Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Working on a book review in Jamaica

Welcome to Monster Fest 2010. We continue the October celebration of books past and present that are sure to haunt your dreams. The recently released paperback “The Doomsday key” by James Rollins is a frightful beginning for our festival. What could be more terrifying than genetically altered crops? Toss in world domination conspiracies, the plague, religious relics, the Celts and the Norwegians and you’ve got a truly strange brew.

“The Doomsday Key” is the sixth book in the Sigma Force action series and definitely one of the best. It isn’t necessary to read the previous books but after reading this one you will be tempted to go back and read the series in order. The first few chapters reestablish the characters before the adventure begins so a little patience is required – but then it’s a fast paced ride.

Commander Gray Pierce and his team must race against the clock to solve an ancient riddle that prophesies the end of the world. There seems to be a link between the deaths of a famous geneticist, a Vatican archaeologist and a Senator’s son when they are found branded with the same ancient pagan cross symbol. There is also some mysterious connection between the ancient Doomsday Book and a recent genetic crop research project. The team splits up to follow leads in Norway and the British Isles. In both locations motorcycle chases, snowmobile adventures, explosions and fires continually threaten the lives of the good guys.

Rollins is Michael Crichton and Dan Brown rolled into one. He combines modern scientific ethical dilemmas with historical religious mysteries. I like the generous amount of pages spent on explaining peat bogs, for example. You can feel better about wasting time reading an adventure book when you come away with random trivial knowledge that has absolutely no practical application.

Did I mention the black mummified finger? That alone is a qualifier for a Monster Fest book selection. The wonderful Michele Richings will be reviewing her choice for creepy literature as the official guest reviewer for the next two weeks and I expect her choices will be equally nightmarish.

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