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Judas Strain
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Product Description

"ju-das strain, n. A scientific term for an organism that drives an entire species to extinction A master at combining historical and scientific intrigue with cutting-edge adventure, New York Times bestselling author of Map of Bones and Black Order James Rollins returns with his most relentless, high-octane thriller to date -- a terrifying story of an ancient menace reborn to plague the modern world . . . and of an impossible hope that lies hidden in the most shocking place imaginable: within the language of angels.

From the depths of the Indian Ocean, a horrific plague has arisen to devastate humankind - a disease that's unknown, unstoppable . . . and deadly. But it is merely a harbinger of the doom that is to follow.

Aboard a cruise liner transformed into a makeshift hospital, Dr. Lisa Cummings and Monk Kokkalis -- operatives of the shadowy covert organization SIGMA Force -- search for answers to the bizarre affliction that has inexplicably washed ashore. But there are others with far less altruistic intentions. In a savage and sudden coup, terrorists hijack the vessel, turning a mercy ship into a floating bio-weapons lab.

At a Fourth of July celebration a world away, SIGMA's commander Gray Pierce thwarts the murderous schemes of a beautiful assassin -- a would-be killer who holds the first clue to the discovery of a possible cure. With the fate of every man, woman, and child on Earth hanging in the balance, Pierce joins forces with the woman who wanted him dead, and together they embark upon an astonishing quest - one that winds through Venetian tombs, Byzantine cathedrals, and jungle-encrusted ruins - following the trail of the most fabled explorer in history: Marco Polo.

But time is an enemy as a worldwide pandemic grows rapidly out of control. And as a relentless madman dogs their every step, Pierce and his unlikely ally are being pulled into an astonishing mystery buried deep in antiquity and in humanity's genetic code. And as the seconds tick closer to doomsday, Pierce will realize he can truly trust no one - not the bewitching enigma who runs at his side or even those who are closest to him - for any one of them could be . . . a Judas."

Customer Reviews:

  • Ho-Hum
    Killer squids? Please. This is a forgettable piece of pulp fiction that barely keeps you interested. The characters are wooden. The plot stretches credulity. The four star rating raises serious doubts about the credibility of this site's rating system....more info
  • Over The Top
    Rollins certainly put together an interesting premise for a plot, but went way too far in the development of the story and the characters. A good Sci-Fi book allows one to suspend one's belief structure to enjoy the story without raising thoughts of incredulity. (Arthur C. Clarke was the master!) Instead, I found myself thinking, "You've got to be kidding" as the various plot sequences developed. While I found the book interesting, it's always maddening when a really good premise is ruined by poor plot development - not to mention the typical clich¨¦ ending where everything is wrapped up neatly with a little bow in the last thirty pages. I can't really recommend this as anything other than beach/poolside reading....more info
  • Quick read, interesting premises, alot of headache
    A page-turning read that was a modern day blend of pseudo-science with mystical undercurrents and cold science to offer a firm jumping off point. The depth of research also gave credence to the plot's liberal scientific core, allowing you to believe and look up the various facts and test whether they are in fact true. The result was a spy novel, with heavy-hand of modernity that was basically a mystery-chase book. It brings to mind Criton, The DaVinci Code and the Patriot Games universe all rolled into one.



