Sabrina's Reviews > Sandstorm

Sandstorm by James Rollins
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Apr 14, 12

Read in March, 2012

An explosion at the London museum destroys a portion of the Kensington Gallery, a collection of priceless antiquities, many collected from the Arabian dessert. This mysterious explosion alerts various covert organizations from around the world, and send Lady Laura Kensington and her closest friend Safia al-Maaz, the curator of the collection around the world on an adventure seeking the source of the explosion and answers to Lady Laura's father's disappearance many years earlier.

Along the way, Lady Laura and Safia are joined by Omaha Dunn, Safia's former love interest, Omaha's brother, and Painter Crowe, a member of Sigma Force, a covert government operation. For there is more to this explosion than meets the eye, which becomes apparent when Safia becomes a target of another mysterious organization, whose operations are lead by Crowe's former partner, who has betrayed Sigma. The treachery becomes even more complicated when the entire expedition seems to become the target of yet another mysterious group.

Lady Kennsington, Safia, Omaha and Danny Dunn, and Painter Crowe set off to the Arabian desert to find the origins of one of the treasures that had been housed in the Kensington Collection which seems to have been the center or the source of the explosion. If they are correct, they must keep a source of unimaginable power from falling into the wrong hands.

Rollins weaves an interesting tale of intrigue and betrayal. Overall the action of the book comes at a pretty fast clip and keeps you both entertained and intrigued. Perhaps the best part of the book, however, is Rollins' treatment of the characters. The characters were complex and flawed. This isn't a cliched tale that follows the plot line of covert operative saves the day and gets the girl like many similar texts do. There is romance involved, but Rollins focuses on the complexities and the action of political intrigue and subterfuge within a covert government operation and other mysterious organizations that may have governmental ties as well.

The one reason that the book doesn't rate a higher rating for me is that Rollins introduces so many characters in a short span near the beginning of the book that it becomes difficult trace who is who until the characters come together. Before the characters come together, I found myself wondering how Rollins was going to tie together what seemed to be the different story lines of Lady Kensington plus Safia and Painter Crowe and his former partner. The book felt a bit disjointed at the beginning. But once Rollins tied the two story lines together and the characters actually came together, that disjointedness smoothed into a seamless action-packed story.
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