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on 22 September 2008
Quite simply - this guy is a genius. I read this in two hours i could not put it down. My favourite book of the year and that is saying something!!!! the plotline is tight and fast paced and just plain flawless. You can tell the author enjoys writing the characters and has decided to flesh out a few characters which he only explored last book Kowalski - just brilliant Bonding over cigars ( wish we had seen his pov though). Glad the sword of damocles is still only hovering on Monk- love that character.
If you like Dan Brown ..... dont read this you will be shocked by the brilliance of this writer compared to mr brown and not be able to function - it is such a shame that it took that trashy novels release to bring Jrollins to our shops in enough quantities as he is far superior.

Once again sir - you write beautifully and i wait with breathless anticipation for the next installment of the Sigma force novels!!!
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on 7 August 2016
Another Rollins masterpiece full of fast-paced action, mystery and puzzles. This one also has an interesting insight into the spectrum of autism and has a heartwarming thread running through its entire length. Couldn't put it down...
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After a less than stellar effort with his previous novel 'The Judas Strain', this is a definite return to form for James Rollins. It doesn't diverge greatly from his tried and tested formula. Sigma are back, along with the mix of science, pseudo-science and contemporary science fiction that usually forms the backbone of a typical Rollins novel. There is also a selection of boo-hiss bad guys, some dangerous animals, several parallel, interconnected plot-lines, and a hint of spiritualism thrown in there for good measure.

In contrast to The Judas Strain however, this latest book remains comparatively streamlined. Rollins doesn't pile too many sub-plots on top of one another and avoids extraneous events or blind alleys. There are no killer-squid equivalents in here, for example. That's not to say that the book doesn't jump around the globe. It manages to take in the US, India, the Ukraine and Russia within its pages, but none of it feels tacked on. This gives it a feeling of far greater cohesion and focus, keeps it moving at Rollin's usual lightning pace and means that excitement levels are maintained.

There are criticisms to be levelled of course. Monk's miraculous return from apparent death is rather weak; and his inclusion at the heart of the plot of The Last Oracle is tenuous. The book would not have been weaker without him, and his inclusion comes across primarily as Rollin's being unwilling to actually kill off any of his main characters. The bad guys are also a pretty weak bunch and none of them stick strongly in the memory. Equally their plot for world domination is overly complex and doesn't really work as a palpable threat.

Despite these flaws however, The Last Oracle is an enjoyable slice of OTT action adventure. It doesn't rewrite any rules in terms of what to expect from a James Rollin's novel, but its a definite return to form that will please existing fans and should attract new ones.
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on 19 August 2016
Another great entry in the Sigma series blending fact and fiction in a disturbingly believable, and ultimately enthralling, adventure. Brilliant storytelling, engaging characters you can't help but care for, blistering action and suspenseful twists and turns that keeps each page as enjoyable to read as the last. If like me you are reading the series in sequence, you definitely don't want to miss this me.
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VINE VOICEon 28 October 2009
I was gripped from the moment I picked it up - and was disappointed when I reached the end - but only because I had been so engrossed that I wanted it to go on for ever!
Having enjoyed all the Sigma force novels that Rollins has written so far, I was looking forward to the next adventure in the series - and this one was certainly no disappointment. As is typical of Rollins, this book is a strong blend of historical fact which he has managed to embed into a gripping plot and introducing a range of spectacular locations - from Delphi to the Taj Mahal and deep into the Punjab, where an amazing discovery is made.
The usual characters feature strongly - Gray Pearce, Painter Crow - and, amazingly, Monk - presumed dead at the end of the last novel, returns - but not without a range of new problems. He also manages to introduce some new, unusual but nonetheless believable characters, including a group of talented autistic yet savant children and some gypsies. The baddies are believable - yet hissably bad - so much so that you really long for them to get their come-uppance!
The quote that inspired this book is an intriguing one, which sets one thinking - especially those of us who have any real knowledge of autism, aspergers and savants, is this one by Dr Temple Grandin, who says `If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave'. Hmm - certainly food for thought!
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on 28 October 2009
these books are the literary equivalent of an action movie - so check your brain in at the door and enjoy the ride. Yes Monk's story is a bit beggering of belief - but I refer you back to my first comment! Gritty realism this isn't.

this is a good addition to the series - so if you've read the others you know what to expect, and if you haven't - although this would work as a standalone you may as well go back and start at the beginning of the series, you'll get more out of it.

I really liked the character Marta and enjoyed the development of her role, the ideas around autism, the story of delphi and the gypsy migration. All well covered and without the usual predjudice you often get in these areas.
BTW I've read Temple Grandin's animals in translation and would heartily recommend it

PS I agree with another reviewer here who says these are a better read than Dan Brown. I would also add that Matthew Reilly is another author of a similar type if you like this kind of thing
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on 6 August 2011
Being the 5th Sigma novel I felt as though I'd missed some the background action and understanding of the group. However this did not dissuade me. Although somewhat far-fetched I did enjoy it.

The autism twist was great and the neurological implants was a great idea. The idea of the of the Gypsy origin was great and a lot of the book was clearly well researched.

I'm going to go back and read the first 4. If this ones anything to go by, they should be a good read.
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on 2 July 2012
Being a history/conspiracy/secret society/religious mystery nut, I have been searching for something to fill in the void since Da vinci Code (which by the way is the only DB book worth reading). And I came by this book by accident (or shall I say good fortune?) while passing through the airport shop in a hurry.

It is the 5th of Sigma Force novel but my 1st.

I confess I am at a disadvantage not knowing the back stories of sigma force, of the main characters, but that is only a minor inconvenience. Once i get started, i could hardly stop.

I love how it intertwines history with science (believable enough to set you google for more information), the story moves forward relentlessly, without leaving any space for readers to gather their breathes. You are compelled to turn the pages, you NEED TO KNOW what happens next, you HAVE TO KNOW.

If, like me, you like religious conspiracy with a hint of science mix in with elite forces actions, look no further, it will not disappoint.
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on 27 September 2010
Sorry, but this book is trite nonsense. Full of ridiculous coincidences, the most absurd plot and laden with examples of poor amateur writing. The characters are wooden, stereotypes and utterly insufferable. The whole Sigma Secret Force thing is tedious and has completely lost its appeal. Crazy megalomanics, a plot to destroy half the planet, savant children, and an intelligent monkey that shares thoughts with a young boy. Really! Mind you, the monkey is more clever than half the idiotic characters. The author just invents anything he needs to keep the thing moving along. 'Oh we need an army of soldiers running around in subterranean tunnels shooting people. OK. Oh we now need an army to attack the bad guys. Ok, let's make the gypsies suddenly form an army out of nowhere. Within 5 mins the good guys have a formidable army on their side- all armed and deployed in no time.' The good guys are all getting exposed to radiation, but carry a sensor that darkens in colour with increased exposure. At one point the thing is crimson and is turning 'a shade darker with every yard'. So in 10 yards it would be black and they would all be dead. Yes? No, of course not - we can't kill them off. At one point 2 tigers are described as muscular and powerful. In the next sentence they are emaciated and starved. Which is it? Well it's whatever suits the author, of course. Gimme a break! This is simply one of the worst, most drivel books I have ever read.
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on 23 March 2013
After what I thought was a poor outing from the Sigma Team in the Judas Strain they return here right back on form. Based around the story of the Oracle of Delphi and various bad guys who want to take over the world and the return of someone thought lost this is a great return to form and I'm looking forward to the next outing.
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