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The Doomsday Key: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force #6)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  20,548 Ratings  ·  807 Reviews
James Rollins, the New York Times bestselling master of nail-biting suspense and historical mystery, combines cutting-edge biotechnology with a centuries-old secret in an apocalyptic story that reveals where humankind is truly headed

The Doomsday Key

At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by William Morrow (first published June 3rd 2009)
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Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary

One of Rollins Best - 5 Stars

I enjoyed this book too much to give it any less than 5 stars. It had all of the history and science elements to push my buttons. Irish history and lore, Druids, pagan and Christian history. Polar bears and the dangers of genetically modified crops all wrapped up in a nice shiny conspiracy. As usual, you have your share of explosions, near misses and enough action to keep the pulse racing.

Plot Summary

The plot of a Rollins novel
Adnan Rizon
Jun 20, 2016 Adnan Rizon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ইংরেজীতে এত বড় সাইজের পুরো বই এবারই পরথম পড়লাম। অযাজ ইউজুয়াল রোলিনস সটাইল...ইতিহাস, সায়েনস, অযাকশন... পিয়ারসের সিগমা টিম... গিলডের নিষঠুরতা... পারফেকট কমবো একেবারে।
ভযাটিকান থেকে ওয়াশিংটন ডিসি... ইংলযানড, ফরানস, নরওয়ে পরযনত কাহিনীর বিসতৃতি। পরথম থেকে শেষ পরযনত টানটান উততেজনার মাঝে ডুবিয়ে রাখার মত একটা বই।
Kate Hart
Feb 18, 2010 Kate Hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll say about this book, what I've said about each of the books in James Rollins "Sigma Force" series: outstanding. He has won me over, and my 19 year old daughter as well. The two of us are fans of the way in which Rollins incorporates true historical and scientific elements into his works of fiction. We also appreciate his 'separating fact from fiction' section, at the back of the book, as well as his suggestions for additional readings on his 'meaty' topics.
These books are surprisingly dev
Freda Malone
This book in the Sigma series received quite a few high ratings but it didn't get it from me. For some reason, maybe it was the timing, the holidays, my brain was in a funk, I just didn't enjoy this one as much as I thought I would. The riddle, clues, and amount of factual/fictional information was too much. The wide range of information had me lost, and didn't capture my attention as much as it did other readers. I did like it, I did enjoy it, but it was slow, less methodical and took me longer ...more
Mike French
Dec 12, 2015 Mike French rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This the 8th book in the Sigma Force series that I have read and this was y favorite! Non-stop action from start to finish. I recommend this book to all Thriller fans!
Mar 10, 2010 Colin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth Sigma novel I have read, and, once again, I'm not sure exactly how I should "rate" the book.

On the one hand, there is a lot of obvious literary trickery going on--I believe Rollins keeps a deus ex machina handbook in his pocket while writing--and things that any reasonable reader knows shouldn't happen, happens.

On the other hand Rollins' books are a whole lot of fun; books that I really, really enjoy--I've read four of them, after all--and Rollins has a magnificent imaginati
Dec 27, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Released in 2009, The Doomsday Key is the sixth Sigma Force novel, and is another intriguing, exciting, fascinating adventure. Sigma Force is a secret, blackest of the black ops organization of the United States. They investigate odd and unusual events that potentially may jeopardize the USA and world stability. In The Doomsday Key, Sigma head Painter Crowe, top agent Gray Pierce, and his team are on the trail of a conspiracy to control global population through the food supply. Seemingly unconn ...more
Aug 20, 2009 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again the Sigma Force goes up against the sinister organization known as The Guild.
The book opens with the destruction of an experimental farm in Africa and a massacre of all the staff and refugees in the farm. A member of the staff was the son of a US senator and the Sigma Force was given the task of investigating what happened. Monk Kokkalis, member of the Sigma Force, was about to interview the colleague of the senator's son, when a group of assasins killed the colleague and blew up his
Aug 11, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
This my first James Rollins book and I 'read' it on audio book on a long-ish set of trips, so there was only two interruption (one lasting 18 days, the other two days). The reader/performer was Peter Jay Fernandez...who I hope does other Rollins books...and did he perform!
I enjoy history, science, historical science and, of course, scientific history, as well as action adventure (Dirk Pitt-like)and wildly expansive conspiracy plots. Here, in the "Doomsday Key" I found them all. Likeable characte
May 06, 2016 Yasmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVE these James Rollins books!!
This is another in the Sigma Force series, which has everything you could possibly want- action, adventure, science, history, as well as really great characters that you really care about.
Each new book I read in the series is fascinating- I learn a lot from them about a range of things(eg. in this one, topics include GM crops, Saint Malachi, the Domesday book). All written in such a way that it is informative, plot-related and extremely interesting,
Paul Pessolano
Oct 27, 2015 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Doomsday Key” by James Rollins, published by William Morrow.

