Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

February 27, 2014

The Book Worm: The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins

By Amanda Browning Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – This week, I will be reviewing The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins.

I came upon this book by chance. I was in a used book store a few years ago and the cover and title happened to catch my eye enough to make me pick it up and read the description. I’m a sucker for a novel heavy on science, history and action, so it sounded perfect for me. As always, requests for reviews can be sent to amanda.browning@greensburgdailynews.com.

Book description: The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins

From the depths of the Indian Ocean, a horrific plague has arisen to devastate humankind--a disease that’s unknown, unstoppable . . . and deadly. But it is merely a harbinger of the doom that is to follow. Aboard a cruise liner transformed into a makeshift hospital, Dr. Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis--operatives of SIGMA Force--search for answers to the bizarre affliction. But there are others with far less altruistic intentions. In a savage and sudden coup, terrorists hijack the vessel, turning a mercy ship into a floating bio-weapons lab.

A world away, SIGMA’s Commander Gray Pierce thwarts the murderous schemes of a beautiful would-be killer who holds the first clue to the discovery of a possible cure. Pierce joins forces with the woman who wanted him dead, and together they embark upon an astonishing quest following the trail of the most fabled explorer in history: Marco Polo. But time is an enemy as a worldwide pandemic grows rapidly out of control. As a relentless madman dogs their every step, Gray and his unlikely ally are being pulled into an astonishing mystery buried deep in antiquity and in humanity’s genetic code. And as the seconds tick closer to doomsday, Gray Pierce will realize he can truly trust no one, for any one of them could be . . . a Judas.

Review: James Rollins is an international bestselling author and has written several books in the Sigma force series. I have not had a chance to read the others, but I imagine Rollins executes those books with the same eloquence the kept me interested from cover to cover during The Judas Strain.

I tend to be at least a mildly scientific person, so I had to ignore some pretty big scientific inaccuracies, but the added bonus of a large dose of history was enough to sooth any irritation. There was plenty of action to keep the plot moving along and the information given to the reader was spread out well so the story didn’t feel bogged down by details too often.

It was exhilarating and entertaining to read about the Sigma Force commander Gray Pierce and Seichan, a defector from the dubious organization known as the Guild, traveling around the world in a race against time to prevent a virus from escaping and decimating the world. Granted, the subject matter and execution is a little far-fetched, but that is what I expect when I pick up a book like this. Escapism is at its finest here. When I finished this book, I wanted to turn back to the first page and read it again, just to see if I missed anything.

I would highly recommend this book to lovers of fiction novels with heavy elements of science, action, history and drama. I raved about this book to anyone who would listen for weeks after I read it for the first time and it remains a favorite of mine that I’ve read more than a few times.

In addition to Rollins’ superb literary skills, the editing and design was impeccable, as one would expect of a traditionally published book.

I give The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel 5 Apples

Rating Scale: 5 Apples- great book, would recommend to others; 4 Apples- some issues, but still a good book and would recommend; 3 Apples- frequent issues, worth reading once, but wouldn’t revisit; 2 Apples- Did not enjoy, but managed to finish, would not recommend; Wormy Apple- Did not finish, don’t waste your time.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004; amanda.browning@greensburgdailynews.com