I just finished THE DEVIL COLONY by James Rollins (on audio disk), and really enjoyed it. This is a Sigma Force novel which means, as usual, that evil forces (the Guild) are about to destroy the world – or at least some interesting part of it.

Most of the story occurs in the western US. Being from Nevada, and having traveled and camped often through the west, it was like a bit of home. Rollin’s descriptions are excellent, though I’m not sure there was an absolute emphasis on geographical precision.

There are may references to early US history, the founding fathers, and Lewis and Clark (Lewis in particular). Again, I’m not sure about the historical verity, but I am sure about it’s entertainment value. HIGH!

Continuing with the story, Sigma must stop the Guild from acquiring an ancient technology with the power to destroy all life on earth. Pretty cool. Nanotechnology is one the emerging sciences, but we discover that it’s been around a lot longer than we thought.

As I read (listened), I realized what a craftsman Rollins is. Every time I though “Wow, they’re in trouble!” things got worse. I consider this book an education on escalating conflict and keeping your characters under pressure.

There is also a tie-in with the story of the Book of Mormon, which states that Hebrew refugees reached the American Continent, bringing elements of their culture with them. This theme was skillfully integrated into the story, though maybe a little too much.

This is not a work of history, or geography, or archaeology. Some people may disagree with some of his facts. Actually, there are several elements in the book that do not conform with my recollection of these sciences (I actually took a college course in archaeology where we traveled the four corners area studying ancient sites – I’ve been to some of the places he mentions). It is a work of fiction – an excellent work of fiction – so get over it. Better still, just enjoy it.

Something else I enjoyed was the way Rollins integrated a little ongoing character development of the Sigma team into the story. I’m actually a little excited to see if he develops these further in his next title.

James Rollins is a bestseller for a reason. I highly recommend the DEVIL”S COLONY.

Miscellanea:

Yes, Damascus Steel uses nanotechnology (nanotubes) and still can’t be replicated with current technology:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061116-nanotech-swords.html

Yes, Yellowstone Park sits on top of a super-volcano. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_Caldera

Yes, the super-volcano is overdue for eruption. If it blows, much of the US will be covered by toxic gas. Don’t bother checking the expiration date on your milk any more. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1350123/Worlds-largest-volcano-Yellowstone-National-Park-wipe-thirds-US.html

The old theory of how the Americas were first populated, a theory considered doctrine at the end of the 20th century, is referred to as “Clovis First,” referring to an ancient site in Clovis, New Mexico. The theory states that the original inhabitants crossed a land bridge linking Alaska with Asia, and spread out across the continents. This is still defended, but then again there is still a “Flat Earth Society.” Recent studies have identified multiple migrations from multiple old world sources. Draw your own conclusions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_culture

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