The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
SIGMA FORCE!!!!! Right... whew!! So where do I start....
I am huge James Rollins fan, if you did not know that there the profile that I did of Rollins a couple of years back when I started reading the Sigma Force Series from him after stumbling upon .
Rollins is head and shoulders above his competition. What makes him so unique is his ability to spin a spine chilling story using the current facts in such a real way that at the end of the book you are left scratching your head as to what is fact and what is fiction. Talk about scaring yourself reading a fictional novel. The scary part is that it could be all real and we would be too late to stop a disaster scenario.
Humans have always been too curious about where we came from. Curiosity is a good thing, but it is also the thing that killed the cat. In our curiousness and our game of one upmanship we have the potential to wipe ourselves off the planet and be none the wiser for it.
The search or rather the research to perfect the super soldier is race that is being run by many countries. In their quest for the being the first to unlock the secrets of human genome and to be the first to perfect the super soldier, there is almost no oversight and no ethics which binds or stops them.
Eugenics is a dangerous thing. We do not understand where we come from or the Great Leap Forward in human evolution. Some 60,000 years ago humans who were on the brink of extinction started making giant strides forward by using tools, mastering the fire, agricultural patterns. From a wandering, scavenging race we started becoming a race of explorers, conquerors and laying the foundations of civilization. So what changed?? This is a question that has been puzzling the human geneticists for many years now.
Rollins has come up with a fictional yet plausible story in the latest Sigma adventure - The Bone Labyrinth which postulates that humans evolved into their current avatar by interbreeding with Neanderthals and an unknown third race of people which allowed for the development of our brains into the patterns and thoughts which allowed civilization to flourish.
The quest here is to engineer the next generation of the humans who will be take the evolutionary story a step further. The Chinese are aggressively chasing the specimens found in Croatia, a hybrid gorilla reared in the lab in US by a pair of twin geneticists who are experimenting with alternative genome sequencing and some bones found by the Chinese themselves in Rakshastal in Tibet around 40 years back.
The Sigma Team tries to unravel the motives behind the Chinese plot while chasing leads in 3 fronts while being hounded by the Chinese the entire time. Gray and Seichan are in Croatia where a site with prehuman bones have been discovered along with the footprints of advances beyond what was possible during that era. Bones rumored to be those of Adam and Eve the first humans. Kowalski is kidnapped by from the US along with the hybrid Gorilla and taken to a Chinese lab in Beijing zoo with Monk hot on his heels to get the team out.
The plot flows furiously, the various threads bind together a tapestry of masterful proportion and the truth when revealed - leaves you feeling scared for the future.
We have evolved that is true, we are the most dominant species on this green earth and there is none to challenge our supremacy but we are our worst enemies. Society when it grows beyond reason tends to self implode, that is the real message in this book and one that must be taken seriously because we are not every far from the tipping point where one step further in the wrong direction would be reason why we no longer exist.
Some reference for those interested in reading more about the great leap forward in human evolution is available here