Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sandstorm - James Rollins [May/06]

It's that time again, I love James Rollins, so it was fun to read two books by him in the same month! I started this book earlier in the year, but I decided I wasn't ready for a Rollins novel yet. I liked Amazonia so much, I wasn't sure if any of his other novels were going to be able to compare. As the back of the book states:

Lady Kara Kensington's family paid a high price in money and blood to found the gallery that now lies in ruins. And her search for answers is about to lead Kara; 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 actually existed: a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert, where something astonishing is waiting.

A covert government operative hunting a dangerous turncoat - his former partner - is being drawn there as well. But the many perils of a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmare to be unearthed at journey's end - an ageless power that lives and breathes, an awesome force that can create a utopia... or tear down everything humankind has built over millennia of civilization.
Once I decided that I was ready of a Rollins novel, I found that this one read just as well as others by him. It is one of his more later novels, having only came out in 2004. He used to take forever to come out with new books, but he had a new one out last year, Map of Bones, and he has another one coming out very soon Black Society. He keeps this up I will be able to read a book by him every year!

This book shows some evolution from his earlier novels. It is longer, for starters, but it also has more of a background provided for the characters. In his other novels there is a lot of concentration on what is happening at that moment and less time taken to show how the characters have developed into the people they are in the book. In this book, we know that Lady Kara Kensington lost her father while hunting in the desert. Well, that is the official cause for death, but Kensington finds out in the course of this novel that there is more to her past than meets the eye and her father's intentions might not always have been honourable. She funds this mission to learn the truth about her father, but she also gains something that she always had but never knew the truth behind.

Safia has a shaky past herself. There was a bombing where she used to work and she was the only survivor. This is something that she has never fully came to terms with, and is still battling with. She sets out on this mission to find the cause of the bombing at the museum, but what really happens is that develops a reconnection with herself and learns the secret to who she is. This means that she is able to reconnect with people from her past, and learn that not everything bad that happens is her fault. By the end of the novel she is at peace with herself.

I really enjoyed the setting for this novel. They go to an ancient town in the middle of the Arabian desert. A town that has never been understood, and has remained an archeological mystery. They solve this mystery, but not without many risks and adventures. In the end, though, the characters learn more about themselves and also answer questions that have been left unanswered for millenium. Another great Rollins read!



  1. I just read Map of Bones and it's not as gripping as Dan Brown's books, though it held its own. Also, there's too much supererogatory information, which can leave you in a state of muddiness. I like the flow of the story. An overall 7/10 for me.

    P/S: I think Rollins' new book is called BLACK ORDER. :-)

  2. Oh, yes, it is Black Order. Not sure where I got Society from! Thanks for correcting that. :)


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