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The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force #4)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  18,381 ratings  ·  841 reviews
A judas strain is an organism that drives a species to extinction. From the Indian Ocean depths, an ancient menace plagues the modern world. Hope hides "within the language of angels." Aboard a cruise liner cum makeshift hospital, Dr Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis, SIGMA agents, seek answers. But terrorists hijack the mercy ship for a floating bio-weapons lab.

4 July part
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 2007)
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AN ANCIENT, PANDEMIC CAUSING, VIRUS whose origin and cure is linked to the ANGKOR WAT and the mysterious return voyage of MARCO POLO from the court of KUBLAI KHAN...yep, it looks like another job for SIGMA FORCE .

The SIGMA Force is one of the truly delicious concepts to be introduced into the popcorn-eating, page-turning, actiony, spy-guy, thrill-o-rama genre. PhD toting scientific brainiacs with Navy Seal kill skills and James Bond spy craft (minus babes and booze…damn).

SIGMA is a covert ops t
I'm a little bit embarrassed to give this book a 4, but there you go. It's a guilty pleasure, I guess, because the book is kind of ridiculous in a testosterone-fueled Indiana-Jones-meets-Mission-Impossible kind of way. If this tells you anything, I nearly downgraded it to a 3 because of the cannibals. (Yes, cannibals.)

I was about 60 pages into the book before I realized that it was part of a series. Some of you know that reading a series out of order is one of my BIGGEST PET PEEVES EVER, so I th
James Rollins' novels generally remind me of some weird combination of Michael Crichton, Dan Brown, and Tom Clancy -- none of whom are among my favorite authors. Rollins is, though -- I love the combination of myth/legend, science, and intrigue. The Judas Strain starts with a viral outbreak, follows Marco Polo to Cambodia (via an ancient manuscript), and has the SIGMA team tracking terrorists on three continents. If that sounds far-fetched, it's only because you haven't read it. Rollins nearly a ...more
Barbara ★
This is the third book in the Sigma Force series that I've read and absolutely loved. James Rollins writing is historically accurate and amazingly detailed. It's one of those books that draws you in from the first horrific chapter and keeps you turning pages as fast as your fingers (and eyes) allow. Of course there are multiple things going on: a historical trail and a scientific trail which ultimately converges with dire consequences. I particularly liked the inclusion of Kowalski, an ex-milita ...more
Simone Kearney
Sep 12, 2007 Simone Kearney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
A friend recommended James Rollins to me as I like books by Dan Brown, and Steve Barry. I have read a couple of his books so far and am in complete agreement with my friend. I find that the books start off in a very exciting way and hold my attention throughout. In this book, The Judas Strain, I am learning about Marco Polo and the mystery surrounding his 24 year voyage that took him to the palaces of Kublai Khan in China. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a historical thri ...more
After finishing The Judas Strain, I remain a HUGE James Rollins fan! I think Map of Bones and Sandstorm are my favorite books in the Sigma Force series, but really, they are all superb adventures, and The Judas Strain is no exception.

After reading 4 books in the series, I'm completely invested in these characters. I have images of them in my head. I know and love or hate their personalities. I root for their success and worry at their failures and ultimately, I want them to save the world. I thi
Elii Vela

Sumatra, año 1293

Marco Polo, su padre y su tío (Los Polo) fueron los primeros en hacer el viaje a China, a su regreso [a Venecia] contaban con una flota de 14 navíos y 600 hombres. En su viaje de regreso, una extraña enfermedad se extendió entre los viajeros y Los Polo se vieron obligados a quemar los navíos y a los enfermos, pues una vez contraída la enfermedad, todos los que la tienen, empiezan a presentar comportamientos erráticos, extrañas máculas en sus cuerpos, etc. Por eso Los Polo se

Mike (the Paladin)
I truly hate being in this position. A friend here on Goodreads with whom I usually agree recommended that I try Rollins. Now admittedly this is not the first in the series and I don't often start a series in the middle, but I was looking for an audio that I could listen to as I was busy with "mindless tasks". (I'm straining not to make a joke here.)

