THE LAST ORACLE is, by far, the best James Rollins novel I've read. Hmmm...probably since SANDSTORM. (And I've read a few well-crafted Rollins novels.) Now, TLO starts a bit slow so I urge readers to stick with it. Once the pace picks up, the reward is nonstop action and pulse-pounding, tug-on-the-heartstrings storytelling at its finest.
I don't believe a thriller has ever brought me to tears as this one did.
When a seemingly homeless man dies in Gray Pierce's arms not far from Sigma's Washington DC headquarters, the Commander is drawn into a conspiracy of "Cold War Era" proportions. The outcome of which could change the world as he knows it. If Pierce fails in his efforts millions will die. No doubt about it. With Archibald Polk's murder and the professor's possession of an ancient coin, Pierce seeks the man's daughter to help solve the mystery - and author Rollins invites readers on a thrill-ride from Washington to India to the Ukraine.
As one story unfolds, so does another. In the Southern Ural Mountains, Russian Federation, a lost Sigma team member struggles to remember his past, his name even, while knowing with certainty his future lies in his ability to save three runaway children who possess artificially enhanced savant-like capabilities.
Rollins' THE LAST ORACLE (Harper Collins, 2009, ISBN10: 0061230952, ISBN13: 978-0061230950, pp 458) has it all: elite Russian soldiers - holdovers from a time long past - and Romani gypsies and wild animals. Tigers and bears and apes, oh my! Rollins weaves in adventure and budding romance, however subtle, gifted children and heroes galore. Loss and heartache and triumph. This author is truly a master at his craft. I'm giving THE LAST ORACLE five stars, but I'd give it additional stars if I could.
(Review by Sharon Cupp Pennington, author of HOODOO MONEY & MANGROVES AND MONSTERS)