THE LAST ODYSSEY by James Rollins


Sigma Force Novels, Book 15

From the publisher:

To save the world and our future, Sigma Force must embark on a dangerous odyssey into an ancient past whose horrors are all too present in this page-turning thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author James Rollins that combines cutting-edge science, historical mystery, mythology, and pulse-pounding action.

For eons, the city of Troy—whose legendary fall was detailed in Homer’s Iliad—was believed to be myth, until archaeologists in the nineteenth century uncovered its ancient walls buried beneath the sands. If Troy was real, how much of Homer’s twin tales of gods and monsters, curses and miracles—The Iliad and The Odyssey—could also be true and awaiting discovery?

In the frozen tundra of Greenland, a group of modern-day researchers stumble on a shocking find: a medieval ship buried a half-mile below the ice. The ship’s hold contains a collection of even older artifacts—tools of war—dating back to the Bronze Age. Inside the captain’s cabin is a magnificent treasure that is as priceless as it is miraculous: a clockwork gold map imbedded with an intricate silver astrolabe. The mechanism was crafted by a group of Muslim inventors—the Banū Mūsā brothers—considered by many to be the Da Vincis of the Arab world—brilliant scientists who inspired Leonardo’s own work.

Once activated, the moving map traces the path of Odysseus’s famous ship as it sailed away from Troy. But the route detours as the map opens to reveal a fiery river leading to a hidden realm underneath the Mediterranean Sea. It is the subterranean world of Tartarus, the Greek name for Hell. In mythology, Tartarus was where the wicked were punished and the monstrous Titans of old, imprisoned.

When word of Tartarus spreads—and of the cache of miraculous weapons said to be hidden there—tensions explode in this volatile region where Turks battle Kurds, terrorists wage war, and civilians suffer untold horrors. The phantasmagoric horrors found in Homer’s tales are all too real—and could be unleashed upon the world. Whoever possesses them can use their awesome power to control the future of humanity.

Now, Sigma Force must go where humans fear to tread. To prevent a tyrant from igniting a global war, they must cross the very gates of Hell.

James Rollins has created an elite, secret U.S. government operating unit known as the Sigma Force. His books about them tell stories of daring deeds in situations that are more than a little beyond normal activities and touch on the fantastic.

In the afterward, the author presents various facts that he indicates bring proof that the story is based on his interpretation of what did occur. For many years it was thought that the great poet Homer’s poems, the Illiad and the Odessey, which tell the story of a major prehistoric war taking place in the Mediterranean area and involving the city of Troy, were not true. In the 19th century, archaeologists digging beneath the sands discovered what were the remains of Troy. If this were true, how much more of Homer’s poetry was also based on fact.

In a dig in Greenland, a modern day group of climatologists and archaeologists discover an ancient ship buried a half-mile beneath the frozen tundra. Even more astonishing is the discovery of artifacts held on the ship dating further back to the Bronze age. An ancient map discovered with these items shows the path of the ship in prehistoric days outlining the travels of Odysseys returning from Troy to his homeland. It also shows the site of what in modern days is called Hell. When word of this find spreads war escalates between ancient enemies pitting Kurds against Turks and terrorists gaining traction in their fight against the world. The ancient day miracles held for safekeeping in “hell” cause Sigma force to journey to the possible site of that city and attempt to prevent a tyrant using these items from taking over the world.

The novels revolving around Sigma force are all action-oriented and blend more than a little of the surreal into the story. In that sense, nothing is different in this current novel by Rollins. If based on fact or not, the books are all filled with excitement and action guaranteed to keep the reader glued to the pages. The events depicted are all outlined and made part of a mesmerizing plot that creates a fascinating read.

4/2020 Paul Lane

THE LAST ODYSSEY by James Rollins. William Morrow (March 24, 2020). ISBN: 978-0062892898. 464p.



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