Published June 21st 2011 by William Morrow.
I tried to beat the release date of this book but I could not finish on time. But hey, better late than never, right?
I am familiar with James Rollins‘ work by way of the novelization of the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Later on, I came across his Sigma Force series. When I received this book, I must say that I was concerned that I would not be able to grasp it very well because being the seventh in a series, it would be hard for me to catch up on character development; that the author would not put that much time in explaining who these characters are for the new reader. Luckily, that was not much of an issue after all.
The Devil Colony brings Director Painter Crowe and his team at Sigma Force to a race against time. A series of nanobot caches threaten to explode and blow up the planet. It takes them across the United States and even an adventure to Iceland. It all begins with a discovery of a Native American gravesite containing gold plates with ancient script engraved on them. Things become heated between the Native American groups and the National Guard and amidst that riot, the lead anthropologist of the dig dies suddenly, her body consumed by an unexplainable explosion.
Not long after Sigma Force was called in to help, it becomes personal to Director Crowe. His niece, Kai, is caught in the middle of it all, even being accused of masterminding the explosion. Together with the rest of his team, Crowe will do anything to not only save his niece but prevent these explosions from destroying the world.
This incorporated Native American history with the history of the Mormon faith (is it just me or did I read “JOHN Smith” somewhere in the book as supposed to “JOSEPH Smith“?) as well as nanotechnology. All of it was pretty new to me so it was a lot to take in. I appreciate all the explanations and the illustrations provided. They were very clear and it really did help push the story forward. Information-heavy as this book was, it was not boring at all. I found myself getting more and more interested in the topics being talked about. It was easy to understand.
I also love all the action and adventure the characters went through. I do not know how this compares to the other Sigma Force novels but this one was great. A bit of Indiana Jones-like thing going on with Painter Crowe and his part of the story while Commander Grayson Pierce was on his own vigilante mission.
As someone who is not familiar with these characters, I found them all engaging. They worked well with each other, which was what I would expect with six books of development behind them. At first, I was afraid that the author would just go into these characters without much introduction but Rollins gave hints of their backstories here and there. Not a lot, but enough to for a new reader to get her feet wet. My favorite was Kowalski. I am sure he is a tough guy through and through but his lines are just hilarious. Definitely the comic relief of the whole book! His penchant for C4 explosives reminds me of one of my favorite Mythbusters quotes from Jamie Hyneman: “When in doubt, C4.” I sympathized with Gray and the many problems he is facing on top of his already numerous responsibilities. I am very curious about Seichan. I was the most curious about her story and at the same time, confused by it. Kat and Monk, they are so sweet. Those two parts, I wished I read the other books so I would have a better grasp of their characters/relationships.
I do enjoy these kinds of books, in general, even if I am not familiar with the history they are basing their story from. Apart from not knowing the characters very well, I thought this was a solid and well thought out story. This definitely made want to get the rest of the series and start from the top. James Rollins, consider me a fan.
Recommendation: Fans of Steve Berry and Dan Brown would find something that they would like in this book. If you are interested in technology and fictionalized history, especially Native American history, give this a try. Although I might not recommend this being your first book to read out of the series. As much information that the author gave about the characters, I was still pretty much in the dark.
Book trailer and where to buy: click here.