    The novel travels around the world in an obvious ploy towards Hollywood appeal, a la National Treasrure. Which is the main undoing of the novel- too much detail and too much over the top sequences of events. Everything fits together so-perfectly, like a Bond book, and leaves a great deal of disbelief to the whole story. Still, it was an engaging enough read, if the authors attempt at stylistic prose could be waded through. The attempts at poetic scenic descriptions were more tedious and brutal than helpful as their intended pauses were obviously meant to reflect on the various beautific locations described in the book. The characters too were entirely one-dimensional; for instance Kowalski was hinted at being more-than-meets-the-eye, yet no depth was even charted there. The writing was also at times both confusing and too detailed. Some memorable moments though were executed well, specifically the "Crab Wave" scene. Also, the good-guy bad-guy clich¨¦ was overfed to the point of distaste. It was however interesting to see each 'villain' become victim to their own vices, so the failed attempt at poetic wordplay was revived by the authors clear fascination with the horrifics of justice, or its inclusion meant to be purely for the benefit of the reader, which I suspect was mostly the case. It was a quick read, more for its pulp, Hollywood-esc distraction appeal than anything else.
    ...more info
  • above average theo-tecno spy thriller
    Not a bad summer read. Decent plot, taught, unpredictable and just a few loose ends....more info
  • Great Read!
    I couldn't put this book down once I started. I am very much tempted to get the next book "The Last Oracle" still in hardcover at this point just because I could not accept that Monk is truly dead. I love that guy too much to think that he is gone for good. Nooo, not possible! ...more info
  • Fast-paced and sure to please
    I have read 5 James Rollins books thus far and this one sure didn't disappoint. Definitely worth the read, I couldn't put it down!...more info
  • Great as always!
    James Rollins has yet again written a book that I cannot put down! It met all of my expectations and I can't wait to read the next installment of Sigma Force....more info
  • Great read!!!!!
    Highly reccomend this author for anyone who is a big fan of Dan Brown's work. Very easy to read keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through the story....more info
  • Sigma Force Vs. The Guild, the prize - Humanity
    I believe I've covered this subject before, but I feel that it is appropriate when it comes to the latest James Rollins thriller.

    There are people who believe that the world will not end with a bang - as in global war, but with a whimper - a plague unlike anything humanity has ever seen. A plague that will make the Black Plague which decimated Europe so many centuries ago look like the common cold.

    That's the premise for the novel. A disease of such potency that it could conceivably spell the end of the human race, a disease that is as old as the planet itself and hasn't been seen since Marco Polo's great exploration.

    As per usual, my disclaimer... There will be no spoilers in this review to ruin the book for any would-be readers. Everything I talk about can be found on the back of the cover or the inside cover of the novel.

    The men and women of Sigma force once again find themselves at odds with the Guild in Judas Strain... but this time around the fate of humanity lies in the hands of the victors.

    It all starts with a rash of unexplained marine animal deaths around Christmas Island. Sigma sends in a small team to work along side the WHO in order to determine what has happened. As fate would have it a massive cruise ship just happens to be in the vicinity of the island, and its services are put to good use to help those who have become infected with a wide variety of illnesses.

    Things quickly go sour when a band of pirates attack the island and take over the ship. Of course the attack is lead by a high ranking member of the Guild, and the team members of Sigma are put to use in trying to figure out a cause and possible cure for this deadly `Judas Strain' that has been discovered.

    Now, I've been a fan of James Rollins writing for close to a decade. I've read every single book he's written since I picked up his first thriller Subterranean many years ago. For me, the main reason I've enjoyed his work is the science fiction aspect that has appeared in every novel he's written.

    That's why his work is up there with my other favourite authors, Preston and Child. I found a number of similarities between their work, and it has always kept me guessing, and I've been pleasantly surprised when I finally read the outcome in each book.

    This particular offering was, in my opinion, one of Jim's best offerings. The action was almost non stop, and even though there have always been great threats to the world and mortal danger to the characters he created, I'd have to say that this time around Sigma faced their most difficult task to date.

    Because, not only were the lives of the Sigma members in jeopardy, but as I stated before, the entire world.

    And to make matters worse, the Guild upped the ante and made things personal.

    Also, on top of the action and suspense, Jim threw a number of surprises into the mix, things that, as usual, I wasn't expecting, as well as the return of an old adversary, one who had all the earmarks of a classic `Dragon Lady'.

    If you don't get the meaning, look it up on the net. If you're a fan of James Rollins work, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

    The science in the novel seemed quite sound as well, although when I asked two close personal friends who are both doctors at the university of Calgary and deal with viruses and the like, they were at a loss. They had never heard of a `Judas Strain' before, and after I explained the concept to them, understood it but never heard of a name for it like that.

    Still, after talking to them about the novel, they were intrigued enough to pick it up and give it a go.

    I'll also say this - it was hard to put down! It only took me about five days to read the book from cover to cover. My wife was quite angry at me a couple of nights when we went to bed and I kept the lights on until nearly midnight so that I could read while she tried to sleep.

    If she was a reader, she'd understand. I digress...

    One final note - the novel had closure. There have been many times in the past where I've read books that left sub-plots unresolved, or where the novel just ended abruptly. That's not the case with this book. All sub-plots were tied up nice and neatly and the fates of various characters were dealt with.

    So, it was the perfect end to a great novel.

