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The Doomsday Key by James Rollins

The Doomsday Key

by James Rollins

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sigma Force (6)

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***2014 Reread of Sigma Force***
The sixth in the Sigma Force series. This book focuses on early Celt/Druid history and genetically modified foods. Topics include the phophecies of Saint Malachy, the Domesday Book, food genetics, and world population issues. As before this review will be broken into the three categories mentioned in previous reviews and hidden due to spoilers. Links to all of the reviews so far are here:

Map of Bones
Black Order
The Judas Strain
The Last Oracle
The Doomsday Key
The Devil Colony
The Eye of God

Synopsis:Beginning with the prologue when the Domesday Book was being written and cryptic words rested over villages meaning "Wasted" and then leading to an attack on a priest and Monsignor Verona, leaving one dead and Verona in a coma, as well as an attack in Africa on a camp that was testing geneitcally modified foods for Viatus corporation, Sigma is split in two groups. At first however, Rachel Verona makes a call and requests some asistance from Gray with respect to her uncle. Gray and Kowalski head out to meet Rachel in Rome. They are ambushed and ironically meet up with Seichan. They are chased through the streets and eventually into the Colisseum. They make their escape and decide to follow the path of the late priest and head out into the Lake District of England.

There they meet up with a professor. They head into the peat bogs to find the place marked on the old Domesday map. Seichan, still working with the Guild, is trying to play the situation to her adanatage and delivers a three day slow acting poison to Rachel. The Guild setsw the peat bogs on fire, and the team barely escapes. They head to the next place Father Giovanni visited, Bardsey Island, Wales.

On the island, Gray and company find a tomb entrance and head down. While in the tomb Gray finds a secret room and making a major mistake, figures out only half of the riddle and triggers a trap door. While no one was hurt, valuable stuff was lost and answers may have been lost as well. They do find a clue and piece together that the next place to visit is the tomb of Saint malachy, in the Abbey of Clairvaux. The team risks a night crossing with treacherous seas, and gets a plane to make the trip to North Western France.

While all of that was happening, back in DC Painter is following up on the Viatus side of things. He sends Monk and a new guy, John Creed, out to Princeton to check in with a professor who has data from the Viatus camp in Africa before it was destroyed. Once the team gets there, a firefight breaks out, the professor is dead, and only the assisstant is around to answer some questions. Once back at Sigma, Painter, along with Monk and Creed, decides to go to the conference in Oslo, Norway to follow up on Viatus. Once there, Painter is attacked as he is made by an undercover Guild operative. Surviving, he sends Monk and Creed to check out the corporation while he meets with someone who has info. Monk and Creed discover weird biological experiments linking the attacks in Africa to crop genetics to Viatus. Painter finds himself in another ambush, and has to save the US Senator Gorman. This new team make their own arrangements to fly out to Svalbard, home of the Global Seed Vault, where Viatus, run by Ivar Karlsen, is having a tour.

Painter amd the senator split from Monk and Creed. Painter heads into the tour area of the vault while Monk patrols around outside. The Guild decides to eliminate everyone and sends a missile strike at the vault and detonates a bunker buster. Painter finds the bomb before it explodes and places it at the vault door where an avalanche has covered everything. When the Guild goes back for cleanup, they are met with resistance from both Painter and Monk as they rejoin. Ivar Karlsen is now apart of the Sigma team as he realizes the Guild betrayed him as well. They escape and head to England to look for Gray, unsure if he is dead or alive. Krista magnussen is still alive as she escaped the vault before the missiles and avoided the firefight with the Guild v Sigma forces.

In France, Gray and his team research and scout the Abbey. In the scouting Seichan is ambushed. She kills all and realized the Guild no longer has a need for her. The group enter the Abbey/Max security prison under pretense of a tour. When they get to the Cloister ruins, Krista and her tropps drop down and starting firing. Gray discovers a hidden door within the cloister using the cross. Underground a similar trap is set like in the Bardsey Island tomb. Gray and Seichan figure out how to open the door this time and tombs are revealed including an Egyptian princess and possible Malachy and Bernard. Malachy's prophecy book is here, with many more entries as well as a canopic jar with a very fine white powder. This appears to be the Doomsday Key: a counter agent to the fungus. However, Krista blows her way inside, Wallace reveals his betrayal and then in turn is betrayed by Krista as he is gunned down, after revealing he is part of Echelon. She sets a fire bomb and heads back up. Gray quickly throws the bomb under the tombs and closes the door. When it explodes no one is seriously hurt. Up top Painter and his forces miraculously appear. It seems Seichan was under Painter's orders and after the latest ambush she contacted him. In the ensuing firefight, Painter kills Krista after John Creed takes bullets to save Painter. Creed dies.

