To Read Makes Our Speaking English Good: James Rollins’ SIGMA Series


Tomorrow, August 12, James Rollins will be releasing his book The 6th Extinction.  It is the tenth in his Sigma Force series, and I thought I’d take the chance to recommend this great set of books!

Over the past few years, James Rollins has quickly become one of

my favourite contemporary authors – he currently fills the void for me left by the unfortunate passing of Tom Clancy.  I actually picked up my first Rollins’ book, Subterranean, in an airport Powell’s while waiting for a flight.  When I returned home from my trip I made it a point to hit up the actual Powell’s (for those of you not in the Portland area, I feel sad for you; if you ever make it out here, please be sure to hit up Powell’s if you’re a book lover. Greatest. Place. On. Earth.)

Rollins specializes in action/adventure/thriller-type books, though he apparently got his start in the fantasy realm – I haven’t read any of those, but I look forward to it.  After his first five stand-alone novels, Rollins embarked on a series he titled SIGMA Force after the division of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency of the US Department of Defense) he created for the purposes of these works.  Rollins has published 9 books in the series since the first one in 2004, only missing one year thus far.

Set in the current day, Rollins draws heavily on the past for content to include in this series.  From ancient Native American nanotechnologies to the Greek Oracles to deadly ancient viruses to the Magi present during the childhood of Jesus to the very origins of life – Rollins weaves intricate stories that make you question just how much you really know, and wonder what may be possible.  To prevent confusion though – he does his due diligence at the back of every book and includes footnotes on where he got his material, what’s real, and what’s conjecture.  While SIGMA Force – let by now-Director Painter Crowe – handles anything that’s thrown at them, they are not alone in their attempts to discover and control the truth: a rival organization known as ‘The Guild’ competes with them at every turn for their own profit and purposes.  Through the story-arc of the current nine books there seems to be an end-game for ‘The Guild’, but SIGMA continues to thwart them and at last glance seemed to have the upper-hand.

This series has great character development – you’ll love these guys and worry about them at every turn.  Some of the characters you’ll enjoy: field team leader Commander Grey Pierce; Monk, the one-armed fighter; Joe Kowalski, a guy who reminds me very much of Jayne from Firefly or Casey from Chuck; Seichan, the (reformed?) assassin; and many more.

Bottom line – Rollins has compiled a great series here, it has everything: gripping and believable storylines, awesome action scenes throughout, the kind of character development I like to see in series I read, and enough to keep you coming back for more (if not looking for more every chance you get). 

I would recommend you read this series and it’s upcoming installment, The 6th Extinction.  Since this is a series it is meant to be read in order, so here it is:

  • Sandstorm
  • Map of Bones
  • Black Order
  • The Judas Strain
  • The Last Oracle
  • The Doomsday Key
  • The Devil Colony
  • Bloodline
  • The Eye of God
  • The 6th Extinction (coming tomorrow, August 12th)

Good reading, fellow bibliophiles!

~ J.T. Riles ~



Categories: To Read Makes Our Speaking English Good

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1 reply

  1. The only thing that LOCO MOTIVE reads is the MENU AT THE BANDITTO BURRRRRITTTO!!! Viva La Pollo Fajita!!!


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