Friday, July 26, 2013
What they find are footprints left across history, secrets that indirectly made their way from Saint Thomas to Attila the Hun to Genghis Khan and eventually Monsignor Vigor Verona.
After receiving the artifacts from former colleague Father Josip Tarasco, the monsignor immediately discovered the extraordinary. He has the skull, inscribed in Jewish Aramaic, and human skin-bound tomb, the Gospel of Thomas, tested at a lab.
The results are unlikely and compelling. The DNA belongs to Genghis Khan, artifacts the conquerer had created to spiritually imbue his empire after death.
At the same time Verona is sorting out a mystery that will eventually convince him to look for an ancient cross made of meteoric metal, Sigma Force operative Painter Crowe watches an IoG satellite crash into the atmosphere and scatter itself across Mongolia. It was originally sent to study a comet passing uncomfortably close to Earth because it was disturbing dark energy in its wake.
Its last transmission predicts a horrifying future. The entire eastern seaboard of the United States is on fire. And it's this revelation that will put Crowe and company on the same path as the Vatican in search of the Eye Of God.
All the complexity of history, archeology, philosophy, and quantum physics.
Any story involving the fictional division of the U.S. DARPA program, SIGMA Force, is worthy of being short listed on a summer reading list. They're scientists. They're special ops. And they take on assignments on the fringe of realty, or perhaps more accurately, redefine what we know of it.
While Rollins often says that starting with the first book in his long-running series is best, any Sigma Force novel is good enough to stand on its own. Picking any of them up based on the storyline or stakes always makes for a great introduction. Rollins continues to add new fans along the way, with The Eye Of God being his ninth installment.
As such, this novel doesn't disappoint. Rollins revives his gift for planting one foot firmly in the mysteries of history and another in what scientists, quantum physicists, and philosophers are trying to understand today.
While sometimes he takes some creative license, such as settling on a singular account of who killed Attila the Hun, every shred of content is researched well enough to springboard readers into scientific research after the novel. And, at the same time, he takes his characters to exotic and sometimes dangerous locations.
In this case, they spend significant time in North Korea, Mongolia, China, and Russia around the Aral Sea, which is the all-too-real ecological nightmare that turned the fourth-largest lake into one of the largest hazardous wastelands on the planet. As they navigate these places, it's sometimes difficult to reconcile how some suffer while others exploit the world for nothing more than creature comforts, decadence and wealth.
It all feels especially wasted at times while considering what humankind could be pursuing instead. There are fascinating things to be learned at the intersection of dark energy, quantum physics, multiverses, and consciousness.
And then there is the comet ISON. Called IKON in the book, ISON may become the comet of the century. The comet itself presents an interesting twist in the story as it becomes the nemesis more than the various groups that stand in their way, often for unrelated reasons.
The Eye Of God by James Rollins Spins 8.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.
The Eye Of God: A Sigma Force Novel is nothing less than a masterwork of scientific adventure and historic intrigue from an author who has emerged as one of the finest thinking storytellers of his generation. Rollins meticulously mines physicists and historians for questions much bigger than the ones that dominate the media. And once he finds them, he expertly packages them into an addictive action-adventure where everything hangs in the balance.
For more on Rollins, see other reviews. For The Eye of God: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins, visit Amazon. You can also find The Eye Of God at Barnes & Noble or download it for iBooks. The audiobook is read by Christian Baskous. The change from Peter Jay Fernandez, who read his last two novels, shook up some listeners.