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The Bone Labyrinth: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) by James Rollins

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Bone LabyrinthBaako is a young gorilla being raised by Dr. Maria Crandall. She is “Mama” to the isolated creature. Along with her twin sister, Lena, the two are pursuing the quest to discover a genetic advancement in human intelligence.

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Who would attack a primate research center near Atlanta, Georgia kidnapping a gorilla, his handler and his mama, better known as head researcher?

Taking some pieces of well-known facts to create an action/adventure novel which provokes further research and thinking is what master storyteller James Rollins has again accomplished in his latest novel, The Bone Labyrinth. Along this reading journey is a page-turning education with the members of Sigma Force from nine previous Rollins’ novels featuring Gray, Monk, Kim, Seichan, Kowalski and Kat. The author relies on the reader knowing the characters from the previous novels and spends the time on plot rather than character development while the story travels around the world from Atlanta, Georgia to China to Croatia to Ecuador. Why would governments be investing their time and money into archeology and anthropology? What is the significance of the numbers 37 and 73 except that they are mirror images of each other? Why was Neil Armstrong involved in an expedition to Ecuador in the mid-1970s? Why did the Great Leap Forward happen years ago advancing the intelligence of humankind? Can the Great Leap Forward be reproduced to currently enhance society today? Could a new Great Leap Forward change human DNA? What can be learned from Neanderthals, hominids and primates that could affect a Great Leap Forward? Which countries could be involved with research into changing DNA to pursue a new Great Leap Forward? Who were Father Athanasius Kircher and Father Carlos Crespi and what did they learn in their years of study? Could the moon be the product of some intelligent design? Why were two minutes missing in the transmission from the original moon landing? Where was Atlantis? What do we really know about Atlantis? All of these are combined into one enthralling thriller that is amazingly well-organized into one logical and memorable adventure.

Radiation Angels: The Chimerium Gambit by James Daniel Ross

  Radiation Angels: The Chimerium GambitReviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

How will wars be fought in the future? Ask James Daniel Ross, author of the page-turning and immensely entertaining MilSF novel, Radiation Angels: The Chimerium Gambit (RA:TCG), and he will likely be able to give you a very good idea of what it will be like. There will probably be mercenary companies involved, like the Radiation Angels that he writes about. The Radiation Angels, like all mercenaries, are in the business of war for the money; but, they also are supposed to be the “good guys,” of the series, so they presumably won’t hire themselves out to just anyone. Still, not everyone who hires them necessarily has their best interests at heart….

As the novel opens, the Radiation Angels are being employed by a planetary faction who desires to overthrow the current government, which has a president, somewhat like America’s, but more extreme and militaristic. The Radiation Angels are led by Captain Todd Rook. He and the rest of the Radiation Angels are operating under the terms of a contract, and they have mere hours to locate the president and capture him if they want to earn a bonus on top of their regular pay and the spoils of war they might obtain along the way. Their current boss is reluctant to offer them any further help, like backup. She is a stickler, not wanting the operation to cost any more money than is absolutely necessary, even if the going might be made easier for the Radiation Angels.

Ross constructs a suspenseful, tense story, where we follow the Radiation Angels in their quest through the labyrinthine hallways and rooms of an industrial complex in their search for the president. They don’t only have to contend with the booby-traps and forces of the president and his military might, but also other deadly mercenary groups who want to reach the prize before them.