Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel
Released on 03.26.2013
In a thrilling masterwork that will make you rethink your perceptions of life and death, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins takes you to the edge of medicine, genetics, and technology, revealing the next evolutionary leap forward: immortality.
Galilee, 1025. Infiltrating an ancient citadel, a Templar knight uncovers a holy treasure long hidden within the fortress's labyrinth: the Bachal Isu — the staff of Jesus Christ — a priceless icon that holds a mysterious and terrifying power that promises to change humankind forever.
A millennium later, Somali pirates hijack a yacht off the coast of the Horn of Africa, kidnapping a young pregnant American woman. Commander Gray Pierce is enlisted for a covert rescue mission into the African jungle. The woman is no rich tourist: she's Amanda Gant-Bennett, daughter of the U.S. president.
Suspicious that the kidnapping masks a far more nefarious plot, Gray must confront a shadowy cabal which has been manipulating events throughout history...and now challenges the current presidency.
For this unique mission, SIGMA is aided by a pair of special operatives with unique talents: former Army Ranger Captain Tucker Wayne and his military war dog, Kane. But what should be a straightforward rescue turns into a fiery ambush and a deadly act of betrayal, as Gray and his team discover that the hostage is a pawn in a shattering act of terrorism with dark repercussions. And the danger is only beginning...
Halfway around the world, a firebombing at a fertility clinic in South Carolina exposes a conspiracy that goes back centuries…a scheme that lies within our genetic code. With time against them, SIGMA must race to save an innocent unborn baby whose very existence raises questions about the nature of humanity, asking:
Could you live forever?
Would you live forever?
Bloodline introduces to two new characters. Watch the video and learn more about Bloodline and these new characters:
or visit the general buy page by clicking HERE
Bloodline introduces two new characters. Watch the video and learn more about Bloodline and these new characters:
or visit the general buy page by clicking HERE
“The science in Bloodline reads like the best of Michael Crichton. The machinations of government read like the best of David Baldacci. And the action and thrills read like the best of Clive Cussler. Rollins takes the best of all of these and creates an amazing thriller unlike any other.” — Jeff Ayers, Associated Press
"Former Army Ranger Tucker and his amazing dog Kane make for absolutely riveting reading in this page-turner of a genetic mystery. James Rollins really outdid himself this time. Readers get to experience what it's like to walk in the paws of a super highly trained military dog, and the deep bond between military dog and handler. I look forward to more James Rollins books with this intrepid pair. Four paws up!" — Maria Goodavage, Author of the New York Times bestseller, Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes
Q: In BLOODLINE, you introduce two new characters, Tucker and Kane, a pair unlike any seen before. Tell us about them, and why you decided to write about them?
A: First of all, I wanted to honor these unique American heroes. Tucker Wayne is a former captain with the army rangers. After two tours of duty in Afghanistan, he leaves the service disillusioned after a bloody battle. Aided by members of his own unit, Tucker steals his war dog, Kane. Since then, Tucker has been adrift in the world with Kane at his side. After all he had seen in Afghanistan, he needed new horizons, new vistas, but mostly, he had a drive to keep moving. And it’s at that time when Tucker and Kane run afoul of kidnappers who have taken the daughter of the U.S. president hostage.
What I liked best about exploring this pair’s unique relationship is a phrase commonly used by military war dog handlers—It runs down the lead—describing how the emotions of the pair became shared over time, binding them together as firmly as any leash. And it’s that bond and ability for the two to operate as one that I wanted to explore in this novel.
Q: Can you tell us about your research into military dogs?
A: Research has always been an important element in my novels and even more so in Bloodline. The first recorded use of war dogs go back to 4000 BC, to the Egyptians who used them in battle. But the modern use of dogs in the US military really started in WW I. Since then, dogs have become an integral part of the U.S. military. Including the dog, Cairo, who was involved with the takedown of Osama Bin Laden.
About a year and half ago, I was lucky enough to participate in a USO tour of authors to military bases in Iraq and Kuwait. There, I saw several of these war dogs in action. I was also able to meet and talk to a veterinary school classmate of mine who works with the veterinary corps out in Iraq. After that encounter, it got me thinking about writing this book, of honoring these unique war heroes on the page.
Q: You’re also a veterinarian. How did your profession help you shape the relationship between man and dog?
A: After three decades of working with dogs myself, I knew that I wanted to portray these stalwart war heroes as they really are—not just as soldiers with four legs, but as real dogs. In this book, there are scenes written from Kane’s perspective. Here, I wanted readers to experience what it’s like to be a war dog--to be in their paws--to paint an accurate portrayal on how a dog perceives the world, how he functions in combat with his unique talents and senses.
Q: In BLOODLINE, you also raise the issue of children being used as soldiers, a hot-button topic also raised by the current manhunt for the African warlord Joseph Kony. Why bring such a sensitive issue up in a mainstream thriller?
