During a crowded service at a cathedral in Germany, armed intruders in monks' robes unleash a nightmare of blood and destruction. But the killers have not come for gold; they seek a more valuable prize: the bones of the Magi who once paid homage to a newborn savior...a treasure that could reshape the world.
With the Vatican in turmoil, SIGMA Force leaps into action. An elite team of scientific and Special Forces operatives under the command of Grayson Pierce and accompanied by Lieutenant Rachel Verona of Rome's carabinieri, they are pursuing a deadly mystery that weaves through the sites of the Seven Wonders of the World and ends at the doorstep of an ancient, mystical, and terrifying secret order. For there are those with dark plans for the stolen sacred remains that will alter the future of humankind...when science and religion unite to unleash a horror not seen since the beginning of time.
©2005 Jim Czajkowski; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
"This novel about an ancient secret society and the race to find priceless antiquities is sure to be compared to Dan Brown's i>Da Vinci Code, but, in every way, it's a much better book....even those who found Brown's opus unpalatable will thoroughly enjoy the taste of this one." (Booklist)
If you enjoy history, adventure, and international intrigue, then you would enjoy this book. If this is your first James Rollins book, then beware- lost of characters to follow, frequent scene to scene leaps and lost and lots of history.
It might take some time getting used to the narrator, but once you do, you will definitely enjoy the book. I guarantee you will have very little difficulty differentiating characters.
I also suggest reading the Sigma series in the following order: Sandstorm, Map of Bones, Black Order, The Judas Strain, The Last Oracle and Doomsday Key.
The story, as expected from James Rollins, is very thrilling and quite excellent. My objection is to the narrator. If someone has been selected to narrate a story, part of which takes place in Italy, I would expect him to learn how to pronounce the names of the places correctly. I have never before heard Italian name places murdered like they were by this narrator. I was glad to read the reviews of others to find out that this narrator is not the one who narrates other books by this author. Otherwise, I had decided I would just get the books and read them myself.
With all audiobooks, the reader can make it or break it. An expectation of a reader is that he/she does enough homework to be able to pronounce words correctly. This one hasn't done that. It isn't an error that will cause me never to listen again, but it takes attention from the story and puts it on the reader. The book is pretty good. A different reader would have brought it to life more, I think.
Map of Bones, like Amazonia and Ice Hunt before it (in an audio book sense), follows a bit of a formula. Many of the story elements are the same but the setting and the subject matter are very different. As a result I enjoyed this book as much as those others.
The narrator continues to do a fantastic job of making the characters distinct and making the action come alive.
I love books, but can't muster a lot of patience for reading, I find audio books way easier to do since I can multitask
This is the second Sigma Force novel I've read, the first being Black Order, and coming from that to this I can say that this has a good plot but a poor choice for a narrator.
My girlfriend begged me to start reading the Sigma Force series and she didn't have Map of Bones, her favorite, so I started on Black Order because she refused to let me read Sandstorm to start, she hated that one. We were going on a long trip and I had finished Black Order so she agreed to let me get Map of Bones to listen to on the way. She was shocked at the narrator sounding so young and I had a hard time focusing on the story because many voices sounded similar or the same and many characters changed accents frequently. Monk spent the majority of the book shifting from Jewish, to Brooklyn, to Southern accents.
The story itself, what I got from it, she had to constantly stop and fill me in on details I had missed, was quite good but it had a lot of puzzle solving and less of the gripping action in Black Order.
I know this review is harsh, but honest. It has a good plot but Black Order has a better narrator and its no wonder this guy didn't come back.
More action was needed. The plot was ok but there was not as much excitement
make it more thrilling
Some of the aspects of the story line were good but it was just boring more often than not.
Hard to find a good action book these days. Any suggestions?
In many ways I enjoyed the second book in this series. It keeps moving, has the usual expected twists and turns to keep you on your toes, but some of the aspects Rollins uses to build upon seem less believable than perhaps they are. I suppose this is to be expected in a book like this, but I like to be kept on the edge of belief instead of feeling like I have stepped over into the fantasy realm of science and religion. Overall a good book, but in my opinion not his best.
Being the second book of the series, it was good to get some of the past history for the Sigma series. This book wasn’t the best of the series, but it was still a really good read. I always learn something new from his novels and enjoy the intrigue, action and the way the story unfolds. What an imagination. Keep up the good work!
No, while I enjoyed the story on a whole, the narration was horrible. Generally I find any excuse to listen to my current book, but while listening to this one - while I enjoyed the story as a whole - I found excuses not to listen.
I enjoyed the blending of fact with fiction.
Meagher should have learned correct pronunciation of clerical terms since they were so central to the story. Whenever he came to a difficult church word, it was horribly jarring to hear it butchered by him. I will probably avoid any other book narrated by him.
At the very end, when he poured the orange juice down the drain accepting his father as he is.
This book has spurred to reading about monatomic metals, which seems quite interesting.
I don't give 5s a lot. Throwing 5s around makes it harder for others to distinguish what was good from what was great. For me 5s = top 2%.
No idea since I don't have the print version
There were some really dark and thrilling parts to this book. One of the best parts was the beginning when the church in Germany is attacked by men in robes.
The narration was fine. It wasn't a 5 star performance but there was nothing bad about it.
There were certainly parts where I wanted to go to bed and couldn't.
The excessive use of theology was one thing I didn't like about this book. I didn't mind the historical references but some parts were a bit over the top.
There were a few parts where the characters derived something from clues that were so vague and dashed off across the globe sure that they were on the right track. I was thinking "they determined that.. from an etching on the wall?" So you may have to just suspend reality in a few cases but still this was an excellent book.
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