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52 Reviews
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197 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Adventure, Science, and Romantic Tension
If you are a fan of Dan Brown's books (Da Vinci Code author), you will love James Rollins' books! In a similar style, in "Sandstorm," Rollins rolls exotic locations, high adventure, romantic tension, science, and a touch of religious history involving modern-day guardians into a spy thriller starring government agents, physicists, a businesswoman, and an archeologist...
Published on 20 July 2005 by Imperial Topaz

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
The book covers an adventure quest across cities and sands to find a long forgotten city buried under the sands.

I found the story in theory to sound like a good read, but the book is not as good as expected, and nowhere near as good as the other review states.

Where to start? Well the characterisation is extremely poor, verging on the terrible. Many...
Published on 20 April 2006 by BR


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197 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Adventure, Science, and Romantic Tension, 20 July 2005
By 
Imperial Topaz (Marrakesh, Morocco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sandstorm (Mass Market Paperback)
If you are a fan of Dan Brown's books (Da Vinci Code author), you will love James Rollins' books! In a similar style, in "Sandstorm," Rollins rolls exotic locations, high adventure, romantic tension, science, and a touch of religious history involving modern-day guardians into a spy thriller starring government agents, physicists, a businesswoman, and an archeologist. All the action takes place, minute-to-minute, over just a few days. I really enjoyed this book, and had great trouble putting it down, at each sitting! I finished it in three days.
"Sandstorm" begins with an explosion in the British Museum, which sets the action in motion among different factions. Some are searching for the ancient lost city of Ubar, on the Arabian peninsula, while government/terrorist factions are searching for the source of the antimatter which caused the explosion. The action takes us from the United States, into the Arabian peninsula, where two-thirds of the book takes place. All of the action is infused with tension between the woman archeologist, and the two heroes-both of whom we are rooting for at the same time. I was kept on the edge of my seat, wondering until the end which man she would choose!
Fact and fiction are well-mixed in this tale. Upon finishing the book, I could hardly wait to check out all these things and places mentioned in the book on the internet. Then I got to the last page, and found a two-page "Author's Note" section. In a few paragraphs, Rollins informs us about the latest research in antimatter, and of the historical basis for the lost city of Ubar, as well as about the actual tombs of Nabi Imran (the Virgin Mary's father) and Ayoub (Job). He gives us good sources about all of the above to follow up on, if we are interested. He also informs us at this point about a few things in the book which are fiction. I really appreciated this section.
"Sandstorm" is the first of Rollins' books that I decided to try. I am so delighted with this author that I now intend to go out and buy, in one fell swoop, EVERY book that he has published!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed and fast paced, 4 Jan 2009
I do not agree with the review that it's like Dan Brown. James Rollins is far superior to Dan. He has an eye for minute detail and stirring the imagination. I had never read any Rollins before this one and afterwards I started looking for my next fix, I was hooked. It reminds me a little of Lee Child in that he uses the same characters but they are diverse enough to keep you reading. My opinion - buy it and see for yourself
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good escapism over the xmas break., 20 Dec 2007
I found this book to be fast paced and gripping. Yes it has some far out scientific explanations but they are easily described and plausible enough to enhance the plot. Its a good blend of historical and science fiction story telling. I have a background in science and found it an excellent read - Also, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, 20 April 2006
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This review is from: Sandstorm (Mass Market Paperback)
The book covers an adventure quest across cities and sands to find a long forgotten city buried under the sands.

I found the story in theory to sound like a good read, but the book is not as good as expected, and nowhere near as good as the other review states.

Where to start? Well the characterisation is extremely poor, verging on the terrible. Many characters that are quite prominent are given two lines of description then the odd spoken line here and there, despite being fairly central to the plot. Another thing that loses the book stars is that certain plot parts are totally ridiculous. I do understand that this is a fiction book, but some parts are so far fetched that they actually made me laugh out loud.

Positive points are that the book is easy reading and there is enough going on to keep the reader interested. Just don't expect a fantastic read.

If you are looking for a desert based adventure book along the same lines but much better, read The Lost Army of Cambyss by Paul Sussman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exhausting read, 10 Nov 2010
By 
Annielou2 (Northants UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sandstorm (SIGMA FORCE) (Paperback)
As a fan of Deaver, Kellerman and Cussler, I was completely exhausted when I turned the last page of this book. Two days start to finish, the constant draw to just read until the end of the next chapter got me in trouble more than once. I loved this book, easy to read, wild and wonderful storyline. I agree, I didn't love the main characters but the story held it for me. So much adventure, danger, gunfights, a great baddy. Not sure how viable matter/antimatter story was but it doesn't matter! Just been to the library and borrowed three more to see if his others are as good as this one. Great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT HIS BEST (BY FAR), 27 Sep 2007
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Try another of his books. Amazonia was OK, Ice Hunt even better.

This one is VERY late to get things going then fizzles and dies.

