Released On: Jun 09, 2004

The Explosive first adventure in James Rollins’ bestselling Sigma Force series!A freak explosion in the British museum in London ignites a perilous race for an earth-shaking power source buried deep beneath the sands of history. Painter Crowe is an agent for Sigma Force, a covert arm of the Defense Department tasked with keeping dangerous scientific discoveries out of enemy hands. When an ancient artifact points the way toward the legendary “Atlantis of the Sands,” Painter must travel across the world in search of the lost city–and a destructive power beyond imagining.

But Painter has competition. A band of ruthless mercenaries, led by a former friend and ally, are also intent on claiming the prize, and they will destroy anyone who gets in their way.Ancient history collides with cutting-edge science–with the safety of the world at stake!

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Critical Acclaim

  • "This novel about an ancient secret society and the race to find priceless antiquities is sure to be compared to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, but, in every way, it's a much better book. Where Brown's best-seller was predictable despite its compelling premise, this tale is clever and suspenseful."

    Booklist [2006 Barry Award nominee for Best Thriller]
  • "If he weren't such a good action writer, Rollins might make a dynamite climatologist. Each of his thrillers has featured as a central character an extreme environment, most recently the Arctic ice (Ice Hunt, 2003) and now the hot sands of Saudi Arabia. But while Rollins writes settings and scenes that sizzle, what's caught in the heat are usually familiar characters grappling with far-fetched threats, and so it is here. That one male lead is a danger-courting archeologist named Omaha Dunn seems less parodic than tired, and the novel's premise of a hoard of antimatter hidden in the legendary city of Ubar is almost as ridiculous as the idea that this cache has been guarded for millennia by an order of women who propagate without men, via parthenogenesis. Rollins writes less like Michael Crichton than Stan Lee. Most of his readers won't care, though, because there's just enough scientific gloss on the nonsense to make it palatable, and anyway, what they want, and what he delivers, is action, as Omaha and an American military agent, Painter, join forces with two Mideastern women, one a scientist, the other a billionaire, to locate the steadily destabilizing antimatter before it's snatched by a villainous cabal, or worse, blows up the planet. And that's why they'll buy this book in numbers big enough to have it flirt with national bestseller lists." —

    Publishers Weekly


  • Q. First of all, why Ubar? Where does your fascination for the Atlantis of the Sands come from?
    A. Being an armchair archaeologist, I'm always fascinated by bits of history that end in a question mar ... Read More
  • Q. Have you ever visited The Arabian Peninsula? If so, what were your impressions?
    A. I have, and I desperately want to go back. The landscape is so striking and varied, from its lush ga ... Read More
  • Q. How do you choose your subjects? Do you have an idea of the era or to pic you want to explore and then come up with a plot and characters, or is it the other way around?
    A. I have a cardboard file box at home where I toss articles and handwritten notes that I collect from ... Read More
  • Q. How much of you is in the character of Painter Crowe?
    A. There are parts of me in all the characters – good and bad. I also borrow traits from friends and ... Read More
  • Q. In Sandstorm you combine elements of myths with science. What issues are you most passionate about? Legends of the past or new technologies?
    A. Both. Technology all by itself is not that interesting. What I find fascinating about new technology ... Read More
  • Q. The mass market edition of Sandstorm had an amazing cover. How did they do that?
    A. My publishers deserve credit for breaking barriers with the mass market editions of my books. With m ... Read More
  • Q. What was your main source of inspiration? Maybe The Road to Ubar by Nicholas Clapp?
    A. Exactly. The Road to Ubar tells the story of that amateur archaeologist and how he discovered the bu ... Read More


  • Which Order to Read Sigma Force Books
  • Sandstorm Cover Story
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