Category – Mystery/Thriller Publication Date – 2009

I continue to read, albeit sometimes late, the books of James Rollins. I do this because his stories have a basis in history, contain actual truths, and just explodes with adventure, daring, and excitement.

What if there was a Catholic Saint, Saint Malachy, who described the last few modern Popes and that the last pope would be named Petrus Romanus and would signal the end of the wo
Sep 11, 2012 Leah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this, and at least 4 of the other Sigma Force series books, because someone in my apartment building left them in our communal library in the building lobby, so consider this a review of the entire series. These are monstrously silly books. The plot is always outlandish, the writing is cheesy and the books are riddled with various editing errors. One of the books involves a colony of autistic savant children being raised in the shadows of Chernobyl by Russian politicians bent on using the ...more
As a die-hard Rollins fan, I eagerly grabbed this book within weeks of it's release. The plotline revisited some of my favorite characters, including the mysterious Seichan. I was hoping for a resolution of the Grey/Seichan romance, but I will warn any potential readers that the resolution is a bit of a grey area (drum riff).

The plotline of this entry focuses on an influential owner of a bioengineering company who has plans to "save" the world through controversial means as well as following alo
Jun 21, 2010 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
James Rollins action/adventure thriller novels are always far fetched, though the scientific details always have a basis in fact. This time, in The Doomsday Key, the scientific storyline delves into the areas of genetically modified foods, fungal viruses and super enzymes. The regular cast of characters are there, Gray, Monk, Painter, etc. with the addition of Rachel and Seichan in a new twist. I'm always very keen on the scientific elements and arcane bits of knowledge, and in this, the novel d ...more
I was a little late to the party with Rollins' Sigma Force series, reading the first five paperbacks in rapid fire during the summer of 2009, and as such I ended up having to wait till 2010 to get to The Doomsday Key. I could not wait for it after reading the preview at the end of the paperback edition of The Last Oracle.

To this point in the series, it's the most intriguing one yet. (The sequels are just as intriguing, if not more so.) It's all about the threat of overpopulation, and the storage
Jun 09, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, mystery
The Guild Plot to Starve the World. Troubling events conspire to jerk Sigma into action, as they dispatch their slugger to Rome to help a former lover Rachel combat evil that attacked her uncle at the Vatican trying to steal a mysterious relic. SEN Gorman's son's murder at an experimental UN crop station in Mali redirects Gray and company to NE England to investigate the origin of a mysterious illness that wiped out entire villages during the Druid era, with the culprit pointing to a mutant food ...more
This was not as exciting as other Sigma Force or stand-alone novels by Rollins. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for reading a typical action/adventure novel, because all the necessary elements of the genre were undeniably present. There was the stock villain, who: a) may or may not be played by a beautiful, mysterious, and deadly female, and b) may be working in secret or as a double agent. Next, there were the implausible chase and rescue scenes. In “The Doomsday Key”, these result in ...more
Jul 27, 2013 Antonia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a hot mess! Had it not been my book club pick, I would have tossed it in the donation bin by page 41 where Rollins writes that Gray wanted to bring Monk with him to Italy. He doesn't know the difference between bring and take. This is after a trundling tour bus swooped and a hospital smelled like dread (what?)The writing is terrible. Rollins' editor must have been napping. I have to give Rollins props for his success as an author when he can't write. The Doomsday Key was billed as a ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted a globe-trotting thriller flavored with history and popular science--and I received all of the above while reading another one of James Rollins's Sigma books. This marks my fifth read in the series, as well as the first that I have read in chronological order. Speaking of: I appreciate the way that Rollins is building the Guild as an overall protagonist. Usually supergroups like Sigma don't find a worthy opponent; I get the sense that Rollins has a longterm view of the series, and that ...more
Jun 13, 2015 Gabe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this is a nice relaxing book, easy and decent, an adventure based on some real facts that happens on real places and with plenty of symbolism and history that actually exist in real life.

There is a well constructed plot, a group of characters that will take you places with their journey and based on some historical data, there are plenty of twists and turns at every corner.

Without reveling much, so I won't spoil your fun, I would say that the main theme of the book is quite interesting, the
B.  Barron
May 12, 2012 B. Barron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Somewhat to my surprise I actually enjoyed this one. Normally I find the Super-secret near-superhuman solderer kind of dull, what with their improbable names, rugged good looks, quirky names or nicknames, and quit wits in a pinch; add to that this group is also suppose to be massively intelligent, trained not only as warriors excelled by no-one in history but also as scientists, researchers, and mechanics on the same level as the best in the world and I kind of expected to yawn my way through. B ...more
I finished The Doomsday Key.

