James Rollins – The Doomsday Key : Book Review

the doomsday key

Henry Kissinger once said – ‘Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.’
The above quote forms the basic structure of a villain’s ideology in the Doomsday Key by James Rollins. As a part of Rollins’ main series, this book focuses on the Sigma Force, the covert wing of DARPA – the Defence Advance Research Projects Agency. All the major recurring characters of this series are like one big complex family. All their operatives are Special Forces soldiers who have undergone extensive training in scientific disciplines to join Sigma.
Rollins blends real science and history to try to give rational explanations to legends. The book begins with three brutal murders – one in an African crop research field; another in the Vatican; one more in the Princeton University – to cover up something big.
The Sigma group is split up into two teams and begin getting sucked into the conspiracy. One double cross leads to another till the end. Twists and turns spice up an intriguing plot to make it a fun read.
The main focus is on finding an object called the Doomsday Key that has been hinted in the historical 12th-century tome, The Domesday Book. The good guys want it to save lives while the villains need it for their schemes to succeed. The Guild, a recurring antagonist group of the series manages to bring out a compelling anti-hero in Krista.
An exciting chase through Rome leads to the firebombing of the Colosseum. The plot paces across Europe from the British Isles to the Nordic tundra. From Celtic lore to Norse history, Legends of Arthur, Merlin, and Avalon to Pagan crosses and myths behind St.Bernard and St. Malachy are all really fun to learn here. A conspiracy that relates Merlin, the Black Madonna and Isis(The Egyptian Goddess) is just mindblowing.
Fungal bio-weapons, honey bees, and GMOs all relate to the villain’s diabolical scheme to control the human population. WASP daggers, thermobaric weapons, and kinetic fireballs are some of the marvelously realistic weapons used in this book.
Scenes, where hundreds of polar bears attack mercenaries and others which include solving puzzles to survive booby traps at tombs, keep your adrenaline rushing. Yet, there are pauses in the pacing to slow down and have an intellectual discourse.
James Rollins really humanizes his characters with scenes where everyone can relate to be it about bromance, romance, friendship, personal struggles or sheer fun. Despite the fact that Grayson Pierce, Monk and Painter Crowe take center stage in terms of importance, Kowalski will surely manage to make you laugh through his crazy lines. The love triangle between Gray, Rachel and Seichan is so weird, it’s unique. Rollins scores strong points in body language and relationships between his characters that make the reader understand them with all their flaws.
This book is for those who want an intellectual action-adventure thrill ride, that will leave them enlightened.
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