Category Archives: James Rollins
Genre: Thriller / Adventure
Rating: 4 WaterTowers (Awesome thrill ride)
This book was signed by James Rollins and sold at Costco. I grabbed it.
At the recently destroyed Zoo in Bagdad, Iraq two boys searching for scraps of food witness a strange beast mauling a murderer. Under the cover of the chaos, they escape.
Dr. Lorna Polk is the veterinarian in charge of the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) frozen zoo of endangered animals. As she pulls in to work, her boss is there to meet her…..as is a Border Patrol helicopter.
After finding a beached trawler, the leader of the Border Patrol team investigating the boat called ACRES and, knowing her backgound, requested Lorna. Jack Menard, Border Patrol, has known Lorna since childhood, but, they had lost touch, until now.
Boarding the boat, Lorna finds an assortment of strangely abnormal animals in cages. Conjoined brown capuchin monkeys, abnormally large vampire bats, a bald parrot that can recite pi (3.1415…) to hundreds of places, and, in an open cage, a very large, sick, jaguar cub.
The mother cat is missing, and Lorna deduces that it has a healthy baby with her (making her very dangerous). Judging by the size of the ill baby, Lorna figures the mother cat, white as a ghost, could be the size of a small car with large sabretooth tiger like teeth.
Jack and Lorna leave the boat to try to find the mama cat before she causes problems.
As the cat moves north, it leaves behind a trial of gory death and destruction. The cat needs to be captured or killed.
Meanwhile, the remaining animals have been taken to ACRES where the team makes some startling discoveries. The animals brains have pentagon shaped structures that look natural rather than man-made, and, when all the animals are in the same room, their brain waves synchronize as if their individual brains are functioning as one. Very interesting.
How did the animals come to be like this? Where did they come from? And where were they going?
The answers start flowing explosively as ACRES is attacked, many animals beheaded, and people killed. Lorna and Jack do their best to save everyone, but……well you are just going to have to read “Altar of Eden” to know what happens next. ;-)
In true James Rollins fashion, “Altar of Eden” is a roller coaster thriller without the coasting. Thrills, action, and plenty of gore will keep you riveted to your seat until the very end. Along the way, “Altar of Eden” is filled with enough science and nature to make this engineer very happy: Fractals, genetics, telepathy, animal intelligence, and best of all, the great scenery around the bayou areas of New Orleans.
Pick up or download a copy today…you will not be disappointed.
Genre: Thriller: Adventure
Rating: 3.5 Water Towers
James Rollins has a great imagination. This is, I think, the 4th book of his I have read and Excavation did not disappoint.
In 1538, in the Andes Mountains in Peru, Friar Francisco de Almagro is running for his life from Inca warriors. He just escaped his fate (death) to try to out run the inevitable. He reaches an Incan holy alter where he knows there is no escape, so to keep the gold cross he has wrapped around his neck, and knowing the Incas will not disturb one who died at this alter, he slits his throat.
Fast forward about 460 years.
Professor Henry Conklin has uncovered a mummy in the Andes Mountains and has brought it to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for examination. There, an old flame who is also a Professor (Joan) helps Henry analyze the mummy. Henry and Joan find the gold cross, then realize that the mummy had its throat cut. Then under closer examination with a CT scan, sparks fly….in more ways than one. The mummy starts to move wildly and a gold liquid substance explodes out of its head and goobers up the lab. As it turns out, this substance “Z” has quite amazing properties (it is NOT gold) being able to respond to virtually any type of energy, including a person’s thoughts.
After Professor Henry found the mummy he left his nephew, Sam, and a few graduate students in Peru to continue the “Excavation”. While Henry was fooling around with the mummy, and Joan, in Baltimore, the dig site was invaded by the guards who were hired to, supposedly, protect it. What they found was simply astounding, and all but one invader died grisly deaths attempting to extract the treasure from the magnificent gold and silver, booby trapped, room.
Discovering this intrusion, Sam and the graduate students (Maggie, Ralph, Norman and a 10 year old native boy , Denal, who is their interpreter) are trapped by a grenade blast from the lone survivor and are forced in the ensuing days to enter the gold / silver room to escape the impending collapse of the entire dig site. They have to figure out how to gain safe passage through the booby trapped room, which they do, and in the process pick up a “gold” dagger. They use that dagger, which magically turns into a key (remember thoughts can transform this “Z” substance though Sam does not yet know this) to escape from danger. They find themselves in a cave in the side of the mountain. They are safe….at least for a while.
As the book zooms through the pages, danger awaits the team in the form of pale tarantulas and strange ape-like beasts that like to kill then eat you. Eventually Sam and company find a way out of the cave (using the magical Z substance dagger once again) only to find themselves in the company of a native tribe of people who are……hmmm, I better not say…..and fighting a sect of monks hell bent on protecting the secrets that the “Excavation” has uncovered.
Mixed in the plot are love stories, great characters, suspense, intense action, and sadness and hope.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, as I have all of James Rollins’s books I have read. Note: Under another name James Rollins is a practicing Vet in the Sacratomato area. So the science stuff rings true..very cool.