The tenth book in James Rollins’ SIGMA series, The 6th Extinction, finds Gray Pierce, Painter Crowe, Monk Kokkalis, and Lisa Cummings, and a few newbies fighting against time and a resourceful energy to stop the onslaught of a lethal chemical released in Northern California. It will take SIGMA’s agents around the world, with ties to Egypt and Antarctica, in a novel that proves that Rollins’ understanding of biology, technology, history, and sociology know no bounds.
Just when the former veterinarian seems to be giving us too many pieces of scientific detail or corporate explanation, the pieces prove to efficiently tie together a piece of our puzzle. But he’s not just spinning us around on an emotionless adventure (or just adrenaline-rushing anyway): we’re into the thick of Alzheimer’s with Pierce’s father and Crowe is supposed to be wrapping up plans for his pending wedding. These characters of Rollins’ are more real than we’d expect from the serial thriller genre, and he’s imbued his animals (remember the vet degree) with personified attributes as well.
But the chase is on, and we figure the only thing driving a plot of this size can be… money. Sure, our heroes have resources, too, but in Rollins’ world, they are always outnumbered and outgunned and still find a way to muscle through, to stick together, to save the day. We can expect it to get gritty (go back and read about Monk’s cyberbiologic hand), but we imagine that this summer read will end with SIGMA victorious.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a casual beach read. Sure, it’s entertaining, but it still comes across as literature to be chewed on, not sipped down. Rollins’ smart writing gives us the adventure, the humor, the humanity, and the adventure- nothing is wasted, and nothing is sacrificed. All of which is pretty amazing for a guy who has been delivering books at quite the clip lately. One can only expect that there are more on the way!