Series: Sigma Force #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Published: April 26th 2005
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thrillers
Description: An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum, setting off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world. And now the search for answers is leading Lady Kara Kensington; her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery's brilliant and beautiful curator; and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, into a world they never dreamed existed: a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert. But others are being drawn there as well, some with dark and sinister purposes. And the many perils of a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmare waiting to be unearthed at journey's end: an ageless and awesome power that could create a utopia . . . or destroy everything humankind has built over countless millennia.
Sandstorm is the confluence on all the genres I look for in a book – Action, Adventure, Mystery, History, with a smattering of physics. And not much of a love story. Which is gratefully appreciated.
I have seen a lot of press lately for the Sigma Force books, with the release of #12, Seventh Plague. And while I’m desperately waiting for the release of the new Seven Wonders book, I thought I’d give this series a try. Twelve books published in a series must mean something, right?
There is too much going on with the plot to recap. Instead, I’ll highlight. Sigma Force is a DARPA agency where recruits all the brainy shoulders. Imagine super-smart, super-educated, super soldiers. Solving problems with brains AND brawn. This is Painter Crowe. A microcomputer and surveillance expert. He and his partner, Coral Novak, a MIT physicist, are tasked with finding antimatter in the Oman desert. And keeping that antimatter away from
Hydra the Guild. I love the idea that there is a group of soldiers out there saving the world with brains, not just blowing stuff up. In addition to the Sigma members, our team has Safia, an archaeologist born in Oman, Kara, the woman Safia grew up with, Omaha, another archaeologist, and Safia’s former fiancé, Danny, Omaha’s brother, and Clay, Safia’s intern. The team sets out to save the world, or really, stop the world from blowing up.
The adventure and chase is what drew me to Sandstorm. And is what kept me reading. (It’s a long book!) Around every corner there is danger, and I anxiously awaited how the characters would survive each challenge. Attacks on their ship; kidnappings; a mega sand and electrical storm; mysterious assassins. The eponymous Sandstorm being the greatest challenge. I think the dessert sandstorm setting really played into the plot well. Racing to beat the baddies to the secret city is all the more challenging when the race also involves a mega storm following close on your heels. I think Painter and his team all had nine lives to survive some of the challenges Mr. Rollins threw their way.
The story switches POV between all of the main characters (Painter, Safia, Kara, Omaha, and the baddy – name not given here for spoilers.) I found the switches in POV confusing at first, as they aren’t really announced. I did appreciate all the different POV’s by the end, though. The different perspectives enhanced the story telling. If we were only following one character, we would be missing major portions of story.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sandstorm. The written word sparked my imagination. And left me wanting the next book in the series. I think I may have found a new go to series when I’m in need of some adventure in my life.