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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.5 out of 5
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  • Another great Sigma Force Read!

    Another great Sigma Force book. As usual, it’s based on historical fact and events that could really happen. Very thought provoking look at AI.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Outstanding as always

    Always most enjoyable knowing that many of the features referenced in these novels turn out to be real!

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Very informative but took ages to conclude

    Comparisons to The Da Vinci Code are not unfounded, as CRUCIBLE deals with nefarious religious forces - those pesky Catholics again - aiming to suppress a truth. It started out as a very good technothriller, and I enjoyed all the information on technology and science. James Rollins' extensive research adds authenticity to the narrative, and I was surprised to learn that a lot of the science does exist today and some theories are being looked into. The plot is simple: Mara, a student, has created a new type of AI, the villains want it, and it's where the numerous complications occur. Contrary to most thrillers of the genre, the various relationships contribute to strengthen the plot and add nuance and texture. I was also thrilled that a romance came to fruition amidst the non-stop action. Naturally, some suspension of disbelief is required which was fine for a while, but the almost superhuman heroes and heroines were a bit too much. Gray was alright, but I did not like Monk much, and Kowalski was just in the way; I suppose he's meant as some sort of comic relief, but to me, he felt like a sad caricature. My favourite character by far was the AI! CRUCIBLE is book #14 (!) in the Sigma Force series, and it's remarkable that it stands entirely on its own; I never felt lost. It's well written, although there are mistakes in French (how difficult can it be to copy-paste the words correctly and pay attention to the accents?). The technological aspects are stunning and absolutely brilliant. I never tried to guess who the head villain was but when the big reveal happened, I couldn't help but think that the whole operation should have been done much more effectively and efficiently. The whole convoluted storyline didn't quite mesh with the circumstances surrounding Mara and the AI. One subplot was also unnecessary, as it could have been inserted into the main one without a problem. I fear it was to introduce a villain for an upcoming book. And why do Albinos always have to be the bad guys? CRUCIBLE was a solid 4-star read until the long and winding road to the seemingly never-ending conclusion started to begin. I thought the book was never going to end, not to mention that improbabilities were piling up as we very slowly were beginning to see the first minuscule glimpse of light at the end of the very long tunnel. It was like "oh, and one more thing" over, and over; it was exasperating, and there was always one more chapter. The very end might have been intriguing if it hadn't taken ages to get there. As it was, I was happy that the book was finally over.

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  • Sad it's over

    Couldn't put it down. Week developed characters that I found myself caring for, even worried for.

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  • AI + old historical events

    I really enjoy this author because he mixes so much science/facts into his story. Add to that detailed descriptions of history, geography and current events and we have a great story to convey. Always tight, cohesive and fast-paced.

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