Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review: The Devil's Colony

The Devil's Colony: A Sigma Force Novel
James Rollins
479 pages

The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins combines the historical mystery of National Treasure with the intensity of 24 in this action adventure about gold plates and American Indians. Aside from minor criticisms the narrative flows quickly and forms an almost nonstop series of action sequences that entertained and involved the reader to a point that I heartily recommend this book to interested parties.

Just like National Treasure movies the book starts with an excellent hook involving cloak dagger action on the frontier, Indian warfare, and the Founding Fathers. Quickly transporting the reader to the modern day a couple of teenagers stumble upon an ancient Indian cave and set in motion a chain of events involving gold plates, government conspiracies and ancient secret orders. This reader was confused as those that seemed to be candidates for the main character died or faded away quickly. The next few sections added to my confusion as the author introduced various members of the Sigma team. But once introduced the plot moved along in a compelling series of 24 style action sequences.

The book had several typos readily apparent to Mormon eyes. The BYU anthropologist that assists the government team in hunting down the ancient gold plates refers to the Church as the “Church of Latter Day Saints” and The Book of Mormon was translated by “John Smith”. There are also about a dozen f words and at least one s word in the book. While this is a paltry number compared to a standard hour in the Marine Corps it may be offensive enough to discourage the average Latter Day Saint reader. But in defense of that language, at a few moments in the book I felt like saying “hot damn” as I tried to catch my breath during the incredible action sequences.

The bread and butter of the series is its’ action sequences and Rollins does not disappoint. Some of the highlights include breaking out of Fort Knox, a series of encounters with a physically imposing and sadistic German mercenary, and a helicopter escape from an imploding island. There are codas that introduce the members of the team and a final few sections that introduce threads which will presumably fill the next book. Outside of several very minor criticisms I heartily recommend this book to friends and family. In fact I had to steal it back from my mother to complete this review.

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