Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Sandstorm

Sandstorm by James Rollins
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Well, if you're going to have insomnia, this is one heck of a book to have handy. It took me a long time to finish this book because I had so many irons in the fire towards the end of last year. I am so glad that I did pick it up now, because it turned out to be a very rewarding read.

Just a few of Danielle's Late Night Review Observations:

1) James Rollins writes detail-oriented, science heavy action/adventure. It took me a bit to get used to his writing style, but I have to say it really worked for me. Since I am a self-admitted science nerd, I found the scientific aspects quite interesting, and it usually didn't go too far over my head. I loved Coral Novak's character. A tough as nails special forces operative, who is also a serious brainiac. Which leads me to my next point.
2) I think Mr. Rollins really loves and respects women. Painter Crowe and Omaha Dunn are strong, pivotal characters in this novel, but the women really carry the show. This novel is underscored and wrapped in the depths and characterization of women, from the shy, introverted, scholarly, tortured Safia, to her more outgoing adoptive sister, Lady Kara, who is equally tortured, to the seriously twisted villain character (a major spoiler) if you haven't read the book, and then there are the mysterious women of the Ubar descent who trace their origins back to the Queen of Sheba. Although I thought that Lady Kara could have been more fleshed out, I think overall Rollins did a great job of rounding out this book with incredible women.
3)Painter Crowe and Omaha Dunn surprise you, because they are a lot more emotional than I would expect tough guy action heroes to be. Painter actually gets choked up a few times. It was sexy. And I loved the image of him running around in his boxers. (I'm a bit boy crazy, I freely admit) I like a man who can be free with his emotions. Omaha is in the Indiana Jones vein, but with a soft-hearted depth that Jones doesn't quite show with women; he's never fallen out of love with Safia, even with the bad mistakes he made. That's another plus with this novel that Rollins is unafraid to stray from gender conventions, and dare I say, stereotypes.
4)Going back to point 1, (forgive me, it's almost four am, and my brain is muzzy), I like that Rollins does his research to write a story that is about the possible and the plausible. I loved the fact that he built this imaginative science/fantastical adventure on a foundation of real life facts.
5)The action in this book is hot and heavy. When I said it was detailed in the science facts, don't let that scare you away. Mr. Rollins doesn't let his readers down when it comes to things blowing up, characters in serious jeopardy, and yes, violent, gruesome deaths. Nothing gratuitous mind you. If you like all the hardware and high tech action meeting the ancient treasure hunting motif, you'll be a happy camper with this novel.

Wrapping my wobbly thoughts together, I thought this would just be a four star novel because of the fact it took a while to get into the book. However, I have talked myself into a higher rating during this review, actually as I read the incredible imagery in this book at its climax. I was mentally reading with my mouth wide open. A guy who can write with this kind of depth and imagination is a man I want to read more of. I have to give this book 4.5 stars at the minimum.

Highly recommended!
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Reading Progress

10/14/2011 page 165
27.0%
01/05/2012 page 362
60.0% "Cassandra is a real piece of work. I like Safia more than Kara."
02/05/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

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message 1: by Markm (new)

Markm awesone book Rollins rocks has gotten better each book.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I need to finish this. It's good, I just got sidetracked with review and challenge reads.


message 3: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Smith I haven't read this one(the only one in the series which hasn't been published in Serbia), but I did read all the others in the series. I find these books fascinating. And sometimes creepy, like The Judas Strain thing, which freaked me out big time.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Ooh, that makes me want to read it. I love a creep factor (I'm twisted that way). Definitely check this out if you like Rollins. Color me impressed!


message 5: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Smith I will, eventually. BTW, all the other books are connected. They share the same characters. Not all of them, of course, but most. And if you like creep factor in books...Have you read the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston&Lincoln Child? They're also Mystery with great characterizations and a definite capacitity to freak me out. You could try The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3) by Douglas Preston. It's not the first in the series, but can be read independently, and I loved it.


message 6: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Jan 07, 2012 02:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) You must be reading my mind. I do have Cabinet of Curiosities. I hope to start it soon. Pendergast's character intrigues me.


message 7: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Smith Telepathy would be grand, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, I'm not that lucky, lol. And I love Pendergast, he's so...weird.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Weird is good. Very good. Thanks for the nudge on reading it sooner!


Alice I'm all ready to let you share Painter with me too. :)

Cabinet of Curiosities is great, as is Still Life with Crows. They are more gruesome than Rollins, but I am quite sure you'll love Pendergast as much as I do.


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Love the review!

