the-sixth-extinction-james-rollinsAs soon as I read the description of James Rollins’ The 6th Extinction, I was hooked…

A military research station buried in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California broadcasts a frantic distress call that ends with a chilling order:

“This is sierra, victor, whiskey. There’s been a breach. Fail-safe initiated. No matter the outcome: Kill us … kill us all.”

How can you read that and not be intrigued? Clearly, there was some dangerous research going on and something deadly was about to be turned loose on the world. Who could be counted on to save us all? Apparently, only the Sigma Force team, led by Commander Gray Pierce. They have the military and scientific knowledge to decipher what was happening at the lab and track down the saboteurs who interfered – and who are working on their own deadly agenda.

I love a good covert operation, I love a good science storyline, and there is plenty of excitement in this one. When a garbled call comes in from the military research station, Ranger Jenna Beck and her canine companion, Nikko, head up there to check things out. She finds the gate standing open. (That’s never a good sign. No self-respecting, top-secret military base leaves their gate unlocked!) She gets a frantic call from her dispatcher, ordering her to get out of there, relaying the “kill us all” message, just as the entire base erupts in flame. That’s enough to get Jenna headed out of the compound at full speed … but why is there helicopter tailing her?

The story takes us from California to Washington, from the jungles of Brazil to the ice floes of Antarctica. It reaches back to Charles Darwin aboard the H.M.S. Beagle, and beyond, to the Library of Alexandria, for a map that may show the way to a lost continent under the ice, the terrifying secrets it holds, and the devastation it could unleash. There are mad scientists and evil geniuses, soldiers and mercenaries, and a mad rush to either save mankind or destroy it. That should be enough excitement for anyone!

I haven’t read any of the other Sigma Force novels (this is the tenth book in the series), but I can certainly see the appeal. Still, I found it harder and harder to suspend my disbelief (and I am a master of that particular skill). Although Rollins lays out the scientific principles and the current technology in the Author’s Notes at the end of the book, I still found it a bit much. A friend who has read the whole series says that they get “more eye-rolly” as they go on, which means I would probably love the early books. Although I sped through this one in pretty short order and enjoyed the twists and turns, I didn’t love it. It needed just a little more grounding in reality for me.

My copy of The 6th Extinction was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge.

New on the Shelves…

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By Lisa | Filed in New Books | One comment

Let’s start the week with a new book! From the weekend’s mail bag, I’ve got All That Followed by Gabriel Urza:

allA psychologically twisting novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town; a dazzling debut in the tradition of Daniel Alarcón and Mohsin Hamid

It’s 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain’s northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years have passed since the kidnapping and murder of a young local politician–a family man and father–and the town’s rhythms have almost returned to normal. But in the aftermath of the Atocha train bombings in Madrid, an act of terrorism that rocked a nation and a world, the townspeople want a reckoning of Muriga’s own troubled past: Everyone knows who pulled the trigger five years ago, but is the young man now behind bars the only one to blame? All That Followed peels away the layers of a crime complicated by history, love, and betrayal. The accounts of three townspeople in particular–the councilman’s beautiful young widow, the teenage radical now in jail for the crime, and an aging American teacher hiding a traumatic past of his own–hold the key to what really happened. And for these three, it’s finally time to confront what they can find of the truth.

Inspired by a true story, All That Followed is a powerful, multifaceted novel about a nefarious kind of violence that can take hold when we least expect. Urgent, elegant, and gorgeously atmospheric, Urza’s debut is a book for the world we live in now, and it marks the arrival of a brilliant new writer to watch.

Quotables

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By Lisa | Filed in Quotables | No comments yet.

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”

Walter Cronkite, American broadcast journalist

Hot Guys with Books

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By Lisa | Filed in Hot Guys with Books | No comments yet.

in a tree

New on the Shelves…

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When I saw “a novel of the first dog,” I was thinking something totally different – this is Presidential politics season, after all – but this looks really interesting!

dog masterSet against the most dramatic time in our species’ history, The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog tells the story of one tribe’s struggle for survival and one extraordinary man’s bond with a wolf-a friendship that changed mankind forever

Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. Among the species forced out of the trees and onto the steppes by the advancing cold was modern man, who was both predator and prey.

No stranger to the experiences that make us human-a mother’s love and a father’s betrayal, tribal war and increasing famine, political intrigue and forbidden love, joy and hope and devastating loss-our ancestors competed for scant resources in a brutal landscape.

Mankind stood on the cold brink of extinction…but they had a unique advantage over other species, a new technology-domesticated wolves.

Only a set of extraordinary circumstances could have transformed one of these fierce creatures into a hunting companion, a bodyguard, a soldier, and a friend. The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron is an evocative glimpse of prehistory, an emotional coming of age saga, a thrilling tale of survival against all odds, and the exciting, imaginative story of the first dog.

Quotables

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By Lisa | Filed in Quotables | No comments yet.

This explains a lot, including why I would never want his autograph. What an idiot.

I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.

– Kanye West

Hot Guys with Books

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Charlie Hunnam. A little scruffy in this one, but I’d still snuggle up with him for a chapter or two.

charlie h

New on the Shelves…

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By Lisa | Filed in Mystery/Thriller, New Books | No comments yet.

This just in from Harper Collins! Waiting for me on my Kindle, Spy Trade by Matthew Dunn:

spy tradeWhen a mission goes awry in Syria, senior CIA officer Bob Oakland is captured by aspiring members of ISIS, who demand the release of one of their own, Arzam Saud, in U.S. captivity. When their hands are tied by Washington’s refusal to negotiate, the CIA turns to MI6 officer Will Cochrane to find out what’s really going on. The threats are escalating quickly, and in order to save the CIA officer, Cochrane must uncover why Saud is truly so important . . .

New on the Shelves…

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Today’s new book is Seriously Wicked by Tina Connelly. I don’t really do much YA, but you never know what will make the reading list on a hot summer afternoon…

wickedThe hilarious new YA from acclaimed author Tina Connolly.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose–and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Suddenly Cam’s got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch…will that mean she’s wicked too?

Hot Guys with Books

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In case last week was a little too refined for you…

tattoed and furry