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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun
Like the majority of Rollins novels this one is an action packed thriller that is fun from start to finish, for me this went a little to far towards the conspiracy theory, but Rollins told it in such a way and with enough explanation so that the reader can choose to be a conspiracy nut or just enjoy all the cryptic coincidences.
As usual a great story arc well told,...
Published on 17 July 2011 by Parm

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Going On And None Of It Compelling Enough
I like James Rollins' books. Sure, they're dumb, highly implausible and mostly written to a standard template but they're also great escapist adventures that keep you hooked. Ice Hunt, Map of Bones (Sigma Force 2) and Black Order (Sigma Force 3) are particular favourites of mine.

Recently however, I've felt there's been a dip in the quality of Rollins primary...
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by C. Green


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Going On And None Of It Compelling Enough, 30 Jan 2012
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C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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I like James Rollins' books. Sure, they're dumb, highly implausible and mostly written to a standard template but they're also great escapist adventures that keep you hooked. Ice Hunt, Map of Bones (Sigma Force 2) and Black Order (Sigma Force 3) are particular favourites of mine.

Recently however, I've felt there's been a dip in the quality of Rollins primary 'Sigma Force' series. Maybe he's struggling to come up with new adventures for the team of scientists-cum-spies. Maybe he's spreading himself too thinly, with his Jake Ransom tween series and the odd (very good) standalone novel like Altar of Eden. Whatever the reason the previous Sigma adventure, The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force 6), was a definite drop in form and The Devil Colony continues that trends even if it doesn't worsen it.

The standard Rollins/Sigma template is on display here. An ancient mystery is uncovered, this time of Native American origin and dating back to America's struggle for independence. Said mystery threatens mankind. The mysterious Guild send henchmen to benefit from the mystery. Sigma attempt to thwart them whilst attempting to stave off disaster and uncover more about the mystery. Throw in Mormonism, nano-technology, ancient Jewish tribes and vulcanology and you have the usual Rollins hodgepodge of pseudo-science, OTT action, hair-breadth escapes, intrigue and personal drama.

Why then, like its predecessor, did The Devil Colony leave me rather cold. Well the main problem is that there's just too much going on. The Sigma books normally involve one primary plot and one parallel sub-plot, which come together at the grand finale and the same applies here. The problem is that both plots are just far too busy, bouncing around with volcanic eruptions, killer whale attacks, shoot outs, helicopter crashes and bombings and flipping from Washington DC to the South Western USA to Iceland to Fort Knox. Add in other sub-plots involving killers in Japan and more volcanic eruptions and the whole adventure feels far to rushed, with no time to pause and digest the latest 'revelation' before its off to the next set-piece.

Its almost as if Rollins didn't really trust the mystery element to be enough of a hook, and he was probably right not to. From the prologue set during the late 18th Century onwards the mystery that is revealed really didn't grab me. It was just too vague and lacked focus, pulling in too many disparate elements from Jewish mythology to nano-technology, from Mormonism to lost tribes of Indian and from vulcanology to Lewis & Clarke and Thomas Jefferson. The whole thing felt overly convoluted and less than compelling; as if Rollins had thrown in everything he could think of in the hope that something would stick but nothing really had.

After two lesser efforts I'm thinking that maybe the author needs to rethink the template for the Sigma novels. After seven adventures the formula is starting to feel a bit tired. Why is it necessary to include every recurring Sigma member in every novel; especially when, as was the case here, some end up with precious little to do and rather shoe-horned into the action? Why do we always need the big 'mystery from history' to hang the plot on? Why have multiple parallel plots rather than one single one? By trying to replicate the same basic structure every time Rollins is limiting his options and is risking becoming formulaic.

Finally, after seven novels of hints and a steady drip-drip of facts, he has to put the Guild front and centre. The peripheral Guild member fulfilling the role of lead bad guy in The Devil Colony was another weak point, with a physical infirmity being used to mask the fact that he was a one dimensional cliche straight out of central casting. Sigma need to be put up against adversaries who pose a genuine threat to them and society, not those lackeys and errand boys.

Thankfully the final few pages offer up some significant developments in Sigma's investigation into the Guild, and hint at some interesting directions that the series could go. It just a shame that it took such a comparatively insipid adventure to reach that point. As I said at the end of my review of The Doomsday Key, Rollins can do much, much better. The question is will he take the risk and shake things up sufficient to get this series back on track? As a long standing fan I'm hoping he can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, 17 July 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
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Like the majority of Rollins novels this one is an action packed thriller that is fun from start to finish, for me this went a little to far towards the conspiracy theory, but Rollins told it in such a way and with enough explanation so that the reader can choose to be a conspiracy nut or just enjoy all the cryptic coincidences.
As usual a great story arc well told, the characters as alive and real as ever, and the action scenes a lot more on the believable side than your average action thriller. And the overriding story of the guild builds that bit further with this book to tease the reader into the next novel.

I always feel a little energised and relaxed after one of these books and ready to dive into something a bit heavier, for me its a nice turn your brain off an enjoy the ride type of book, dont look for depth it does not exist, but its not anywhere near the shallow end of the thriller pond.

well worth picking up and enjoying, and wouldn't surprise me to see this on the big screen one day.

recommended for those who enjoy the non thinking thrill and adventure
(Parm)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Done it again, 10 July 2014
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Love this book. I Iost a lot of time reading it,lost in the story, sign of a good book too me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good story line, 10 July 2014
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Another great 007 meets Indiana Jones mets Da Vinci Code story from James Rollins. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys this mixture of themes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: The Devil Colony (Paperback)
Always a good story, not dissapointed, really enjoyed the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars enthralling, 26 Jun 2014
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As usual James Rollins and his Sigma team uncover more plotting. Like the way he has incorporated real history into the plot. Very enjoyable
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!, 4 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Devil Colony (Paperback)
Another brilliant book from James Rollins. What else to say? It is definitely worth reading. The price won’t break your bank either. What’s not to like? James Rollins books are a must read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read!, 14 May 2014
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Great read, fast paced and ver interesting. I've read Clive Cussler and David Morrell and Jack Rollins is up there with them. Can't wait to read the next one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 12 Nov 2013
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N. Gambles (UK) - See all my reviews
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I really like the James Rollins books he has a masterful way if combining adventure and history. In this outing Sigma a force have to save he world from a pending cataclysmic event whilst being hounded by the Guild and finding that the Guild are closer to home than they thought. Very enjoyable and looking forward to the next
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 Nov 2013
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Very good book and one hard to put down
James Rollins : Sigma Force books are just a brilliant read
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The Devil Colony
The Devil Colony by James Rollins (Paperback - 6 Dec 2012)
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