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 ahead of advancing armies to trigger any hidden land mines. In Bloodline , my characters encounter several of these children, raising the question: how do you fight such an adversary? Or do you?
The Sigma Force Books in Order: How to read James Rollins Series? - How To Read Me
One of my characters, Seichan, recognizes herself in these kids. She was taken 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? Women play a large role in Bloodline.
How are you able to write from the point of view of women so well? 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 accurately. 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.
Bloodline also shines a light on a disturbing and secretive marketplace that is functioning in plain sight, though most of us don't know it Can you tell us about that?
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. Your novels always delve into the cutting edge of science. What is the scientific basis behind Bloodline? The root of this book came from a recent article in Time magazine.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The cover declared: , the Year Man Becomes Immortal. I read that and wondered how that could become true. Could immortality be achievable in our lifetime? It sent me into a yearlong and chilling investigation into the frontiers of life extension: scientific inquiries involving medicine, technology, and genetics.
The research even delved back to the Cold War, to a frightening study done by Soviet scientists who were attempting to revive the dead-a study that still has ramifications today. What are some of these new discoveries involving immortality? I've learned 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 realm-while also revealing an even more terrifying project, a third path to immortality, one tied to our own genetic code. In Bloodline , you also delve into the morality behind the quest to live forever. Does morality have a place in scientific discovery? How can it not? Scientific exploration regularly tests society's moral compass. Is human cloning good or bad? What about stem cell research? Cummings realizes that the Judas Strain, once in the brain, turns its victims into ravenous zombies.
Monk uses a ward breakout as cover to rally the native cannibals and lead a sneak attack on the ship. Devesh tries to flee by opening the wards and releasing the zombies to fight the cannibals, but is betrayed by his partner and left to die at the zombies' hands. Monk fights Devesh's henchman Rakao, sacrificing himself in the process to allow Cummings and her allies to boat out of the island. A dying Rakao activates a self destruct button, blowing up the island's camouflage supports, which fall onto the ship and cause it to burn and sink.
Pierce, Seichan, and the Sigma team later kill Nasser in Cambodia and stop the release of the virus from its source in Angkor Wat. Seichan has a tracker implanted in her stomach so Sigma can monitor her actions with the Guild. Sigma is called to a rediscovered American Indian burial site that is connected to a neutrino burst in Utah.
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The Guild is drawn into this discovery, and it is revealed that a group of Caucasian Indians descended from ancient Israelites had an understanding of nano-enhanced gold technology. Sigma squares off against Rafael Saint Germaine, a Guild leader who will stop at nothing to get these artifacts. The Guild plants a bomb that kills Harriet Pierce, mother of Gray, that was initially intended for Gray. After consulting with Painter, he learns that the Presidential Family- the Gants- may have an important role in the Guild's history.
President James Gant, and plan to conduct genetic alteration experiments on her coming baby, William. Pierce assumes this to be James Gant himself, and he is taken into Sigma custody. This power is revealed to be Bloodline- an ancient, matrilineal secret organization dedicated to immortality and absolute control of the world.
James Rollins’ Sigma Force Series
This group is descended from the original 9 people who founded the Templars centuries ago, and are thus the most secret of secret societies. Bloodline is led by First Lady Teresa Gant, who was responsible for all the Guild's plots from Sandstorm to the present. This would Teresa to exploit national mourning and sympathy into becoming the President and thus the Bloodline's external arm. Pierce fakes James Gant's assasination to throw the Guild off the trail. James collaborates with Sigma to get his daughter back while the group tries to root out Bloodline's leaders.
A public announcement claims that she was put into a coma by a "car accident. He departs her room, saying "Welcome to Hell. Seichan kills Petra, the Bloodline's assassin, thus putting a stop to their plans to destroy the original Sigma members. Due to its cell system of operation, the Guild's master leadership remains unknown. This was done on purpose, as each cell could be activated when the time was right, and if one was compromised, the organization would still survive.
Seichan states that her lifetime mission as a mole was to find out who leads the Guild. In recent years, much of Jims travel has involved meeting readers in small and large groups, at writing and fan conferences, and even at seagoing seminars. Jims mentoring skills and generosity have made him a popular writing instructor and guest speaker for workshops, symposia, conventions, and other forums throughout the country. He is among the core faculty of the annual Hawaii Writers Conference and Retreat. From there sparked the desire to become a writer himself.
Already an accomplished storyteller, spinning elaborate tales that often were at the heart of pranks played on his brothers and sisters, Jim went on to hone his writing skills. Before he would set heroes and villains on harrowing adventures, however, Jim pursued a career in veterinary medicine, graduating from the University of Missouri and establishing a successful veterinary clinic in Sacramento, California. This hands-on knowledge of, and interest in, medicine and science help shape the research and scientific speculation that set James Rollins' books apart.
Jim and his two- and four-legged family members live amid chew toys and paleontological treasures in Northern California. James Rollins BIO.