James Rollins is just frustrating. How can I survive until summer 2011?
This case was interesting but not the best of the author. At least I think the others were written in a more appellative way.
I have to confess I feel pretty paradoxical about this book. I really liked to know about Saint Malachai and all the things about the Popes and well it is really freaky by the way. I also loved all the things about the Celts and the Domesday Book. That was really interesti
Jun 06, 2009 J.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads, arc
A Good Summer Read

I've only read a small number of James Rollins' books; but, from my understanding, THE DOOMSDAY KEY is exactly what fans of his will expect and love. It has an easy to read and enjoyable plot involving multiple murders, biotechnology, chemical agents, history, and lore. THE DOOMSDAY KEY is truly an adventure, taking readers from Africa to locations all over Europe, to the Arctic.

I am not familiar with the characters, but I believe they have made appearances in previous Rollins
Apr 25, 2010 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Car chases, crashes, bombs, and assassinations. Welcome to James Rollins newest book “Doomsday Key”. Although very action packed there lies an interesting twisting plot that makes this book a great read that kept me intrigued to the end. While the plot was very interesting it took a while to get going. The beginning of the book started out slow but slowly gained momentum and led up to a bang. James Rollins continues to impress with his fast paced action and slow mind puzzles that I enjoyed foll ...more
Alex Telander
Sep 20, 2010 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE DOOMSDAY KEY BY JAMES ROLLINS: Commander Guy Pierce and Sigma Force return under the prolific writing hands of bestselling author James Rollins. In The Doomsday Key, Rollins brings lots of different and seemingly individual elements together in a fast-paced adventure that will leave you reading on the edge of your seat.

Three bodies are discovered on three continents, all murdered under mysterious circumstances, and all bearing a unique Pagan symbol: a cross within a circle. Sigma Force are b
Sep 12, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beginning with medieval clerics taking a census for King Edward's Domesday Book and moving into real-life matters such as genetically modified crops and industrial espionage, James Rollins has created an outstanding thriller.

The book opens with the census takers and moves rapidly to what initially appear to be four unrelated murders -- except that all four victims have been branded with the same symbol on their foreheads. A friend of one victim passes an artifact on to his niece, which sets an i
The Doomsday Key has all the thrills, chills, and spills of your standard mass market novel pitched to males of a certain age. Yet some surprisingly well crafted passages too. There lurks the soul of a less imaginative Dan Brown or Michael Crichton here, but a better writer than the former and one to rival the latter. The Doomsday Key is in-flight reading start to finish. Adjust your expectations accordingly. (Non-spoiler alert: crazy cheesy cover may cause embarrassment on bus to work, or in li ...more
Apr 20, 2013 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Rollins is one of my favorite authors. He not only tells a great story but he is a great writer. His way of honing in on the details brings his books alive in a unique way. The sigma force group is a band of hero's led by Gray Pierce. In this book they continue their adventures around the world as they race against time to it. In this book you will encounter mystery, loyalty, action, and love. If you've followed sigma force from previous books then the continued look into these characters ...more
William Bailey
Aug 27, 2009 William Bailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first James Rollins book I’ve read, and I must say It was a fabulous read. Even though this books runs in a series, it still stands alone and I had no problem understanding or following the characters. The way the story ended bothered me just a little, but other than that, inside the covers was a great place for my mind to inhabit a world full of spies, secret guilds, murder, intrigue, espionage, along with nonstop action. Every chapter ends by parking your imagination on the edge of ...more
Aug 11, 2013 Candy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this as an audio book lent by a friend. It was a first experience with a James Rollins book, and was meant to provide entertainment through many, many hours on the road. It was, however, a book we listened to over a period of a few months. In that regard, it was necessary to reacquaint, with not only the story, but the characters with a bit of time in between.

Found it to be an interesting premise (although not original): good guys vs. bad guys, scientists and FBI/CIA agents, plus som
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James Rollins is a #1 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 12 books)
  • Sandstorm (Sigma Force, #1)
  • Map of Bones (Sigma Force, #2)
  • Black Order (Sigma Force, #3)
  • The Judas Strain (Sigma Force, #4)
  • The Last Oracle (Sigma Force, #5)
  • 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)

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“AUTHOR’S NOTE TO READERS: TRUTH OR FICTION Everything in this book is true, except for what’s not. I thought I’d end this adventure by splitting those hairs. First, two elements gave birth to this story. I came upon each independently, but I knew there had to be a connection and that Sigma would need to investigate.” 0 likes
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