Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review- Bloodline by James Rollins

I have a cold and I'm not at home so what does that mean?  It means that I've basically been sitting around all day eating, reading, watching TV, uploading photos, and now it seems, unnecessarily updating my blog.  So, here's a review of James Rollins's new novel The Bloodline that came out at the end of June 2012.
I pre-ordered the book on Amazon Prime in April or May.  I can't really remember now, but either way, I was wicked excited that this book was coming out.  I have been a big fan James Rollins's Sigma Force series for the past 3-4 years and every book has been more exhilarating than the next.  Ok, I should probably give you a wee bit of background on the series.  Sigma Force is a top-secret covert agency embedded in DARPA, a scientific research department of the Department of Defense.  The novels are all extraordinarily fast-paced and Mr Rollins has somehow figured out the recipe for the perfect blend of action, history, and science to keep these novels going.  Like I said before, I have been a fan for a few years now and have not been disappointed.  Mr Rollins' last novel, The Devil Colony, was absolutely tremendous and breathtaking.  I couldn't put that book down and I was seriously upset when it was over.  That was made me so excited for Bloodline.  All of the teasers for the book made it seem like it was going to answer quite a few questions about the Guild, Sigma's archnemesis and the most evil bad guys in the world pulling all the strings on all of the worlds most heinous crimes.  So needless to say, I was excited.  Even the prologue to Bloodline makes you think that theres going to be quite a bit of history and science intertwined in this book.  Definitely more than action.  Well I could not have been more wrong.  Unlike his previous novels, Mr Rollins was unable to find that perfect blend of action, science, and history.  At least in my opinion.  He built some of the new characters wonderfully, especially Tucker Wayne and his dog Kane but then, after setting them up beautifully and making them such an intricate part of the first 2/3 of the book, he relegates them to the back.  That was annoying and upsetting because so much time had been spent on building the character only for the character to become almost 2D by the end with no real emotions or sentiments.  Also, unlike his other novels where he masterfully embeds history and science and weaves it in such a way into the action that it doesn't take away from it, he absolutely drops the ball.  He has a hard time weaving the historical and the scientific together and when it is brought into the action sequences it just becomes a mess.  The historical aspects, which needed a far deeper explanation, was really shoved into the last 40 pages of the novel.  This was extremely unfortunate because in the end you realize that this was the driving force behind all of the actions and will probably be the cause for the next novel.  But like I said, Mr Rollins does not give any kind of detail into this historical conspiracy that he created, making it almost seem like he doesn't have a grasp on his own fictional history.  I hope that in his next novel, he delves much deeper into that history and more specifically, decides definitely upon the ambiguous historical statements and comments that drove this novel at the very end.  For this kind of novel, historical accuracy does not matter, but what does matter is for the author to have a clear understanding of what history he wants to be portrayed and as a history major, I had a hard time trying to grasp what exactly he was getting at.  As I have said multiple times, I am still a fan of James Rollins and his Sigma Force series, but I do hope that his next novel does not follow the same rules that his novel did.  I think that would be a profound disappointment.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Other Suggestions: Sigma Force Novels: The Devil Colony; Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child novels

Let me know what you think of this novel as well or if you have any other book suggestions!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting analysis. Sorry the author disappointed you but you did not disappoint him because you bought his book and therefore you made him a wee bit richer. Keep reading and writing your blog. We like it!!