A: I believe a novel is made stronger if it touches upon the reality of our world. It’s a tragedy that children have been brutalized and turned into soldiers by warlords in Africa, but it’s also happening on other continents, too. Child soldiers can be found in armies around the world. Often they’re hyped up on drugs and tortured into submission. They’re forced to kill, even murdering members of their own family. And if they’re not carrying guns, they’re often used as suicide bombers, or for sex, or even to walk in front of advancing armies to blow up hidden land mines.
In Bloodline, my characters encounter several of these children, raising the question: how you do fight such an adversary? Or do you? Also one of my characters, Seichan, recognizes herself in these kids. She was torn off the streets as a teenager and turned into an assassin by a shadowy organization. This story offered a perfect opportunity to explore what it means to be a child soldier who has grown up. How do you balance such a past with the present?
Q: Other women also play a large role in BLOODLINE. How are you able to write from the point of view of women so well?
A: I have three sisters who make sure I get those details correct, but also during my USO tour to Iraq and Kuwait, I got a chance to talk at length to women in the field—to hear what it’s like to be a female in the armed services. And that’s something I tried to capture. In many action-oriented books, women are relegated to the role of arm candy for the hero or to function as damsels in distress. Not in my books. Here they fight and bleed alongside everyone else. And I’m always thrilled to hear from female readers who stumble upon my books and share letters or post comments on Facebook about how much they enjoy the stories, often because of the heroic and dynamic women featured in the novels.
Q: In BLOODLINE, you also shine a light on a disturbing and secretive marketplace, one functioning right under our noses. Can you tell us about that?
A: Everyone has heard about the black market, that world of clandestine negotiations and illegal transactions. But today, there is also a red market: a term coined to describe the wholesale buying and selling of of human organs. It’s going on all around us. Some legal, much of it illegal. In Bolivia, murderers hunt down victims--not for the money in their pockets, but for the fat in their bodies, which is harvested and sold to European beauty supply companies. In China, prisons have become profitable body farms, turning inmates into a source for new hearts, kidneys, and corneas, all to be sold to the highest bidder. It is just such a marketplace that my characters stumble upon in Bloodline—one happening upon U.S. soil.
Q: Your novels always delve into the cutting edge of science. What is the scientific basis behind BLOODLINE?
A: The root of this book came from a recent article in Time magazine. The cover declared: 2045, the Year Man Becomes Immortal. I read that and wondered how could that be true. Could immortality be achievable in our lifetime? It sent me into a yearlong and chilling investigation into the frontiers of life extension: involving medicine, technology and genetics. The research even delved back to a frightening study done by Soviet scientists during the Cold War, who were attempting to revive the dead—a study that has ramifications still today.
Q: And what are some of these new sciences behind immortality?
A: I’ve discovered that there are actually two competing schools of study when it comes to the search for immortality. On one side, scientists are looking at moving man into machines, moving our consciousness into a synthetic arena. Scientists in Switzerland right now are working with IBM to create the first virtual human brain and say they are about a decade off from achieving this goal.
On the other side of the scientific fence, researchers are also looking at moving machines into us: basically replacing our failing parts with artificial organs. We already have synthetic pancreases and mechanical hearts, and these scientific advancements continue to accelerate, especially with the explosive growth of nanotechnology, which involves engineering at the atomic level.
In Bloodline, I shine a light into both of those shadowy arenas--into some truly inspiring and scary realms--while also revealing an even more terrifying project, a third path to immortality, one tied to our own genetic code.
Q: In BLOODLINE, you also delve into the morality behind the quest to live forever. Should morality have a place in scientific discovery?
A: How can it not? Scientific exploration regularly tests society’s moral compass. Is human cloning good or bad? What about stem cell research? At every turn, the fringes of science test a society—morally, spiritually, and economically. And at the accelerating pace of such exploration, we are quickly outstripping our abilities to rein in our advancements or to adequately judge where that knowledge will take us.
And such questions are wonderful fodder for a thriller to explore. Because the true challenge of science and technology is not whether its cogs and wheels work, but how it will change us. And even more frightening . . . will we even have a voice in this next evolution?
Q: Now to the last and most pressing question: How close are we to achieving immortality?
That’s a good question—and the answer is the most startling revelation I discovered while researching this story, something I share within the pages of this book. For in Bloodline, readers will learn a shocking scientific truth about the nature of mankind: That immortal beings already walk among us today.
If you want to know who they are, if you want to learn how to live forever--read Bloodline.
Bloodline introduces to two new characters. Watche the video and learn more about Bloodline and these new characters:
Follow the links below to find Bloodline near you on opening day – June 26, 2012.
ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK!
or visit the general buy page by clicking HERE