I wish I could say I liked this book, I wanted to, but I just don't/didn't. I was relieved to reach the end. To give credit where credits due...the
Another really fun read from James Rollins. It brought back a number of characters from the last couple novels (and didn't incorporate too many new ones) which was fun. Being about a violent, highly-contagious disease made for a lot of nasty, skin-crawling, stomach-churning moments. The usual complaints are in effect here: flat character relationships (but they're getting a little better for me, now that Ive read these characters a number of times), unnatural dialogue (I get a little annoyed whe ...more
This was a book I had been wanting to read for a while now, after having first come across it at the bookstore and being intrigued by the book jacket. Now that I have read and completed it, I have to say that I truly enjoyed "The Judas Strain", it kept me entertained from start to finish. Perhaps the most memorable part of the book for me, which will probably stay with me the longest was one of the quotes at the beginning of the book as cited from the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventio ...more
This was definitely an intriguing adventure for the Sigma forces, starting with the mysterious motive behind the murder of an Egyptian curator for an even more mysterious object with links to one of the most bizarre historical mysteries we know of. The journey of Marco Polo and his father (Niccolo) and his uncle (Masseo). However, there are parts of the journey that remain a total mystery to us all. This adventure looks into what may have happened as well as a secret chapter of Marco's journey a ...more
Full of Action and stunning characters

I have read just about every book written by James Rollins and in my opinion "The Judas Strain" is right up there at the top. It's a stunning and education portrait of those nasty bugs in the world of biological science. In the "The Judas Strain", the fourth novel in the Sigma Force series I thought Mr. Collins writing style captured the true effects of a loose deadly bacteria that is killing all life in the waters of Christmas Island. The story is full of
I've read a lot of books by James Rollins and loved all of them, but this one is my less favorite, it was still very good but not as much as his other books.
Kim Aleksander
This is definitely the best book I have read from James Rollins to date, and it is possibly the best historical thriller that I have read in the last year (and I have read more than a few).

The attention to detail is meticulous, which I attribute to the author's medical (being a veterinarian, which is super cool) and traveling background. He knows his binomial nomenclature, and it's obvious he's been places.

Having said that; THE JUDAS STRAIN is a FAN-TAS-TIC, whirlwind ride that splits into mult
Toni Osborne
Sigma Force book 4

An ancient and deadly plague, the Judas Strain, has suddenly re-emerged from the depths of the Indian Ocean, a disease unstoppable and deadly. Dr Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis of SIGMA FORCE search for an answer to this bizarre affliction aboard a cruise liner, transformed into a makeshift hospital. But others had different intentions. In a sudden coup, Guild members hijack the vessel full of plague victims and turn it into a bio-weapons lab.

A world away, SIGMA's Commander Gr
Maggie Stewart-Grant
Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association touted fabulous breakneck speed and intrigue that I found fascinating, and they weren’t wrong. It might be a book to capture you, as far as the story line and characters are concerned.

The story behind Marco Polo was spot-on. From what I know of his return from China, Rollins did not deviate from historical record. The science was fascinating, and certainly believable. Rollins does have a background in veterinary medicine, which bears a strik

2.6 stars precisely.

My reason for not giving this supposedly wondrous book a high rating is that I've outgrown them. There is an uncertainty about facts, an incomplete thread of information that blares, "The author hasn't done enough research to engage people with surprising realities and unimaginable possibilities." I was clearly disappointed when Rollins left certain sections to the imagination of people when he could have focussed more on going deeper into the biological facets of DNA or myth

I typically enjoy the works of Mr. Rollins, although most of the times I find them a little too far-stretched. This one is no exception to the rule; however, I did find it a tad too shallow and way too naturalistic to my taste.

We have to give Rollins credit for his tremendous imagination. He comes up with ideas, plots and developments that keep surprising me even after having read all his previous works. Every time the basic plot is intruiging, and so is the Marco Polo trail in this book. He tap
Joe Moley
Really enjoyed this one… Black Order just didn’t hit me but Judas Strain was right up my alley.

Rollins continues a fine trend of grasping at vague little bits of history and expanding them to Indiana Jones like proportions. The turns and twists are so complex at times you have to slow down to catch up.

Back in action was my favorite character, Monk. I loved that half the book was him freewheeling as a one man wrecking crew. I mean leading a team composed of commando cannibals on a cruise line a
Jan 05, 2013 Doug1134 rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The illiterate
Recommended to Doug1134 by: Someone who obviously hates me
As a fan of Michael Crichton, James Rollins was recommended to me. After being underwhelmed by Ice Hunt, I figured I'd give Rollins one more shot with The Judas Strain. I didn't care for this one, either. It's a shame, too, because the subjects he chooses to write about are very interesting. But it's clear he doesn't put the level of research into his writing like Clancy or Crichton. As a result, the plot ends up empty with holes. (Why'd he bring his parents along again? If there was no mole, ho ...more
Another great edition to the Sigma Force series.

