From the Book Shelf: 'Doomsday Key'

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By Mary Daugherty

"Doomsday Key” By James Rollins William Morrow List Price: $16.79

Rating: Four bookworms out of five

  By MARY DAUGHERTY For The News-Enterprise

Every once in a while a reader gets lucky enough to discover an author in the beginnings of his or her career. I still have my first paperback of "Carrie" by Stephen King. It was 1974 and I was obsessed with horror stories.

Stop it, quit doing the math. I was 12.

In 1999, I ran across a book, “Subterranean” by a virtually unknown author, James Rollins. According to www.jamesrollins.com, James Rollins and James Clemens are two of the pen names he uses because he said his real name is hard to pronounce.

He uses Clemens for fantasy writing.

From the first book, I was hooked, and his writing just kept getting better and better. Today, Rollins is a best selling author with a new release, “The Doomsday Key.” His writing will remind a reader of Cussler, Crichton and Dan Brown all rolled up into one.

“The Doomsday Key” is full of action with tie-ins to history, science and secret organizations. The characters are well defined and readers may find themselves on the edge of their seats as the characters find themselves in dangerous and interesting situations. I don’t want to give anything away, but Rollins has written a story that entails ancient artifacts, hidden rooms, booby traps, prophecies come true, missing bumble bees, miracle-performing saints, love triangles, the final resting place of Merlin the wizard, polar bears, teddy bears, the world’s healthiest apple, population control and world hunger. All of that and I have not even gotten to the big ending.

Afterward: In each of Rollin’s books, he includes an afterward that has become my favorite part — don’t cheat and read it first. In it he explains the science and history that is used in the book. He documents and discusses the truth behind all the facts he uses to make his books so interesting. A reader will be amazed at the truth behind the story.

So if you are out for a thriller that will keep you guessing till the very end, “The Doomsday Key” is the book I suggest. You do not have to read Rollins’ books in order, but I do suggest it. Here is the order for those that would like to join me on this great adventure:

 SIGMA Force series: “Sandstorm” (2004); “Map of Bones” (2005); “Black Order” (2006); “Judas Strain” (2007); “The Last Oracle” (2008); “The Doomsday Key” (June 23, 2009)

Additional books: “Subterranean” (1999); “Excavation” (2000); “Deep Fathom” (2001); “Amazonia” (2002); “Ice Hunt” (2003); “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008); “Altar of Eden” (October 28, 2009).  

Mary lives with her husband, Ray, and her chihuahuas in Radcliff, Ky.