    5 out of 5
    ...more info
  • Judas Strain Pushes The Limit of Your Imagination
    I have been a JR fan for 10 years. His Sigma series is by far the bets set of books I have ever read. The Judas strain was a fantastic book. Once again we are met with a fantastic group of enemy forces and the threat of a biological event that could destroy mankind. I gave this one 4/5 because there were parts in the story that just lulled up and the villains in the book were almost annoying at times.

    My biggest thumbs down was a scene where there is a phone call between Dr. Cummings and Painter Crowe where she is being forced to talk to Crowe to convince him she is safe, when in all actuality she is being held hostage. So when Painter asks her if she is okay, she tries to drop a subtle hint, "You know how I get at that time of the month" and they chat some more and hangup. Then Mr. Badguy says to Dr. Cummings I know what you were trying to do. We have read your dossier and we know your cycle blah blah. So basically she was trying to hint to Painter that she was not okay by telling him she was menstruating and he'd know it really wasn't that time of the month and he'd know something was truly wrong. Okay this was too much of a stretch for me. A)Women's cycles can never be counted on to be regular B) Most men don't want to know about their woman's cycle or even care about it C) Having a dossier include that type of information is just laughable.

    Judas strain would have to be my least favorite of the sigma series, but it is still a fantastic read and I do highly recommend this book!...more info
  • Sigma vs the Guild - The world as the prize
    I believe I've covered this subject before, but I feel that it is appropriate when it comes to the latest James Rollins thriller.

    There are people who believe that the world will not end with a bang - as in global war, but with a whimper - a plague unlike anything humanity has ever seen. A plague that will make the Black Plague which decimated Europe so many centuries ago look like the common cold.

    That's the premise for the novel. A disease of such potency that it could conceivably spell the end of the human race, a disease that is as old as the planet itself and hasn't been seen since Marco Polo's great exploration.

    As per usual, my disclaimer... There will be no spoilers in this review to ruin the book for any would-be readers. Everything I talk about can be found on the back of the cover or the inside cover of the novel.

    The men and women of Sigma force once again find themselves at odds with the Guild in Judas Strain... but this time around the fate of humanity lies in the hands of the victors.

    It all starts with a rash of unexplained marine animal deaths around Christmas Island. Sigma sends in a small team to work along side the WHO in order to determine what has happened. As fate would have it a massive cruise ship just happens to be in the vicinity of the island, and its services are put to good use to help those who have become infected with a wide variety of illnesses.

    Things quickly go sour when a band of pirates attack the island and take over the ship. Of course the attack is lead by a high ranking member of the Guild, and the team members of Sigma are put to use in trying to figure out a cause and possible cure for this deadly `Judas Strain' that has been discovered.

    Now, I've been a fan of James Rollins writing for close to a decade. I've read every single book he's written since I picked up his first thriller Subterranean many years ago. For me, the main reason I've enjoyed his work is the science fiction aspect that has appeared in every novel he's written.

    That's why his work is up there with my other favourite authors, Preston and Child. I found a number of similarities between their work, and it has always kept me guessing, and I've been pleasantly surprised when I finally read the outcome in each book.

    This particular offering was, in my opinion, one of Jim's best offerings. The action was almost non stop, and even though there have always been great threats to the world and mortal danger to the characters he created, I'd have to say that this time around Sigma faced their most difficult task to date.

    Because, not only were the lives of the Sigma members in jeopardy, but as I stated before, the entire world.

    And to make matters worse, the Guild upped the ante and made things personal.

    Also, on top of the action and suspense, Jim threw a number of surprises into the mix, things that, as usual, I wasn't expecting, as well as the return of an old adversary, one who had all the earmarks of a classic `Dragon Lady'.

    If you don't get the meaning, look it up on the net. If you're a fan of James Rollins work, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

    The science in the novel seemed quite sound as well, although when I asked two close personal friends who are both doctors at the university of Calgary and deal with viruses and the like, they were at a loss. They had never heard of a `Judas Strain' before, and after I explained the concept to them, understood it but never heard of a name for it like that.

    Still, after talking to them about the novel, they were intrigued enough to pick it up and give it a go.

    I'll also say this - it was hard to put down! It only took me about five days to read the book from cover to cover. My wife was quite angry at me a couple of nights when we went to bed and I kept the lights on until nearly midnight so that I could read while she tried to sleep.