And you have a whole string of Painter Crowe and Sigma to enjoy. They stay good all the way through Devil Colony.

And Sophia is a wonderful character! REad the back of the book and you'll see references to where Rollins learned his science from and did his research. That's really cool stuff too!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Hugh! I did read the author's note, and it was very cool. Adds to my respect for Rollins. I'm glad the series quality stays good.

Alice, I appreciate that! I'm looking forward to meeting Pendergast.


message 12: by Markm (new)

Markm COC was the first exposure Pendergast series. IMHO the best of the series so far.


message 13: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Smith Markm wrote: "COC was the first exposure Pendergast series. IMHO the best of the series so far."

Hmmm, my first book was Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4) by Douglas Preston, and I'm not sure what my favorite one would be. COC scared the crap out of me, lol.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I've seen The Relic movie, and I don't have to read the book any time soon. Someone told me COC was an okay starting point with the series.


message 15: by Keri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri Relic was an ok read to me, not as good as COC which was an awesome scary read. P and C can be hit or miss for me. SLWCs was a great read, had to suspend belief in a few places, but one of my favs. Riptide and Thunderhead was also favs. I have others, but I don't want to overwhelm the thread. :-)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Please feel free to make recommendations, Keri!


message 17: by Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (last edited Jan 09, 2012 03:57AM) (new)

Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* Great review Lady Danielle,Ive always wanted to give his books a try..is it a series or can they be read as stand-alones?(noting this is book 1)


message 18: by Keri (last edited Jan 09, 2012 05:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri Sandi, I would read the Sigma series in order as there is some character development from book to book. I know you will want to learn all of sexy Painter Crowe and Grey Pierce's secrets.


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* Keri wrote: "Sandi, I would read the Sigma series in order as there is come character developement from book to book. I know you will want to learn all of sexy Painter Crowe and Grey Pierce's secrets."

Thanks Im going to the library today,and III check and see if this one is there :)


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* wrote: "Keri wrote: "Sandi, I would read the Sigma series in order as there is come character developement from book to book. I know you will want to learn all of sexy Painter Crowe and Grey Pierce's secre..."

I second that. I read them out of order and they were good, but a lot of the longer running themes and issues had me jumping back and forth to figure out what was going on behind the scenes. I say in order works best. (For me.)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Sandi. I'm glad you got your answer from the experts here!

What's the next book in the series, Amazonia?


message 22: by The Pirate Ghost (last edited Jan 09, 2012 09:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Amazonia is a stand alone written before Sandstorm. I believe it's Map of Bones. Followed by Black Order Which has one of the more interesting young supporting characters in it. I wish we could get an update on how she's doing.


message 23: by Keri (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keri Amazonia is a standalone, but be sure and read it when you get a chance, because it was a really great book as well. That was my first exposure to JR. Hugh you are correct with the reading order. :-)


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) I've learned this neat little trick of going "add book/author" then typing in Sigma #2 and guess what happens! I'm just embarrased it took me this long to figure that out.


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* My Library dosent have Sandstorm..will have to checkout some UBS..are all his books the "Sigma" series? I was looking in one of his other books for "order-to-be-read"but they dont appear in any order..nor say"Sigma" series.


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* Hugh The Curmudgeon wrote: "I've learned this neat little trick of going "add book/author" then typing in Sigma #2 and guess what happens! I'm just embarrased it took me this long to figure that out."

Dont be Hugh! I was on here for about a year till I figured it out..Im sure we are not alone :D


message 27: by The Pirate Ghost (last edited Jan 09, 2012 11:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Lady D: on the JR discussion toppic in A/A Aficionados there are a bunch of non Sigma JR books. Some people like them better than The Sigma string. I'd say on a one vs one basis they could be right, depending on the book, but the series had gotten so developed, I still go with the Sigma Books as a favorite.

You could try Subterranean by James Rollins Ice Hunt by James Rollins Amazonia by James Rollins those are all stand alones and he has a YA series about "Jake Ransom"

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx

He's also written some "young Indiana Jones" stories too that look fun.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I have all those you listed other than Ice Hunt. I was going to try to read the ones I own first, and then proceed with the Sigma Force series.


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) I've read Subterannean and loved it, and Amazonia and loved it (better than Subterannean). I have Ice Hunt on my TBR (need to get to it) and there is one more that slipped my mind... I'll figure it out and post it up here or on the A/A JR thread.


message 30: by Yvonne (new) - added it

Yvonne We have a winner! Great review Danielle. I'm reading this one next!!


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