In the end, everyone is safe, everyone bad is dead. Ivar Karlsen is in prison, but he is using Viatus to mass produce the counteragent for all the bioengineered testing. Rachel was not actually poisoned as Seichan was working for Painter. Vigor Verona woke from his coma. In the epilogue, Gray is showering and when he steps out a female is in his bed waiting. Never acknowledged, it could be Rachel since they had a fallback earlier, but based on the description of the leg, it is probbaly Seichan.

Sigma Characters:
DARPA Director: General Gregory Metcalf
SIGMA Director: Painter Crowe
SIGMA Admin: Brant Millford, secretary and aid
Agent: Commander Grayson Pierce, team leader
Agent: Monk Kokkalis
Agent: Kathryn Bryant, second in command
Agent: Joe Kowalksi
Agent: John Creed, former Marines [DECEASED]
Doctor: Malcolm Jennings
Doctor: Lisa Cummings
Analyst: Adam Proust
Analyst: Georgina Rowe

Sigma Locations
Princeton University; New Jersey, USA
Colosseum; Rome, Italy
Lake Disctrict, England
Bardsey Island, Wales
Viatus; Oslo, Norway
Global Seed Vault; Svalbard, Norway
Abbey of Clairvaux; Clairvaux, France

Maps of Northern Europe/Arctic Circle and Seed Vault
( )
  T4NK | Sep 30, 2014 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I have all of the Sigma Force series. As always, the pace is fast, the history and science fascinating and the characters compelling. My favorite kind of read! I highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys a page turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peter's Basilica. In Africa, a U.S. senator's son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. The three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh.

The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries, to a ghastly crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex. The first clue is discovered inside a mummified corpse buried in an English peat bog--a gruesome secret that threatens America and the world.

Aided by two women from his past--one his exlover, the other his new partner--Gray must piece together the horrifying truth. But the revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Gray will have to sacrifice one of the women at his side. That alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom.

Sigma Force confronts humankind's greatest threat in an adventure that races from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint--an ancient artifact known as the Doomsday Key. ( )
  anglesey | Jul 10, 2013 |
Scientists cum superheroes Sigma Force explore the myths behind the Domesday book and the conspiracy behind GM crops in their latest caper.
Often reading more like a film script than a novel the action is non-stop yet often predictable. Yes, the characters are likeable and it never felt like any of them were in genuine peril, which makes the story seem very "safe,"
Rollins needs to shake things up a bit in the next instalment to keep me interested. ( )
  cathymoore | Apr 29, 2013 |
I enjoy the way that Rollins writes but I find the entire Sigma Force versus The Guild annoying. It reminds me of the old TV show Get Smart. Having two agencies fighting each other tooth and nail yet being totally secret and unknown to the general population is fine when played for comedy, but it's difficult to take seriously.

In Doomsday Key there's multiple times when military jets and helicopters attack our intrepid heroes, and this force is projected on multiple continents and in public areas...but nobody seems to realize that The Guild exists. Hmmm.

Despite that I really enjoyed the book. Rollins takes on a lot of heavy topics like plague, global warming, over population, genetically modified food, and even the disappearance of honey bees---and wraps it all in a novel that uses religion and ancient explorers to explain things.

The action sequences are a lot of fun, albeit a mite over the top every now and then, but the tech trappings that comprise the plot are the real attraction here. Rollins does a great job fitting all those threats and dangers listed above into a credible plot. He even gives sources at the end of the book for those that want to explore the topics in greater detail. Great stuff. ( )
  dketelsen | Oct 9, 2012 |
Typical Rollins... Lot's of action. Lot's of history. Good but not his best. ( )
  EctopicBrain | Jul 31, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Rollinsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fernandez, Peter JayReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gasperi, GianpaoloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Commander Gray Perce and the Sigma Force confront humankind's greatest threat in an adventure that races from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint--an ancient artifact known as the Doomsday Key--and a secret that has already claimed the lives of a famed geneticist, a Vatican archaeologist, and a U.S. senator's son.… (more)

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