Nationally bestselling author James Rollins has transported readers to the dark heart of the Amazon, the bowels of the earth, far below the ocean, and the top of the world. Now he embarks upon his most gripping and terrifying adventure yet: to a nightmare buried beneath a treacherous desert wasteland. An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum-a devastating blast that sets off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world, as the race begins to determine how it happened, why it happened, and what it means. Lady Kara Kensington's family paid a high price in money and blood to found the gallery that now lies in ruins. And her search for answers is about to lead Kara and her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery's brilliant and beautiful curator, into a world they never dreamed actually existed. For new evidence exposed by the tragedy suggests that Ubar, a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert, is more than mere legend . . . and that something astonishing is waiting there. Two extraordinary women and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, are not the only ones being drawn to the desert. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Painter Crowe, a covert government operative and head of an elite counterespionage team, is hunting down a dangerous turncoat, Crowe's onetime partner, to retrieve the vital information she has stolen. And the trail is pointing him toward Ubar. But the many perils inherent in a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmarish secrets to be unearthed at journey's end. What is hidden below the sand is more than a valuable relic of ancient history. It is an ageless power that lives and breathes-an awesome force that could create a utopia or tear down everything humankind has built during millennia of civilization. Many lives have already been destroyed by ruthless agencies dedicated to guarding its mysteries and harnessing its might. And now the end may be at hand for Safia, for Kara, for Crowe, and for all the interlopers who wish to expose its mysteries, as it prepares to unleash the most terrible storm of all . . .
If he weren't such a good action writer, Rollins might make a dynamite climatologist. Each of his thrillers has featured as a central character an extreme environment, most recently the Arctic ice (Ice Hunt, 2003) and now the hot sands of Saudi Arabia. But while Rollins writes settings and scenes that sizzle, what's caught in the heat are usually familiar characters grappling with far-fetched threats, and so it is here. That one male lead is a danger-courting archeologist named Omaha Dunn seems less parodic than tired, and the novel's premise of a hoard of antimatter hidden in the legendary city of Ubar is almost as ridiculous as the idea that this cache has been guarded for millennia by an order of women who propagate without men, via parthenogenesis. Rollins writes less like Michael Crichton than Stan Lee. Most of his readers won't care, though, because there's just enough scientific gloss on the nonsense to make it palatable, and anyway, what they want, and what he delivers, is action, as Omaha and an American military agent, Painter, join forces with two Mideastern women, one a scientist, the other a billionaire, to locate the steadily destabilizing antimatter before it's snatched by a villainous cabal, or worse, blows up the planet. And that's why they'll buy this book in numbers big enough to have it flirt with national bestseller lists. Agent, Russell Galen. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Exciting and Fun
Posted June 22, 2010 by Brock , TopekaThis book was great. It was filled with action, discovery, and science, all of which I love. Rollins' writing style is smooth and easy to follow. Sandstorm was a fun read, and I have no hesitation on reading the next book in the Sigma Series.
April 30, 2005
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Excerpt from Sandstorm by James Rollins
NOVEMBER 14, 01:33 A.M.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
HARRY MASTERSON would be dead in thirteen minutes.
If he had known this, he would've smoked his last cigarette down to the filter. Instead he stamped out the fag after only three drags and waved the cloud from around his face. If he was caught smoking outside the guards' break room, he would be shit-canned by that bastard Fleming, head of museum security. Harry was already on probation for coming in two hours late for his shift last week.
Harry swore under his breath and pocketed the stubbed cigarette. He'd finish it at his next break... that is, if they got a break this night.
Thunder echoed through the masonry walls. The winter storm had struck just after midnight, opening with a riotous volley of hail, followed by a deluge that threatened to wash London into the Thames. Lightning danced across the skies in forked displays from one horizon to another. According to the weatherman on the Beeb, it was one of the fiercest electrical storms in over a decade. Half the city had been blacked out, overwhelmed by a spectacular lightning barrage.
And as fortune would have it for Harry, it was his half of the city that went dark, including the British Museum on Great Russell Street. Though they had backup generators, the entire security team had been summoned for additional protection of the museum's property. They would be arriving in the next half hour. But Harry, assigned to the night shift, was already on duty when the regular lights went out. And though the video surveillance cameras were still operational on the emergency grid, he and the shift were ordered by Fleming to proceed with an immediate security sweep of the museum's two and a half miles of halls.
That meant splitting up.
Harry picked up his electric torch and aimed it down the hall. He hated doing rounds at night, when the museum was lost in gloom. The only illumination came from the streetlamps outside the windows. But now, with the blackout, even those lamps had been extinguished. The museum had darkened to macabre shadows broken by pools of crimson from the low-voltage security lamps.