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The Last Odyssey
Sigma Force Book 15
BY James Rollins

William Morrow – HarperCollins
March 2020 / ASIN: B07QLDXRRC
Thriller / Suspense

Reviewed by David M W Powers


AMAZON

"Disappointing"

A 'historical' prologue blends in Christian/Jewish/Islamic and Greek mythological elements to provide a basis for the story that moves the novel into the realm of comic-book fantasy.

The first chapter takes us to Greenland to meet a set of childishly portrayed researchers reflecting the usual inaccurate tropes about researchers, along with amateurish attempts to fake tension.

The second chapter transports us to Iceland to meet further immature and unmotivated characters that relate to Sigma - reminding me that I am reading a novel about Sigma Force, supposedly the "sum of the best," “brain and brawn," "soldier and scientist."

By chapter three, we've found the obligatory booby traps as well as the ancient device that can no doubt end the world, and have met the bad guys who know what it is and are out to steal it.

I made it through the first seven chapters to the end of Part 1. I gave up on the first page of chapter 8. Why?

Hard to say what was the last straw... I didn't really like the mythological basis, and I was irritated by all the characters (the goodies anyway, the baddies were a bit more appealing). There seemed to be no attempt at characterization: I could hardly distinguish between the archeological group beyond male/female, and couldn't tell you much about the Sigma team beyond that they too included an unprofessional male and female.

If you like the other Rollins/Sigma books, then you may well like this one too. I won't be exploring the rest of the series.

Rollins has obviously done a lot of research to support the writing of the book, but his writing is trite and sometimes clumsy. And he really demonstrates no insight or understanding in the areas he is dabbling in here...

The book is clearly aiming at an Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider kind of story and probably more at a teenage than an adult audience. But I'd recommend giving this book, and probably this series, a big miss.

AU Reviewer: David M W Powers is the author of over 300 scientific papers and two books on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Autonomous Vehicles.
Reviewed 2020
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