Sigma Force is a clandestine government agency tasked with researching, and when necessary, protecting Earth's most mysterious, and sometimes deadly ancient artifacts and unexplained phenomenon. The members describe themselves as soldier scientists. In this adventure, a super aggressive virus begins to decimate the human population while the members of SF gather to find a cure and battle the equally dangerous Guild from weaponizing the virus for th
Another super Rollins Sigma Force novel! This is only the second Sigma novel I've read (after Black Order) - I really need to take time to read the first two but that TBR stack doesn't seem to get any shorter. Anyway, this was another fast-paced action novel from Rollins. As usual, he threw in a lot of interesting premises including the Judas Strain itself and bioterrorism, the use of the "angelic script", and the historical mystery of Marco Polo and what happened to his fleet on his return trip ...more
After having read, Black Order, I was pretty sure that Rollins couldn't top it, and unfortunately I was right. However, it did feel a lot more epic than Black Order. Another great area of science was tackled and as an A-level Biologist/Chemist it was great to see the cis/trans idea used within Biology and then with the wonderful biochemistry!!

But, some of the ideas were hard to visualise - like the hiding place of the pirates and Mistress of the Seas. Towards the end the resolving of the problem
Threasa Jenkins
As always, with James Rollins, you get action upon action upon action. I love every one of his books. This book is about a virus that can wipe out mankind. Mr. Rollins makes it very believable and scary. I am always sitting at the edge of my seating reading his books. I love the characters, and you really care what happens to them.
This is my third Rollins' Sigma Force novel, and can best be described as a guilty pleasure (I stole that from another reviewer, but it fits exactly my view). It is an adventure-action-half historical fact-half made-up stuff-and a little more Dirk Pitt-like amazing escapes. It makes no sense to try to explain's a fun read, with enough historical facts to pause every once in a while and perform some on-line fact checking. Rollins does a great job on researching background...more so than m ...more
Does anyone else feel like Rollins has to create a "go-go-GO" pace for all his books in order for it to be suspenseful? Every book I pick up to read of his is like a race. There's always someone chasing a character, or running from a character and it's so exhausting. The premises of all his books are great, but I can't get past the constant running/chases. I wish for once he could ease up a little and then I might actually be able to get through any number of his books. I am almost thinking abou ...more
The first James Rollins book I read was a large-print version of The Doomsday Key. Having bought this book for $1 and change, I was looking forward to re-immersing myself in the series.

CONS: Unfortunately, the book gets bogged down in details and could have easily been condensed. I fluctuated among being interested, bored, and frustrated. I had to force myself to finish reading the series. I will probably resume the series, but not anytime soon.

PROS: The books in this series blend together scien
This book is an excellent example of a high-concept novel - that is, it is extremely plot-driven. On the one hand, I definitely couldn't put it down, and I did enjoy the combination of science, history, and adventure in the novel. That said, it's not well written. There are numerous errors, not just spelling and grammatical, but conceptual as well. My biggest complaint, though, is that the writing is clumsy, at best.

I wouldn't say I disliked this book. There are positive bits in there - as I men
It's not a completely awful book, but it follows an all too-familiar plot. Dan Brown did it better, not that I'm a huge fan of his, either.

This James Rollins book reads more like a crazy movie than a believable book, but you may like that sort of impossible story. I think he tried to throw everything into the mix, unsuccessfully.

* Globe-trotting heroes. Check.
* Scientists who try to destroy/save the world. Check.
* Ancient temples that hold disturbing secrets. Check.
* Sort-of mysterious, evil org
Joe White
Absurd. The evil opponents are omnipotent, unbelievably efficient, and ruthless to a degree that would disrupt any discipline in their organization.
Too much of a mix of Dan Brown's chasing relic locations, including various religious points; Clive Cussler's mythical un-killable heroes; and too many Hollywood shooting action sequences.
The first 30 pages set the hook with a plausible natural mystery. The rest of the book was a chore to continue through. Only near the end did it get mildly interest
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scientific intrigue/historical novel 14 98 Apr 16, 2014 03:44AM  
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James Rollins is the New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. Known for unveiling unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets, Rollins has a knack for breakneck pacing and stunning originality that has been hailed by critics and embraced by millions of readers around the world.
More about James Rollins...

Other Books in the Series

Sigma Force (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Sandstorm (Sigma Force, #1)
  • Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2)
  • Black Order (Sigma Force, #3)
  • The Last Oracle (Sigma Force, #5)
  • The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force, #6)
  • The Devil Colony (Sigma Force, #7)
  • Bloodline (Sigma Force, #8)
  • The Eye of God (Sigma Force #9)
  • The 6th Extinction (Sigma Force, #10)
  • The Bone Labyrinth (Sigma Force, #11)
Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2) Sandstorm (Sigma Force, #1) The Last Oracle (Sigma Force, #5) Black Order (Sigma Force, #3) The Doomsday Key (Sigma Force, #6)

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“It ain't always rocket science, sometimes a door is just a door.” 109 likes
“Are you sure, Gray?'
He lifted his eyes. 'No . . . I'm not. I'm not sure of a damn thing.' He slipped his hands free of the monsignor's and peeled the battery off the phone, cutting the last ring in half. 'But that doesn't mean I won't act.”
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