“The Bone Labyrinth” by James Rollins

I checked out “The Bone Labyrinth” from the library a couple of times before I finally read it. I would see it on my virtual bookshelf, think about it, and decide “nope, not ready for it yet,” and eventually it would expire, so then I would check it out again.

The funny thing is that I really like the author, James Rollins. My army buddy, Maria, turned me onto him when I did a Facebook plea for book recommendations. Since then, I’ve read several novels in his Sigma Force series, of which “The Bone Labyrinth” is the latest installment. Rollins blends his fantastic imagination with science and history to create stories that are high on adventure, action, intellectual puzzles, interesting locations and strong characters. Plus, there is always a historical treasure hunting component, which I like (think “Indiana Jones “, “National Treasure” and “The Librarian ” movies ).

So why was I so reluctant to get started? Because the Sigma Force novels are relentlessly nonstop action. I have to make sure I’m sufficiently rested before I start because I know I’ll be worn out at the end. I feel sorry for James Rollins’ characters because he keeps them running, fighting, flying, swimming, and thinking hard for 500 pages. I’m not sure when these poor people find time to use the bathroom.

Anyway, I’m glad I finally mustered up the internal fortitude to read “The Bone Labyrinth” because it was really good. It explores evolution, genetic engineering and the origins of human intelligence and makes you think about the ethics of messing with our DNA in the pursuit of “improving” humans. The plot revolves around two sets of characters who are pursued by the Chinese government because of their specific knowledge of human genetics. As usual, a big part of the story line involves ancient civilizations creating amazing feats of engineering and, if you’re willing to suspend belief, it’s interesting to read about and contemplate. Rollins also includes smart, competent, likable protagonists and despicable villains who are fun to cheer against. His backdrops have enough bad weather, rugged terrain and tough security obstacles to make the heroes’ adventures even more harrowing.

My only complaint about the book is that it ended without a nice bow around the package (and I do like my bows! ). Most of it was wrapped up nicely but I’m still fuzzy about what the message was supposed to be about the origins of the earth and moon. Not a showstopper for me, more like a head scratcher.

I definitely recommend “The Bone Labyrinth”. Here are some other James Rollins novels I’ve enjoyed:

– “Excavation”

– “The Devil Colony”

– “Sandstorm”

– “Map of Bones”

– “Altar of Eden”

5 thoughts on ““The Bone Labyrinth” by James Rollins

  1. This is a great review, Michelle! I’ve read a couple of James Rollins books (The Devil Colony, Subterranean) thanks to your recommendation and definitely want to read this one now. Maybe we can tease out the fuzzy ending together when I’m done. Many of the aspects of the book sound very intriguing and perfect for my taste. I just finished my last read and was contemplating the next, now I have a decision! I hope to do much more reading in the future, especially now that I’ve cut the cord….


  2. Hey Michelle, I loved this book!! Many great moments, lots of action, and a few heart wrenching chapters. James Rollins always delivers a good one. But I have to agree with you about the moon, not a clear ending about that part. Maybe a prelude to a future book?? I can let it go though, because I liked much of the rest of the ending. Thanks for this one!!


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