    If she was a reader, she'd understand. I digress...

    One final note - the novel had closure. There have been many times in the past where I've read books that left sub-plots unresolved, or where the novel just ended abruptly. That's not the case with this book. All sub-plots were tied up nice and neatly and the fates of various characters were dealt with.

    So, it was the perfect end to a great novel.

    5 out of 5
    ...more info
  • can't take it seriously
    After reading 2/3 of this book I had to put it down with a shake of my head. While Mr. Rollins certainly has writing ability and the skill of drawing suspense, you really have to-continuously-suspend your critical thought processes to read it. The repeated scenes of characters taking very risky chances and always coming out on top, or things unfolding exactly as planned, were just too much. I quickly tire of the concept of the casual ability of someone or some sinister person or organization to track someone down seemingly in a few hours with a shred of digital evidence, formulate a clever plan, and then execute it perfectly, all the while defeating highly capable resistance. If this were about capturing Osama Bin Laden this crew would have him wrapped and delivered in a day or two after starting the search. This is more like a comic book caper, not a novel....more info
  • A used copy for 1 cent. Appropriate!
    Adjectives, adverbs, verbs, incomplete sentences take the place of good writing in this novel. No, I'm not a teacher, just an aficionado of good writing. An interesting plot bogged down with useless verbiage. If you pay more than 1 cent, you've spent too much. Yep, the author is laughing all the way to the bank. ...more info
  • Didn't get far.
    One of the few books I've ever picked up that I couldn't finish. It is like one of those bad action movies where the plot is bad and the acting is worse. The premise sounded great but the book didn't deliver. ...more info
  • Awful!
    I have read every James Rollin's book and only ask why this. This bio-thriller is a mix of impossible surrounded with absurd with poor dialogue. The premise of a super virus transmuting bacteria is a real possibility in this world but it could stand on it's own. It did not need a James Bond Sigma Force with almost every page superhuman efforts. I quit reading after 291 pages-that is how bad this book was written....more info
  • good read
    james rollins can always be depended on to produce a good page turner and has done just that in judas strain...more info
  • An Una'Polo'getic Review!
    I'm being generous and giving this book an extra star for its concept. However, there really is nothing to recommend about the story. It's another 'series' book in which the author doesn't really bother giving uninitiated readers a chance to catch up on who's who. Then again, it probably wouldn't have mattered.The characters are very shallow, even for such a 'heavy on action, light on characterization' story.
    Things got even more convoluted, and less credible, near the end, and Rollins clearly struggled trying to tie everything together. At least it wasn't the 'Dan Brown' ripoff I was expecting it to be.
    I think I'll pass on Rollins' other work....more info
  • Different Book....Same Formula
    If you've read one Sigma book, you've essentially read them all. There's a potential catastrophe capable of wiping out the Earth's population...Sigma agents are at different spots on the globe where they each face their own ridiculous challenges that they must defeat or puzzles that they must solve....everything eventually ties together to one location where all the agents meet up and conquer evil.

    I'm pretty disappointed. This was the second Rollins book I have read, and I was expecting so much more. Instead I just got the same book with a different backstory. If you've never read a Sigma book before, give it a shot. If you have read one before, don't waste your time like I did. ...more info
  • The Judas Strain
    The Judas Strain (Sigma Force Novels)

    I can not give you an opinion or review on this book due to the fact that I have not recieved this product. It has been over a month and a half and still no book. I have e-mailed ven dor twice and no reply ....more info
  • A used copy for 1 cent. Appropriate!
    Adjectives, adverbs, verbs, incomplete sentences take the place of good writing in this novel. No, I'm not a teacher, just an aficionado of good writing. An interesting plot bogged down with useless verbiage. If you pay more than 1 cent, you've spent too much. Yep, the author is laughing all the way to the bank. ...more info
  • JUDAS STRAIN
    WONDERFUL!!!! ON THE EDGE THRILLER!! GO, JAMES ROLLINS, CAN'T WAIT FOR
    YOUR NEXT THRILLER WITH THE RETURN OF MONK.


    ...more info
  • A Great Read
    This was the first James Rollins book I have read and I loved it. It was fast paced, action packed, and was hard to put down once I started it. I will be picking up his other books to read in the order they were published as I devoured this one. ...more info