Reviews for Tides of fire A novel. [electronic resource] :

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Life on Earth may come to an end in this fast-moving Sigma Force novel. In 1815, Mount Tambora exploded in the South Pacific, causing massive death and destruction. Its worldwide cloud cover caused the “year without a summer” in 1816. Two centuries later, Sigma Force explores the deepest parts of the Pacific with ultrasophisticated equipment such as the five-tiered Titan station. In the depths of the Coral Sea, they encounter giant coral forests containing highly aggressive and hostile giant coral trees. Deep in the crushing depths of the Tonga Trench lies a sunken nuclear submarine the Chinese don't want anyone to know about. Meanwhile, Asia is beset by earthquakes and tsunamis, perhaps caused by disturbances in the “massive slabs” of the planetoid Theia, speculated to have crashed into Earth billions of years ago. Said slabs are buried in Earth’s upper mantle, and “they may soon destroy us.” Of course, a thriller needs human villains too; enter a rogue Chinese team that thinks they may be able to use ELF—extremely low-frequency—transmissions to manipulate pieces of Theia and cause earthquakes and tsunamis at will. Thus, China would have a weapon to make nuclear arsenals obsolete and ensure its world dominance for centuries to come. (That sounds like an iffy proposition, but who knows?) Along with a number of helpful illustrations, the author mixes his considerable scientific knowledge with ancient myths, speculation, and imagination. A Chinese sailor’s body undergoes “biomineralization,” turning him to stone. The sound of bullroarers may appease the angry gods as some pin their hopes on lost Aboriginal mythology to quell the quakes. Scientists speculate on DNA based on silicon rather than carbon. And if you’ve ever wondered what would happen if your submersible springs a leak 11,000 meters below the ocean’s surface, well—no spoilers here—it’s not good. There’s plenty of brisk action in this undersea yarn, of both the people vs. people and coral vs. people variety. And don’t worry about the world really ending, because Rollins plans a sequel. A solid Sigma Force adventure that’s sure to please thriller fans. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly
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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.)