Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Doomsday Key

I just read the latest James Rollins novel, The Doomsday Key. He's one of my favorite authors. I stumbled across his Map of Bones a few years ago, recommended for fans of The DaVinci Code (which I'd read recently), and subsequently devoured everything else that he'd written. All action-adventure-type stuff, the kind of books that a lot of people might dismiss as fluff, but I love them. Dan Brown may have been my introduction to the genre, but James Rollins definitely got me hooked.

I put a hold on the book at my library two days after it was released. I looked it up in the catalogue on a whim, not expecting them to have something that had just come out. Imagine my surprise when, not only does almost every library in our area have a copy, but they're all checked out! (I guess I was just used to the NIU library where I worked in college; new fiction wasn't exactly their highest priority.) So I put a hold on it, but didn't know how many people might be ahead of me or how long I'd have to wait.

Well, new books are allowed out for two weeks. And yesterday, exactly two weeks after the day it was released -- and presumably checked out -- I got a notice saying that it was ready for pickup. I read it in a span of about 24 hours, and returned it to the library today so the next person in line (assuming there is one) could get it that much sooner. Knowing others could be waiting prompted me to read it a little faster than I might have otherwise . . . but not by much. The suspense really drove the story.

I would definitely recommend James Rollins to anyone who enjoys this type of reading . . . but I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book, at least not as your introduction to the author. This is the sixth in his "Sigma Force" series, and while each book pretty much stands alone in terms of plot, the characters and their lives carry over. Each book does refer to a bit of what's happened previously, and it builds more and more the later in the series you go.

For example, I read Map of Bones (the 2nd book) without reading Sandstorm (the 1st book) and there were maybe two short references to what had happened previously. Black Order (the 3rd book) stands on its own pretty well too. Past that, though, and I'd recommend starting from the beginning.

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