| Rollins explores Quantum Evolution spiritually and technically in this scientific, historical and adventures epic. Questions behind life itself and a rational explanation for a higher power has been smoothly answered in this techno-thriller that left me awe-struck, mindblown and emotionally satisfied.
This series follows the exploits of Sigma Force, a covert wing of DARPA, that consists of special forces operatives who are specially trained in scientific disciplines. Many have described the Sigma operatives as scientists with guns. This is the third book in the series that has continued for more than a decade. Reading these books in order gives a better understanding of the characters and their enemies but Black Order can be read as a standalone.
In this book, the Sigma team is split into two groups to handle different problems that are connected. Commander Grayson Pierce is in Europe to track a connection between rare copies of science books and terrorism. Things go haywire leading him to go on the run with Fiona, a foul-mouthed teen, whom he feels responsible for. The pair’s humorous banter makes their dangers feel light.
Painter Crowe, the director of Sigma, finds himself infected in a Buddhist monastery near Mt.Everest in Nepal. He survives the slaughter of infected rabid, mindless monks and escapes with Lisa, a doctor who is on the Everest for research, but soon they get captured by the Knights of the Black Sun. These super-soldiers are Nazis.
Soon the two plots spanning between Europe and the Himalayas tie up to Himmler’s Black Order and Nazi occult who are obsessed with creating the perfect Aryan race to succeed humanity. Two factions of rival Nazis bring Sigma into a quest to understand and perfect life as we know it. But that brings in its own dangers.
Despite the enormous length of each chapter, each of them contained enough of either action or intellectual discussions to keep most people excited. The White-Blond supersoldiers are uniquely designed foes who give Sigma a really tough time. What surpasses the two parallel plots is the epic ending in South Africa with unique monsters. The concept of the awesome beasts is something nobody other than James Rollins can make seem scientifically real.
Though I enjoyed it, it seems unrealistic for a book to have more action than 50 Micheal Bay movies. I’d like to point that in Rollins’ recent books he has used most of the pages to build character and to explore the science and history behind the plot. Though this was one of his early Sigma books, it contains enough character development and knowledge between the action to satisfy even serious readers.
Rollins brings about a tantalizing chemistry between all his characters both recurring and temporary in the series. Some parts of the book had the flavor of Ian Fleming’s works but managed to stay true to Rollins’ original formula.