Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Bone Labyrinth

by James Rollins
471 pgs  (Sigma series #11)

Having read the previous 10 books in James Rollins' Sigma series, I know what I'm getting when I pick one of them up. The backstory is going to have something to do with a long-forgotten ancient myth or curse; one that has surfaced again and threatens to destroy the planet in modern times. The elite group of highly-intelligent, highly-skilled, and superbly-equipped government operatives known as Sigma Force will be called upon to save the day. The action will be over the top, the sex scene will make my eyes roll (and not in a good way), and I will finish the book with a smile on my face and ready for the next one to come out.

In The Bone Labyrinth Rollins starts with the premise that tens of thousands of years ago, some Neanderthals mated with homo sapiens and produced a highly-intelligent offspring--the ancestors of modern man. He then takes us to Rome, in 1969, and reveals the existence of a map that could reveal the location of Adam and Eve's bones. Then it's on to current day and a research facility in Atlanta, where Maria Crandall, a geneticist, is doing remarkable work with a hybrid gorilla named Baako. Baako is extremely intelligent and can speak fluent sign language.

The action begins when Maria and Baako are kidnapped by Chinese forces and taken back to a research facility in Beijing. The Chinese--in true Chinese fashion--are close to creating a race of superhumans, but need to unlock the mysteries behind why human intelligence increased so dramatically all those thousands of years ago.

Part of me feels like I should be embarrassed to admit to reading books like these. But I'm not. I'm owning my guilty pleasure. I like this series. There's nothing wrong with checking your brain at the door and suspending disbelief occasionally while you read a story that's just fun and exiting. The Bone Labyrinth is a worthy addition to the series. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to picking up The Seventh Plague next month.


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