Oh, and he may be a vet (and I am willing to go the extra mile), yet his science is more fiction than fact - and it is still used for trivialities! If you are to dig-up...buckyballs to enclose ...antimatter - make sure you are not to use them to cause a couple of explosions and propel a boat...Talk about building up to nothing.

My Advice: Pass on this one but do not miss on the others.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but flawed, 9 Nov 2006
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I read Sandstorm several months ago, so I am writing this review with the benefit of hindsight. It was also the first James Rollins novel I read, and I have since plowed through four more, so I am now better able to compare Sandstorm to the books that came both before and after it.

In light of all that, how does it stand up? Well, as the title of this review suggests, it has both strengths and weaknesses.

On the strength side, like all of Rollins books it is a fast paced tale of adventure. If that's your cup of tea there is much to recommend Sandstorm. From the explosive opening in the British Museum to the finale in the deserts of the Gulf, the action and excitement never let up. It also introduces readers to Sigma, the top secret US organisation that features in Rollins two most recent books Map of Bones and Black Order. By allowing continuity between books Rollins is able to draw some characters in far greater detail than he had in previous stand alone novels, and both Sigma itself and its activities are great inventions. As with all Rollins' books the action is punchy and well written. There is enough of an air of mystery to the story to keep the reader hooked throughout and the denoument is satisfying. In many ways Sandstorm is a solidly crafted action adventure thriller.

There are weaknesses however. One of these is the central story. Rollins always deals in the fantastical, be it undiscovered Aztec Tribes or Nazi Genetic Experiments, but with Sandstorm he oversteps the mark slightly. With his other books, even in their most 'out there' moments, you can still suspend your disbelief and let yourself be carried along for the ride. With Sandstorm however, the discoveries that are made veer so far into the realms of fantasy that they are hard to believe even vaguely possible.

It doesn't help that some of Sandstorm's non-Sigma characters are so badly conceived. Lady Kara, for example, is proof once again that American thriller writers should not try to write aristocratic British characters. Nothing about her feels remotely real; she is a cliched view of what Americans think a posh-Brit would be like. Worse, her character arc is one of the elements of the story that is too fantastical. Without spoiling the story, the discovery about her background is the sort of thing that belongs in a fantasy novel not the techno-thriller that Sandstorm purports to be.

Part of the problem is that Sandstorm is a crossover from Rollins earlier books, where the fantasy & mythological elements of the plots were more to the fore, to his more recent books that have a greater basis in scientific and historical fact. By trying to combine the two, neither of which fit comfortably together, he weakens what is otherwise a satisfying and entertaining read. Had he toned down the fantasy Sandstorm would have deserved five stars. As it stands its still a good book, but Rollins has produced better both before and since.
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3.0 out of 5 stars undemanding action thriller, 18 Sep 2014
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sandstorm (SIGMA FORCE) (Paperback)
I have seen a few reviews that suggest this is like the Dan Brown books, apart from being a thriller dealing with ancient history, it is nothing like Brown’s heavy handed writing. It is more in the vein of early Clive Cussler (before he out-sourced his writing and let the standards slip) in being a fast paced romp. I’ve had this in my pile to read for some while and while characterisation is a little light and you are asked to suspend belief it is quite fun.

Following a weird explosion in the British Museum, Sigma Force, a secret US agency, are brought in to investigate. Hooking up with archaeologists and adventurers, off they set to the desert to track down an ancient mystery, all the time dogged by a bunch of mercenaries and a very strange sect of females. It’s the kind of thing that is not overly unique but just about delivers what is says on the tin. You have to be in the right mind-set and if you question logic/co-incidence or the science then you may struggle, but if you just want to be entertained without making much effort then this might be for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Excitement in this One, 11 Oct 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sandstorm (Paperback)
James Rollins is the best selling author of several novels, he is also a practising vet and has his own surgery in Sacramento, California. Among other things he is also an enthusiastic scuba diver.

This is a tale of a lost city, buried beneath the sands of the Arabia desert. A lost city where something astonishing is waiting. Lady Kara Kensington's family paid a high price, both financially and also in the blood sweat and tears to found the gallery that now lies in ruins after a savage explosion devastates the building and its contents.

Her search for answers to the tragedy leads her along a path to a part of the world she never knew existed while wrapped in her own little cocoon of wealth and luxury. It leads her to the lost city. But she is not along a government representative is also drawn there. What lies at the end of the dangerous journey that leads them there. Is it a power that can and will create good for all mankind. Or is it something that will destroy everything that man has worked for through the centuries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 26 Feb 2014
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Loved this book. While I thought the first quarter was a bit strung out and that the author had, perhaps, given too much information on each character. I soon realised that this was needed as each character had a very definite yet intriguing part to play. All in all a brilliant book, easy to read yet at times a bit 'cushion hugging' intrigue. Can't wait to get stuck into the rest of the series.
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Sandstorm (SIGMA FORCE)
Sandstorm (SIGMA FORCE) by James Rollins (Paperback - 21 Jan 2010)
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