The 6th Extinction: A Sigma Force Novel
THE 6th EXTINCTION comes exactly 10 years after the release of James Rollins’s first Sigma Force novel, SANDSTORM. It is also the 10th book in this exciting series that continues to combine real-world events with cutting-edge science and plenty of heart-pounding action.
There have been five extinction-level events that the planet earth has undergone. Unbeknownst to many, with the exception of some scientists and eco-activists, we are currently in the midst of the sixth extinction. We are doing this as a species and not even aware of the long-term and possibly fatal impact. What this refers to is how man is misusing the planet's natural resources and raping the land at every turn. We are continuing down a road in which there may be no turning back --- and one from which the ultimate outcome is the elimination of our species.
The novel opens with a prophetic quote from Carl Sagan: "Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception." After reading that, you may think that the peril Sigma Force is about to face is one that they will be unable to resolve. Then I checked myself and remembered you can never count out Sigma Force.
"Readers will have many sleepless nights with THE 6th EXTINCTION clutched close to their chests as the very real nightmare comes to life on each successive page."
A remote military research facility in Mono Lake, California, becomes ground zero for the extinction event that will threaten mankind. A deadly breach of whatever top-secret experiment they were working on causes a mass exodus from the facility as a message is sent to anyone who is listening to “no matter the outcome, kill them all.”
Ecological doctorate student Jenna Beck is present at Mono Lake for this event and accompanied by her military dog, Nikko. She realizes something very bad has happened and immediately fears for her own safety and that of everything in the immediate environment. The only person successfully escaping from the research facility is Dr. Kendall Hess, who is now working in the employ of a reach megalomaniac named Cutter Elwes, who has interesting plans for the product created by Dr. Hess.
Meanwhile, Sigma Force --- led by Painter Crowe, Gray Pierce and a cast of teammates we have all grown to love over the course of this series --- is called into action. As is typical, they split their resources and tackle the multiple issues taking place around the globe. They are ultimately fighting a project entitled Neogenesis, or “new genesis,” which has its history steeped in the work of Charles Darwin and his survival of the fittest ideology. A computer file is found actually entitled D.A.R.W.I.N., an acronym for Develop and Revolutionize Without Injuring Nature.
What Elwes, now with the assistance of Dr. Hess, has done is essentially create a new world, a new Galapagos. Deep in the heart of underground caverns in Antarctica lies the area nicknamed “Hellscape,” and it is in this dark lost world that Sigma Force will face their greatest threat. Dangerous species never before seen, or ancient predators such as the mammoth Megatherium, are part of this ecosystem and may be too much for the team to overcome.
In typical Rollins fashion, all of this brilliant science and completely plausible terror comes with page-turning reading that will have you gasping for breath. The clock is ticking on the acceleration of the extinction event that will save all species of animals but wipe out mankind. Readers will have many sleepless nights with THE 6th EXTINCTION clutched close to their chests as the very real nightmare comes to life on each successive page. Read on --- and keep the faith in Sigma Force, and all (hopefully) will be well.
Reviewed by Ray Palen on August 22, 2014