Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Seventh Plague

I am a fan of James Rollins' Sigma Force novels.  The Seventh Plague is his 18th novel in the series and his 23rd novel to date.  The inside front cover blurb summarizes the novel as follows:

"Two years after vanishing into the Sudanese desert, the leader of a British archeological expedition, Professor Harold McCabe, comes stumbling out of the sands, frantic and delirious, but he dies before he can tell his story.  The mystery deepens when an autopsy uncovers a bizarre corruption: someone has begun to mummify the professor's body-while he was still alive.

His strange remains are returned to London for further study, when alarming news arrives from Egypt.  The medical team that had performed the man's autopsy has fallen ill with an unknown disease, one that is quickly spreading throughout Cairo.  Fearing the worst, a colleague of the professor reaches out to a longtime friend: Painter Crowe, the director of Sigma Force.  The call is urgent, for Professor McCabe had vanished into the desert while searching for proof of the ten plagues of Moses.  As the pandemic grows, a disturbing question arises:  Are those plagues starting again?

Before Director Crowe can investigate, a mysterious group of assassins leaves behind a fiery wake of destruction and death, erasing all evidence.  With the professor's body incinerated, his home firebombed, Sigma Force must turn to the archeologist's only daughter, Jane McCabe, for help.  While sifting through what's left of her father's work, she discovers a puzzling connection tying the current threat to a shocking historical mystery, one involving the travels of Mark Twain, the genius of Nikola Tesla, and the adventures of famous explorer Henry Morgan Stanley.

To unravel a secret going back millennia, Director Crowe and Commander Grayson Pierce will be thrust to opposite sides of the globe.  One will search for the truth, traveling to the plague ridden streets of Cairo to a vast ancient tomb buried under the burning sands of the Sudan; the other will struggle to stop a mad genius locked within a remote Arctic engineering complex, risking the lives of all those he holds dear.

As the global crisis grows even larger, Sigma Force will confront a threat born of the ancient past and made real by the latest science-a danger that will unleash cascading series of plagues, culminating in a scourge that could kill all of the world's children. . . decimating humankind forever."

I expected alot from this story but was disappointed.  I found myself skipping pages because I was only interested in the part about the ancient past.  This was not a thriller for me at all.  First of all, this is not your typical Sigma Force novel.  Some of the series' dominant characters had small roles and the storyline was not a usual Sigma Force plot.  Second, the subplot involving the assassins did not fit well with the rest of the story and neither did the subplot about the genius in the Arctic. I think the author should have stuck with the main plot and run with it.

Very disappointed as James Rollins is one of my favorite authors.

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