James Rollins fans will not be disappointed with “The Demon Crown,” his latest “Sigma Force” novel detailing yet one more way the world as we know it might end. This thriller is filled with action, adventure, science, and a roller-coaster of plot twists and turns.
One of Rollins’ many talents in writing a series is his ability to make each novel as much a stand-alone book as possible given that the characters reappear in most of the “Sigma Force” novels. Sigma Force is the shadowy, secret arm of the government agency DARPA, run by Painter Crowe and his able team. Rollins manages to give new readers a real sense of the characters while not boring those who have read other books in the series — it’s a talent.
In this story, the team is fighting an enemy who has unleashed what are clearly wasps from hell. These huge creatures are truly nightmarish, and even worse is what results after they sting someone. Let’s just say they leave behind more than only a stinger. And Rollins describes it all in excruciating detail — really. Some readers may not want to be eating a meal while reading about the effect of the wasps’ attacks.
What sets Rollins’ books apart from other thrillers is that Rollins is a veterinarian and a scientist. As such, he inserts authentic-sounding science into the stories, and the science is based on real facts (some of which he stretches for purposes of the story, of course). But at the end of each book, he carefully explains to the readers what is fact and what he has created. The results are both edifying and terrifying.
As with other Rollins books, this story takes readers all over the world. From South America to Japan to Estonia and Hawaii, Rollins’ descriptions could put a travel writer to shame. As in all the Sigma Force books, all’s well that ends well, and the team will be ready for the next adventure.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, William Morrow, for review purposes.