I have read a few of James Rollin’s Sigma series books before. I picked them up because I have always enjoyed historical adventure type of stories. I like the idea of there being more to history than the basic stories we have always been told. Mix that idea in with an adventure and you have an entertaining story.
While I have read a few of Rollin’s stories before I did not read any of them in order. For me I tend to read these type of stories out of order; thinking the story is more about whatever the main characters are seeking and trying to preserve or destroy. That was until I read “Judas Strain,” this last month. I had been in a spell of reading fantasy and was in the mood for something a bit different for a bit. I went to my bookshelf and picked up “Judas Strain,” and was pulled in like I usually am to these novels.
“Judas Strain,” is about the Sigma force trying to find the source of, and combat a new bacteria that is causing people to get sick on Christmas Island. What they find out is that the outbreak is much more dangerous then previously thought, and that its origins go all the way back to Marco Polo. They are in a race against time to save the population of the world from a pandemic while also fighting an enemy they have encountered before.
I enjoyed the story by itself. The pace was fast and kept you turning pages. Someone was always in danger and there was always a feel that not everyone was being completely truthful. You doubted loyalties and wondered if everyone was going to make it out of the predicament alive.
The outbreak was an intriguing concept as well. It was a different way of looking at a common idea. It makes you wonder what would happen if your own body fought against you.
What I liked most about reading “Judas Strain,” was realizing how much better this series is if you read them in order. Like I stated before I usually read them out of order, not really concentrating on the characters, but more of the mystery and the historical aspect. “Judas Strain,” made me care a lot about the characters of Grey, Painter, Monk and Lisa. I realized how connected these books are and I was eager to read the next book in the series, “The Last Oracle.” I wanted to see how the characters were coping after this encounter and what was going to happen next with some of the loose ends.
It is said that you always see something you miss in a second reading and for me that is very true with this book series. I now want to read them in order so that I get even more involved with the stories. Now I am not only intrigued by the story line or the history mystery but I also deeply care about the characters as well. Rollins heightens the suspense by bringing these characters alive more and more with each story. I am excited to continue reading the series. If you like historical adventure novels you will enjoy Rollin’s stories. You get a fun adventure with characters you actually care about more and more with each book.