cover image The Last Odyssey

The Last Odyssey

James Rollins. Morrow, $28.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-289289-8

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. [em]Author tour. Agents: Russ Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency; and Danny Baror, Baror International. (Mar.) [/em]