Saturday, June 6, 2009

Review: The Doomsday Key by James Rollins

Title: The Doomsday Key
Author: James Rollins
Copyright: 2009
Publisher: William Morrow
ISBN: 0061231401

Notes: A Novel of the Sigma Force


A Good Summer Read - 4 stars - a book review

I've only read a small number of James Rollins' books; but, from my understanding, THE DOOMSDAY KEY is exactly what fans of his will expect and love. It has an easy to read and enjoyable plot involving multiple murders, biotechnology, chemical agents, history, and lore. THE DOOMSDAY KEY is truly an adventure, taking readers from Africa to locations all over Europe, to the Arctic.

I am not familiar with the characters, but I believe they have made appearances in previous Rollins books. Rollins excels in painting these people in precarious situations with real responses. They are believable and their actions are reasonable (for the most part). There were a couple of moments when I was truly impressed with their thought processes, and Rollins did a nice job of showing the internal moral struggles during these moments.

What else is there? Tons and tons of action. The only times when there is no action is when the characters are learning about the history of the artifact they seek, thus having dialogues and research sessions to fill themselves (and the reader) in on what they are trying to achieve. The action is almost over the top, and at times recklessly unbelievable. Rollins has no shame in destroying national monuments and tearing down anything and everything. This caviler attitude almost turned me off because there is no follow up on events that would seem impossible to get away with, and little discussion of the ramifications of such actions. However, it is a story, and these events were fun to read and created an enjoyable experience.

The plot revolving around the Doomsday Key and the Doomsday Book was interesting and moderately well researched, providing the lore with some semblance of believability. Although these artifacts were interesting, it was not breathtaking and "grab you by the throat." For some, the story could be a little too much action and not enough substance; but like any summer action movie: sometimes that is what we prefer.

Overall, THE DOOMSDAY KEY is a good summer read. If you are looking for a book that is easy to read, fast paced, doesn't involve a lot of thinking, and filled with action, I recommend picking it up. If you are looking for something with a little more substance or something with "a little more to it," you might consider passing on THE DOOMSDAY KEY.

Good reading,

Plants and Books

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