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.
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.
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.
If I could change just one thing it would certainly be the reader. His performance is dreadful!
Anyone. The book requires a deeper, more commanding, more mature voice. John sounds like a little boy trying to sound tough
I would compare this book to series such as Dan Brown's Langdon series (Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Lost Symbol) and any of the Indiana Jones movies with a military twist.
Yes! It was a little long to do so, but it was very difficult to find a stopping point.
The team is compiled of various members of the armed forces, all of whom are trained experts in various scientific fields and come from specialized fields of the military. Sigma Force's main enemy is the Guild, who is very reminiscent of Cobra from the GI Joe series. Sigma Force is trying to protect the country/world from the Guild, who is attempting to take control. Each book in this series is fast paced and a wild ride. This book will not disappoint the action/adventure fans and will tempt the mystery fans as well.
Great story of intrigue surrounding the secrets of the catholic church, ancient Greece and the three wise men who followed the star to find the Christ child. Lots of adventure, interesting history and just a great read.
I give this book an OK, but it has two big faults. First, the story line is very repetitious and it starts to drag. Still, it is entertaining as a summer read.
The biggest fault of the audiobook is the reading. The reader has a voice completely lacking in ability to add tension and nuance to high energy scenes. In terms of pitch, there is no gravitas; it is as if the author is trying to read the story as quickly as possible. Perhaps he is paid by the word? I am not sure that Steve Berry’s stories are any better, but he at least has a top-notch reader in Scott Brick that adds to the fun. Finally, as others have mentioned, the reader's Italian is poor. When a book takes place in Italy, the reader should be know Italian better.
Words are cool.
I really enjoy reading Rollins. There's always a lot of cool high tech equipment, far out but believable plot lines and tons of action. Map of Bones reminded me of The Da Vinci Code a bit; a bunch of clues to follow and mysteries to unravel. I guess I was expecting more action (like Sandstorm), so I felt the story moved a little slow in the middle for me. Plus, I was really hoping to expand on more of the characters from the first Sigma book as well. There was still some character development though, and Commander Grayson Pierce and his team are pretty cool too. That being said it was still a great read and I am totally looking forward to the next in the series.
The narrator did a fine job with all the characters and kept the story moving along nicely. Well done.
I have enjoyed everybody so far from James Rollins. If you like mystery, espionage, with a bit of fantasy you will love these books... Just make sure your paying attention because they move fast! :)
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