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on 24 April 2005
This was my first James Rollins book but it won't be my last. For thrills advenure and mystery he can't be beat! I liked The Da Vinci Code, but his book was even beter! the book starts at a service in a cathedral in Colone Germany when an army of intruders dressed in monks clothes gun down worshipers and clergy in a horrifying blood bath. They have not come for the chuches treasures of artwork or gold, but for the bones of the three Maji who once payed homage to the baby Jesus. with
this prize they plan to change the world!
The Vatican is stunned, unsure of how to react. A secret arm of the US defense department is called in to try and unravel the mystery behind the stolen bones. The investigators are lead into an unknow world of ancient secrets and terrifying realities not seen since the begining of time. This novel is a cross between the Da vinci Code, Cussler's dirk pitt novels, and the best of Tom Clancy. If you like adventure this is the book for you!
I Also recomemend "A Tourist in the Yucatan" for another great thriller adventure!
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on 4 March 2006
Excellent book! Rollins comes at you with a dizzying pace and almost overwhelming information. After 20 pages you adjust to his speed and data ... and you enjoy the ride! This is a modern thriller with obvious comparisons to The DaVinci Code. Three American intelligence operatives and two Italians (priest and niece) form an unlikely and tight partnership to thwart an ancient religious order from gaining an ultimate prize. Perhaps this is a perceptive view of our 21st century, a harmonious blend of science and spirituality, history and technology, religion and government agents across borders. A high point is Rollins' use of a loyal team of five very diverse people devoted to one another and their mission. This is a fine read!
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on 23 January 2008
Just got into this for the first 4 chapters. The story is building up. As from earlier chapters esp on the part - introduction of hero Grayson Pierce of Sigma force...the scene start up abit like the intro in Macgyver (TV show) when involve in another case. I think more of Pierce like Macgyver kind of adventure. Well, Monk and Kat will be the other team members in this book. Let see how Rachel will add up to the mission with the Sigma team. Should be a thriller...

Half way through the book... I am seeing stars when Rollins trying to write about magi and superconductors then more about bones and white powder/bread stuff. He is trying to make the plot to certain degree of logic. I find it dragging too long and so much elements in explaining the string of clues. Go straight to the point... Gray might say. Now the story move up the next level - finding the 4th magi in Alexandria.

Just finish this book. As said before - loads of riddle and mystery to crack. from white powder to golden key and much of it centred around the force of magnetism, electricity, superconductors and of coz the bright lights at the end.

There are lots of twist with earlier characters falling into playing the part of villians... there are some sacrifices to hide the truth. Still the heroic team manage to stay alive and find 'half of the truth' in the Hourglass mystery - only the first half 'above'. I suspect there will be a sequel to find the truth for the second half 'below' of the Hourglass venture. Maybe is from Black Order...will do that next.

Very good read, abit of MR's Seven Ancient Wonders and also the book I just read The Alexandra Cipher. Not as good as many books I came across rate it 3.5/5.
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Map of Bones will inevitably be compared to The Da Vinci Code and it does share some similarities. Religious history and iconography features heavily in the plot, along with age old conspiracies with links to the Vatican.
James Rollins' latest novel however, is Dan Brown's novel with a heavy dose of adrenalin and a strong strain of the fantastic injected. It is also a far more satisfying read and should be taken purely on its own merits. Forget comparisons to Brown's blockbuster. Map of Bones is a great book in its own right.
It is also an improvement on Rollins' previous books, including Sandstorm, which introduced the activities of Sigma Force that feature in Map of Bones. The story is better paced, along with being more rounded and satisfying.
The only weakness is in the characterisation. Wilst they fulfil their roles the individuals who populate the story are nothing more than dramatic devices. They lack depth and their actions are cliched to the point of predictability.
Despite this Map of Bones remains a satisfying read, with events moving along at such a rapid pace that you barely notice the flaws. If Rollins can continue to improve his next book, Black Order, should be more than worth waiting for.
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on 25 May 2005
Parishoners in a German Cathedral are murdered at a midnight mass, by an ultrasecret cult within the church. The only Witness is murdered.
The only Clue; The bones of the Magi, the three wise men who visited Jesus at His birth in the Manger, are stolen by the cult.
Called in to investigate; A secret U.S. Government angency called Sigma, and accompanied by a Vatican Cardinal in charge of Church security, and his niece, an agent in the Carbinieri, Itali's version of our FBI.
The group Chases around Europe after the Cult, and the clues to the importance of the Bones of the Magi-the M(or Metalic)State of Gold, offering power beyond anyone's wildest imagination, and extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.
The action is nearly non-stop, in this mystery adventure that puts The Da Vinci Code to shame for pace, story line, and research.
This is without a doubt Rollins's best book yet! And I've read every one of his excellent adventure thrillers!
For anyone who like Matt Reilly's Temple, and Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, give this one a try. I garantee you'll be more than satisfied!
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The is the only book I have read by this author, but if this book is any indication of his storytelling prowess I will be on the lookout for his other volumes the next time I am ordering from Amazon or in the bookshop.

