Featured Review: ‘The Demon Crown’ by James Rollins

The Demon CrownIn December of 1903, traveling by night under the cover of darkness, Alexander Graham Bell led a team of scientists to Geno, Italy for a top-secret mission. There, they searched for the remains of James Smithson, the founder of the Smithsonian Institute. After weeks of going about obtaining Smithson’s remains the right and legal way, only to have the Italian government repeatedly shut down their efforts, the group finally decided to act on their own.

In the present day, Commander Gray Pierce, following the events detailed in The Seventh Plague (2016), is enjoying some much-needed vacation time on a remote sandy beach off the island of Maui. Gray, one of the top operators for Sigma Force, a covert group tied to DARPA, has spent time traveling the world with Seichan, his significant other. Together, the two witnessed a bizarre event when a small plane dumped a black cloud above the water before them, and then flew into the cliffs in a fiery explosion. 

The black cloud, it turns out, was a swarm of three-inch long, poisonous black wasps.

With their vacation decidedly over, Pierce and Seichan contacted Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force, to fill him in. Upon hearing that similar incidents had been reported on Oahu and the big island of Hawaii, it becomes clear that the wasps’ attack wasn’t an act of mother nature, but rather a coordinated biological assault.

Director Crowe, whose Sigma Force team lives by the motto of “get there first,” is shocked when they loop in Dr. Samuel Bennett, a leading entomologist expert, who informs them that Crow is actually the second person to inquire about this specific description of the wasps Gray forwarded to them. As further attacks terrorize Hawaii and its surrounding islands, Crowe begins to question the motive behind them, even wondering if the entire plan was meant to be a direct assault on Sigma. 

As Rollins’ story surges forward at breakneck speeds, two haunting realities become painfully apparent for the Sigma Force gang. First, someone woke an ancient, deadly threat unlike anything humanity has ever seen. Secondly, this species of killer wasps displays the frightening ability to adapt in real time, changing their tactics and adjusting to their opponents on the fly.

Facing their most dangerous threat yet, Sigma Force’s only chance to save mankind is for Painter Crowe and his operators to team up with their longtime sworn enemy…the Guild.

James Rollins takes his series to a whole new level with The Demon Crown, which features a chilling plot, plenty of action, and several well-timed twists that’ll keep readers flipping pages at a blazing clip. The early attack scenes are terrifying, with shades of M. Night Shyamalan-like fright and intensity. Those opening sequences set the tone and feel for the rest of the book, as the chapters unfold with a sense of urgency and purpose, creating a relentless pace that never lets up. 

Bold plotting, colorful characters, a mystery dating back to the days of James Smithsonan, and hard-hitting action…The Demon Crown has it all. Twelve books in, James Rollins proves once again that his Sigma Force franchise is one of the best series the thriller genre has to offer. 

Book Details

Author: James Rollins
Series: Sigma Force #12
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1101984813
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children. 

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