imaginition and draws them in. It is not hard to get lost in this book and before you know it half done, causing the reader to want to slow down and make it last longer. Having read the previous 5 sigma force books this one continues to carry on the high entertainment value of the previous books. A great book for traveling and or the beach.
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I haven't found a book of his that I don't love! Always a fantastic read.
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Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it, but this book didn't grab my attention from the start so I gave up on it. Too many other great books out there that hold my attention all the way from start to finish. Sorry Mr. Rollins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent page turner. Blended history, science, travel locations, and intrigue with political overtones. I read another book from this author. Well worth reading!
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Suspense-History-World More than 1 year ago
Great read. Enjoyed the combination of science, history, intrtnational locations, and Sigma Force action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing & unbelivable escapes from the throes of death. Still enjoyed the read