The Judas Strain is the fourth novel in the Sigma Force series by renowned author James Rollins. There’s nothing wrong with the open waters of the Indian Ocean. The adventurer investigates the luminescent lake, coming into contact with the deadly creature. Sigma forces run around the world to find a new cure that can be hidden in the human genetic code to fight the threat.
Here are the top 3 reviews and comments that readers love about this fascinating book.
Review 1: The Judas Strain audiobook by NRGspike
Apologies to Aussies.
Sadly the narrator can’t do accents – Australian in particular. I can’t comment on the story as I’m pulling the plug and refunding this after only 2hrs. The cadence of his narration can be quite irritating – often pausing, presumably for effect but it comes off more like he’s briefly lost his place in the text. It’s the accents however that ruin it, the first that crop up are Italian characters who aren’t exactly bad but do veer more towards Transylvanian at times; it’s when the Australians arrive that it really becomes painful. Imagine rolling vowel sounds around in you mouth the way a dog might chew a wasp and you have some idea of how mangled it sounds.
If you don’t have much of an ear for accents then its probably a good listen with a looming ecological disaster and two semi-secret organisations in play – the writing seems solid and well researched, I just can’t sit through another 16hrs of involuntary cringing every time a non-American has some dialogue.
Review 2: The Judas Strain audiobook by M. R. Randazzo
Once again, we have a story that takes a bit of scientific facts and throws it together into a suspense packed thriller. In this novel, we get introduced to another member of Sigma Force, Kowalski, who is presented as a walking muscle but he does have a working mind under the muscle, considering how he sees things.
This story follows two paths of two teams who wind up together in the same place at the end in the search for a solution to a problem. One path follows clues left by Marco Polo during his voyage back home. The other path follows a pathogen to it’s source.
Review 3: The Judas Strain audiobook by Matthew A. Bille
This takes over the #1 slot among Rollins novels from Bone Labyrinth with tighter, better focused action and good characterization. If the character work feels just a hair below the excellence of Bone, Rollins more than makes up for it in other ways. As his characters work through their increasingly intertwined business and personal lives, what appears to be a natural phenomenon at Christmas Island in the Pacific turns out to involve the nefarious Guild, a (real) historical mystery going back to Marco Polo, and the quest for the ultimate biological weapon. The sheer amount of action is toned down a notch from Bones, but that lets us understand better what’s going on, and the focus on key characters is tighter. The usual coincidences and luck help our heroes out, but this is a thriller and we readers accept his as part of the books’ universe. Some of the “wisdom of the ancients” stuff is still farfetched (they knew about DNA how?) but this novel only relies on it enough to make the story work. The biological science is scary, indeed terrifying, and plausible. The technology throughout works fine: a last-chapter connection between continents on a low-power device initially struck me as absurd, but then I started working it out, and realized you could do it, and do it clandestinely, by bypassing the usual military/intel satellites and hiding it in a civilian system like ARGOS. That was reassuring, as I sometimes feel Rollins treats global communications almost as magic. The details of architecture and history are everywhere convincing, and the heroes have to rely heavily on their brains as well as their guns and gadgets to solve the mystery. Some of the heroes (e.g., Lisa, Gray) take the next step in developing as operatives and leaders, and a hunt for a mole (In stories like Midnight Watch, Sigma has a nasty habit of developing security weaknesses when the plot requires it) leads to a jaw-dropping scene about loyalties and who’s playing who. Also, one of the early chapters wins some kind of ingenuity award for the cleverest use of a natural “weapon” to take out bad guys.
Overall, then, I think this is the best-written of the Sigma series, one I had an easy time following but a hard time putting down. Excellent work, sir.
Matt Bille,[…], author The First Space Race,[…]
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