The Demon Crown by James Rollins

demon crown
The Demon Crown, book #13 of Sigma Force by James Rollins, is a fast paced thriller that reminds humanity that it is not always the dominant species on the planet. Rollins is one of the premier writers of adventure novels, that mix science, superstition and government agencies today and The Demon Crown shows he is still very much at the top of his game.

“…The tinier bones had come to form a ghastly halo above the skull.
Like a crown.
He glanced to Mabel, who took a deep breath as she recognized the pattern. She knew, too, that this must be what Smithson wrote about-what he aptly named the Demon Crown.
‘Impossible,’ his wife whispered.
He nodded. In his pocket, he held a burned page from Smithson’s diary, upon which the man had scribbled a remarkable claim about this artifact.
It had to be impossible, as his wife said.
He pictured Smithson’s words, what the dead man had written concerning this artifact.
Be warned, what the Demon Crown holds is very much alive…
Alexander felt an icy trickle of terror.
…and ready to unleash the very hordes of Hell upon this world…”

On an island off the coast of Brazil, a small team of scientists happen upon an ancient horror, only to be massacred by a very modern one. A strike team of assassins attack the island and kill the everyone except for Ken Matsui from Cornell University. Now Matsui must make his way to civilization, hidden from sight and full of the worst secrets.

Vacationing on the island of Maui, Commander Grayson Pierce and his lover of Sigma Force are taking a small vacation when they find themselves under attack from the same assassins who had attacked Matsui. Only this time, they have a new weapon. A bio-weapon that has not seen the light of day for ages. Now Pierce must discover the truth behind this attack and find a way to keep this ancient horror from overtaking the world. But this new threat changes and adapts and seems to know that it is deadliest thing on the planet. It has been dormant for too many years and now, is awake with a vengeance.

Rollins with his Sigma Force novels writes the kind of smart action novels that there are too few off in today’s market. They require thought. Rollins respects his readers enough to know that they are not engaged for the action alone but for the science behind it. Sigma Force was created to face those factions and dangers that the military on its own cannot do.

In this case, there is an ancient threat to humanity, a species with devastating effect on the world’s ecosystem. If reintroduced, there is no natural predator to stop it. The remnants of Sigma Force’s enemies have found this threat and are using it with brutality. Their first target, the islands of Hawaii and once they are done there, the mainland.

A terrific and horrifying read. The threat itself, being all too real.

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