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The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel, Book 4 | [James Rollins]

The Judas Strain: A Sigma Force Novel, Book 4

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 SIGMA Force, search for answers to the bizarre affliction. But there are others with far less altruistic intentions.
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Publisher's Summary

ju-das strain, n. A scientific term for an organism that drives an entire species to extinction

New York Times best-selling author James Rollins returns with 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 SIGMA Force, search for answers to the bizarre affliction. 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.

A world away, SIGMA's commander, Gray Pierce, thwarts the murderous schemes of a beautiful would-be killer who holds the first clue to the discovery of a possible cure. Pierce joins forces with the woman who wanted him dead, and together they embark upon an astonishing quest 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. As a relentless madman dogs their every step, Gray 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, Gray Pierce will realize he can truly trust no one, for any one of them could be...a Judas.

©2007 Jim Czajkowski; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Action abounds...as the characters from the previous novel range over the globe. There are murders, disfiguring diseases, pirates, cannibals, and, oh yes, people who glow in the dark....this book is great good fun, if readers suspend their disbelief." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1131 )
5 star
 (346)
4 star
 (400)
3 star
 (257)
2 star
 (80)
1 star
 (48)
Overall
4.2 (330 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (321 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    John 08-18-07
    John 08-18-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Mannequins have adventures"

    While the book is fast paced, it bored me to death. Rollins has three characters: heroes, villians and extras. While he gives them different names and backgrounds, none of them has any distinguishable personality. As a consequence, there is no depth to any of the relationships and it is unclear what the motivations really are for these characters. He describes them as angry, excited, curious, etc., but one doesn't feel it on their behalf because there is no depth to the characters. It felt like a movie script waiting for actors to come along to supply the emotion and the characterization that the author didn't bother to fill in himself.

    If you want a frivilous roller-coaster, hop on board, but don't expect anything more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Fort Worth, TX, USA 08-16-07
    Beth Fort Worth, TX, USA 08-16-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    17
    3
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    "Not What I Expected"

    I had read reviews for this book and thought it would be one that I would like. It was an ok book but I think it was way too long. The author's knowledge on disease is commendable. The outbreak storyline is plausible but the historic storyline was kind of farfetched for me. The narrator was very good. The book struck me as a knock off of The DaVinci Code. I just wish it would of held my attention more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Murphy 07-03-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    158
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    Overall
    "More particple phrases than action"

    Having read only two-thirds of the book, I am ready to scream. Seeing the length of the rest, I have given up.
    Telling you of the many particple phrases used, I hope that you don't read this book.

    Really, folks, listening to this book is pure torture. Having read too many books that week, some editor was in a hurry to get this one published.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Austin Texas 08-01-08
    Helen Austin Texas 08-01-08 Member Since 2007

    Reading Raven

    HELPFUL VOTES
    255
    ratings
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    359
    72
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    9
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    "Adventure and espionage!"

    The bad guys in this books are REALLY bad but the Sigma Force is there is stop the destruction and torture. A wild ride that takes you to many far away places and experience faraway things...like the giant squids and cannibals! And yet even with the fast paced BOND style scenes there are very compassionate lines of dealing with aging parents and Alhzeimers. It is crazy yet so intriging ride...and fun to listen too. The characters are great, strong, caring and have great chemistry with each other. We all have a friend like Kowalski but perhaps want a friend like Monk. It is fast paced and you will wonder who is the good guy and the bad guy....the gray line between the two is fine...just ask Gray Pierce!

    The narrator is excellent! The best I have heard, clear voice, changes accents and voices easily. His work makes you understand and appreciate how difficult being a narrator may be. Bravo to Peter Jay Fernadez.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ED DRIEDGER 05-07-08
    ED DRIEDGER 05-07-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    10
    5
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    "Like Da Vinci Code"

    Travel all over the globe. The suspense makes you want to continue listening so you don't miss the flow. The good guys vs bad guys complex plot.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Austin, TX, USA 08-22-07
    James Austin, TX, USA 08-22-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    220
    6
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    0
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    "Great Escape"

    This is one of those books that is hard to turn off. Sure the story was a bit of fantasy, but not unbelievably so, and what book of fiction isn't? Sort of Indiana Jones, Andromeda Strain and Dawn of the Dead all rolled into one. Even the ending leaves you in suspense. If you liked Black Order, I think you'll like this one even more. Narration was top notch.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy Ashburn, Vatican City State (Holy See) 08-04-07
    Tommy Ashburn, Vatican City State (Holy See) 08-04-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    76
    3
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    "Exciting and Fast-Paced"

    This was the first James Rollins book I had listened to or read. I am now totally hooked. It is fast-paced, exciting, and almost nerve-stretching at times. The primary characters come to life, and you feel like you know them as friends. I heartily recommend it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-29-07
    07-29-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    45
    4
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    "best book this year"

    This is the first book this year good enough to feel like I need to tell others how good it is.
    5 stars aren't enough. Most long listening unabridged books do too much repeating. This book moves forward at a good clip and no repeating that I can remember. I am still engrossed in it and don't want to turn it off to work, sleep or anything else that would get in the way of my listening. All of Rollins books are good but this is his best yet

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Madison, OH, United States 07-27-07
    Brenda Madison, OH, United States 07-27-07 Member Since 2001

    brenwalt

    HELPFUL VOTES
    173
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    "Gr888888888"

    More twists and turns than the roller coasters at Cedar Point. More Cliff hangers than the old Saturday matinees at the movie theaters in the 50's. A gr8 "read." You won't be disappointed. Highly recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 08-31-07
    Richard 08-31-07

    Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book is lame, very lame"

    When I saw the title and description, I thought, "Ah! a biomuck page-turner like the 'The Andromeda Strain'" Well...this isn't 'The Andromeda Strain'. In fact, this book is nothing. The biomuck pieces are barely interesting, and usually boring and unimaginative (and dumb). So to justify his words-per-dollar publishing contract, the author spends countless, countless, countless paragraphs on chase 'em and shoot 'em action drama. Regretfully, the drama is also usually boring and unimaginative. To make up for the fatal deficiencies in writing style and plot, the author floods the book with hyperbolic verbs, adverbs and adjectives -- "clenched", "jerked", "searing" and so forth -- that seem to be meant to elicit visually vivid scenes in the reader's mind. And the cliff-hangers are all off because you know from the first chapter that none of the good guys is going to get hurt except for one guy who you know is going to get it from the moment he steps into the plot. The bottom line: This book is the prose version of the movie script, which is likely the author's primary commercial intention. A skilled movie studio can probably turn this very, very bad book into a good movie.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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