Title: The Devil Colony
Author: James Rollins
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Historical Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5
In the mountains of Utah, a strange Native American burial site is discovered. It’s not like anything anyone has seen before – there are gold tablets in the chamber and the skull of a prehistoric animal coated in gold. There is more than meets the eye in the chamber, though, and an explosion inside will set off a massive catastrophe on a global scale. In order to prevent it, Sigma Force must take a trip though American history – from the Lewis & Clark expedition straight to the vaults at Fort Knox.
I enjoy James Rollins’ Sigma Force novels for pure escapist reading. They thrill the history lover in me, while also making the happenings of our past relevant in the present day world. I always manage to learn something from these novels (Rollins is careful to separate fact from fiction, as well as offer suggestions for further reading, at the end of the book) and they never fail to be entertaining. The Devil Colony is no exception to this rule.
I appreciated Rollins’ ingenuity in The Devil Colony. He takes such disparate threads of history – the founding of the Mormon religion by Joseph Smith, the Lewis and Clark expedition, myth about the lost thirteenth tribe of Israel, and the cutting edge of computer technology – in order to form a complex and detailed alternate history in this novel. I loved how he took such different pieces of the past and fit them together to present, while not an entirely believable history, one that was completely entertaining and fun to think about for the purposes of this book.
The Devil Colony also follows the paths of the different characters avid readers of the series have come to know. While it isn’t really necessary to read the previous books in the series to understand this one – the focus of these books is plot, rather than character development – Rollins doesn’t abandon his characters and leave them static. Instead, they are continually growing and changing; their priorities shift as their jobs tax them in ways they never thought possible. I appreciated that Rollins tries to keep his characters fresh and new, rather than leaving them to fend for themselves.
I’m a big fan of Rollins’, and I hope the Sigma Force series continues on into the future. While the current characters are becoming weary of their action packed lives and the consequences they must face because of them, it would be great to bring some fresh blood into the organization and continue the novels that way. I absolutely love this mix of history and action, and Rollins’ imagination and creativity is always impressive.