Sarah's Reviews > The Doomsday Key

The Doomsday Key by James Rollins
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

it was amazing

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 unconnected events are puzzle pieces sending his team on a race to find the antidote to a horrific and ancient wasting disease about to be unleashed. In this adventure Gray's former lover Rachel, Guild operative/mole Seichan, Monk, Kowalski and a new agent race to beat the Guild to the antidote.
From the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, to an island off the coast of Wales, peat bogs in England and an ancient monastery in France, the book is a travel guide of places I want to visit. The author's descriptions alone are worth the reading, and the fact that it's part of a well-constructed mystery is all the better.
But what really holds these stories together and creates the magic are the characters. There is a history with each character, a three-dimensional background of everyday life, relationships, foibles and quirks (hello, Kowalski!!) that make them seem real and let the reader care about what is happening. I feel like I know them, and each adventure adds to that for me.
A few more clues to the mysterious and seemingly omniscient Guild are given here, and Seichan has a larger role. More insights into her past are given, and she is less the assassin and more the human agent here than in previous novels. The new guy, Creed, is an interesting addition and a good counterpoint for Monk, back on active duty following a lengthy recovery. It was fun to see Monk, a seasoned agent compared to Creed, play the role of senior agent/teacher. I can't give away much more without spoiling the plot, but the book was excellent.
I am a huge fan of Rollins - he is probably my favorite thriller writer, along with Steve Berry (Cotton Malone series) and Lee Child (Jack Reacher series). He seamlessly blends fact, history, legend, technology and fiction into a cohesive, exciting adventure. And at the end he clarifies what is real and what is made up - it's absolutely fascinating how much of his books are real.
Now on to The Devil Colony (Sigma Force #7), so I will be caught up before Deep Fathom (a stand-alone novel) is released in March 2012!
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