cover image Tides of Fire: A Sigma Force Novel

Tides of Fire: A Sigma Force Novel

James Rollins. Morrow, $32 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-289307-9

The X-Files meets Seal Team Six in Rollins’s imaginative, pulse-pounding 17th Sigma Force thriller (after 2022’s Kingdom of Bones). Current Sigma field ops commander Grayson Pierce and his crew are called into action after a massive earthquake originating in the South China Sea triggers tsunamis and volcanic eruptions across the world. Not far from the quake’s epicenter, scientists at the $10 billion Titan research station have been exploring the ocean depths. Some of their discoveries—including a strange, bioluminescent variety of coral—lead Grayson and his Sigma colleagues to wonder if the researchers may have information about the origins of the quake. Sure enough, they uncover long-buried secrets about a subterranean threat that’s preparing to reemerge. Meanwhile, Sigma forces investigate the mysterious loss of a Chinese submarine off the coast of Australia and face down the return of a ruthless Russian assassin long-thought dead. Rollins’s gleeful everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach works well here, nimbly balancing popcorn action with mind-blowing scientific speculation. The author has rarely been better at making the implausible feel plausible. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Aug.)