With books of intrigue and conspiracy it is all too easy to inadvertently start giving away parts of the plot, so a brief synopsis is the best way to avert spoiling the reader's enjoyment.

An elite force are on the hunt for a clandestine fraternity of alchemists, who date back many hundreds of years to the Middle Ages. The fraternities aim is to establish a new world order using mystical bones of the Magi.

The elite force follow clues leading from some of Europe's most famous cathedrals. Through the remnants of famous monuments to a place where science and religions unite and the threat could be the most calamitous since the beginning of time . . .

Fast paced, thrilling, exciting, this book has everything. I didn't want it to end.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2007
Sorry to compare this spectacular book with the Da Vinci code which pales into non existent compared to this book. Tales of gold, magic, action scenes on top of castle turretts, great story and plot, great characters, lovely descriptive details of Rome and the Vatican.

The first chapters really grip with murders via holy bread and wine and ruthless monks with machine guns and a great ancient tale of theft and murder this book really sings along.

I have never been disappointed with a James Rollins although I only started reading him late last year I have read every one and this is certainly his best, cant wait to read his next one.

Definitely a book in my top ten read it now!!
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on 20 March 2007
This was the first James Rollins Book i have read, but it will not be the last! Many people compared this novel to Da Vinci Code but i think it stands alone on it's own merits! it's very fast paced and exciting and the characters are well rounded. Sometimes i find books from this sort of genre go into too much description about the various theories, scientific or religeous, and can baffle the reader, with Map of Bones I found it to be just about right, enough to explain but not confuse! I utterly fell in love with commander Gray Pierce, i firmly believe every good story needs a hero, and he was a fab one! i'm now going to order the other sigma force novels either side of this one and see how they compare!
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on 6 June 2008
This book is similar to many before it. It is packed with action as the good guys try to outsmart the bad trying to find an historic puzzle's last piece. The Vatican, relics and clues are at the heart of the plot.

Rollins does a reasonable job of drawing on historical events across countries to keep the story moving and to justify the city-hopping of the various teams. He uses a lot of licence of course.

But his characterisations and writing are nothing to write home about.

More annoyingly, the book is over-worked or too long. And there is just too much which is implausible even if you accept the historical trails and assumptions. The book is populated with superhumans who are so well-equipped as to defy belief. The good guys always get caught, but always escape despite impossible circumstances, as chase follows chase.

Overall, despite the use of an already tested theme, the book did not live up to its potential to be different or convincing. 6/10
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on 16 November 2006
As noted by previous reviewers you can't help but compare this book to the davinci code. Mysterious ancient order seeks forgotten truth.

In this book we meet stock characters - the heroic all action leader, the smouldering sassy love interest, the ruthless evil villain with no redeemimg features.

Despite all the cliches i really enjoyed this book - its a page turner and at the end of the day thats the reason i read a book - to enjoy it!

Don't expect a deep moving experience, do expect to be entertained.
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