#BookReview: Crucible by James Rollins

Can Even Sigma Defeat This Threat? Honestly, the best thing about this book is that Rollins ups the stakes *so much* that the threat feels *all too real* – even moreso than during the events of The Demon Crown. And yes, in part this is because I’m reading this book – where the science involved is fully realized Artificial General Intelligence – in 2023, when it seems we hear every day that this is truly just days away from actually being real. But also because of Rollins’ writing and what he is willing to put the characters we’ve come to love so much through. The team is actually split in *three* ways here, rather than the more typical two, and with each feeding on the other (as usual)… pulse pounding at its finest. Rollins truly makes you feel that even Sigma is actually being gravely threatened – and that is a true talent, after spending so many books showing them to be almost a John Cena type of organization, able to take any beating that comes their way and ultimately win anyway. Combining the science of AI with the history of the witch purges and in particular the Spanish Inquisition – which was still raging as recently as just 200 yrs ago – was truly inspired here, and works quite well – even moreso with the particularly shocking revelation in the end that ties all the way back to the very first words of the book. Truly one of the better Sigma books, but absolutely one that needs to be read at minimum in order as a trilogy with this being Book Three and The Seventh Plague and The Demon Crown being books 1 and 2, respectively. (Even if you don’t go back and re-read the *entire* Sigma story before coming into this one.) Very much recommended.

This review of Crucible by James Rollins was originally written on June 23, 2023.

Featured New Release Of The Week: Ghost Of Himself by Pandora Pine

This week, we look at a book that introduces a new spinoff series from a well established world. This week, we look at Ghost of Himself by Pandora Pine.

This was an excellent entry point into an existing well-established world. You get enough of a sense of the larger world without being overwhelmed in the details and thus not being able to enjoy the particular story you are currently reading. Indeed, just the opposite is true: the current story is the laser focus at all times, and you get just enough background to understand where the various existing players are coming from while whetting your appetite to find out exactly how they arrived at their current locations. Case in point being one half of the focal couple of this very slow burn romance – private investigator Jude Byrne. He is one of many links to the previously existing world, finally getting his own story in this spinoff series, and apparently he has been quite… open… with the sheer volume of partners he has bedded. Apparent series newcomer pyschic witch Copeland Forbes has been a bit more selective with his lovers, but is certainly no prude himself.

MM romance enthusiasts will likely be dismayed to realize there is no penetrative sex in this particular tale – as I said, it is truly a slow burn romance – though it does have some sexual activity, as one would expect from most modern romances outside of certain particular subgenres. But that is the only minor quibble to be had here and that is mostly just the lack of a genre trope. Otherwise, this truly is a strong tale in its own right that serves as an excellent launching pad for its own series within this larger world, while also getting new readers interested in learning about that larger world. Outstanding on all points, and very much recommended.

As always, Amazon/ Goodreads:
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