To save the world and our future, Sigma Force must embark on a dangerous odyssey into an ancient past whose horrors are all too present in this page-turning thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author James Rollins that combines cutting-edge science, historical mystery, mythology, and pulse-pounding action.
For eons, the city of Troy—whose legendary fall was detailed in Homer’s Iliad—was believed to be myth, until archaeologists in the nineteenth century uncovered its ancient walls buried beneath the sands. If Troy was real, how much of Homer’s twin tales of gods and monsters, curses and miracles—The Iliad and The Odyssey—could also be true and awaiting discovery?
In the frozen tundra of Greenland, a group of modern-day researchers stumble on a shocking find: a medieval ship buried a half-mile below the ice. The ship’s hold contains a collection of even older artifacts—tools of war—dating back to the Bronze Age. Inside the captain’s cabin is a magnificent treasure that is as priceless as it is miraculous: a clockwork gold map imbedded with an intricate silver astrolabe. The mechanism was crafted by a group of Muslim inventors—the Banū Mūsā brothers—considered by many to be the Da Vincis of the Arab world—brilliant scientists who inspired Leonardo’s own work.
Once activated, the moving map traces the path of Odysseus’s famous ship as it sailed away from Troy. But the route detours as the map opens to reveal a fiery river leading to a hidden realm underneath the Mediterranean Sea. It is the subterranean world of Tartarus, the Greek name for Hell. In mythology, Tartarus was where the wicked were punished and the monstrous Titans of old, imprisoned.
When word of Tartarus spreads—and of the cache of miraculous weapons said to be hidden there—tensions explode in this volatile region where Turks battle Kurds, terrorists wage war, and civilians suffer untold horrors. The phantasmagoric horrors found in Homer’s tales are all too real—and could be unleashed upon the world. Whoever possesses them can use their awesome power to control the future of humanity.
Now, Sigma Force must go where humans fear to tread. To prevent a tyrant from igniting a global war, they must cross the very gates of Hell.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this heart-pounding installment in James Rollins’ Sigma Force series, a ship from the Middle Ages is found under the ice in Greenland, containing ancient artifacts proving that Homer’s Odyssey was a true story. But when the discovery inspires a fringe group of religious zealots to try to bring about Armageddon, the Sigma team are thrown into a race to solve an ancient mystery and prevent global destruction. Rollins’ clever combination of mythological fantasy and black-ops excitement immediately captured our imagination. We held on tight and enjoyed the wildly unpredictable ride as the team discovered everything from a mechanical monster to an ancient map to the underworld. Equal parts Tom Clancy and Dan Brown, The Last Odyssey is in a genre of its own—and a class by itself.
Bestseller Rollins's excellent 15th Sigma Force novel (after 2018's Crucible) marries nail-biting action with a highly imaginative premise. Elena Cargill, an archaeologist and paleoanthropologist, rushes to Greenland at the behest of a friend, Maria Crandall, who's a member of Sigma, a U.S. government organization that retrains gifted soldiers in various scientific disciplines. Crandall has learned of an amazing find beneath a giant iceberg an Arab oceanic merchant vessel, apparently shipwrecked in the ninth century. Cargill and two colleagues visit the ship, in which they discover such wonders as a three-dimensional gold map embedded with an astrolabe, before coming under attack from a group of Middle Easterners, who take Cargill hostage. Crandall and other Sigma Force members later embark on a mission to save Cargill and understand the significance of the vessel, which may be connected with the historical basis for Homer's Odyssey and a lost nation that destroyed three major civilizations between 1100 BCE and 900 BCE. Rollins sprinkles in enough facts and details to make what could have been an over-the-top premise plausible. This is a thoughtful, nonstop thrill ride that's an exemplar of an escapist page-turner. Author tour.