James Rollins’ ‘The Last Odyssey’ is a Dazzling Tribute to Greek Lore [REVIEW]


An ancient astrolabe leads researchers on a mythical journey that could result in the end of the world in James Rollins’ The Last Odyssey. (Photo by Eric Jusino, Flickr)

Time and again, James Rollins takes readers on cross-continental thrill rides that weave together rich scientific research, fascinating historical details, compelling theology, and explosive action. His latest novel, The Last Odyssey, does not disappoint.


William Morrow

Near the end of the eighth century B.C.E., Homer captured the city of Troy’s fabled collapse in his epic poem, Iliad. But it wasn’t until archaeologists discovered the city’s ancient walls in the 19th century that anyone thought the tale was anything more than myth. That discovery raises the question: if Troy itself existed, what other aspects of Homer’s work is also accurate?

Deep under the frozen tundra of Greenland, researchers come across a medieval ship buried beneath the ice. Inside, it holds a collection of ancient artifacts that date back to the Bronze Age, including a clockwork gold map. Crafted by brilliant Muslim inventors, it traces the path of Odysseus’s famous ship as it sailed away from Troy. But the route diverts as the map opens up and leads to a curious, mythological subterranean world where wicked and monstrous characters of old were imprisoned.

As word of the discovery spreads, tensions explode in this volatile region where terrorists wage war and civilians suffer. Homer’s tales prove all too real, and now Sigma Force must intervene if they are to prevent a tyrant from igniting a global war and protect the future of humanity.

The Last Odyssey is a dazzling tribute to Greek lore and a thrilling epic that would have made Homer proud. Packed with mystery and suspense, this action adventure tale merges science and myth to deliver a near cinematic experience that should come served with its own bucket of popcorn. This is the kind of tale that will surely delight fans of the late Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler. But like any Rollins novel, no matter how much research or adventure he weaves into his tale, the true heart of the novel comes from his richly drawn characters. 

In every Sigma Force novel, I love revisiting all my favorite people. This time out, however, it is a young gorilla named Baako who steals the show and captures my heart. Joe Kowalski and Maria Crandall set out to release him back into the wild. And from the description of their family reunion to his concern for his parents, I found myself lost in a sea of emotion so great I didn’t notice the tears streaming down my face until my husband pointed them out.

It was in this moment that I realized something. The best writers love to manipulate my emotions, whether they make me feel a strong attachment to a gorilla like Rollins does here, or to a mythical cyclops like Preston & Child did in The Lost Island. These authors infuse their characters with human emotions, and the impact on us as readers is tremendous. Suddenly we find ourselves overwhelmed with intense emotion without regard for the why. They make us suspend disbelief and accept the impossible. It’s a gift writers like Rollins have, one that I won’t soon forget and which makes me relive these moments repeatedly in my mind even after the last page is turned.

If you’re looking for a tale that will sweep you up into a world filled with possibilities, one where apes communicate, myths become reality, and mortal men become epic heroes, you can’t go wrong with The Last Odyssey. I plan to recommend this one to readers the world over!

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James Rollins

James Rollins
(Photo by David Sylvian)


James Rollins is the number one New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than 40 languages.

His Sigma Force series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.

He lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

To find out more, visit JamesRollins.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

By James Rollins
464 pp. William Morrow. $28.99

Purchase The Last Odyssey direct from Jathan & Heather’s Beach Reads Book Shop or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, HarperCollins, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

One Response to James Rollins’ ‘The Last Odyssey’ is a Dazzling Tribute to Greek Lore [REVIEW]

  1. Bob says:

    Definitely one I need to catch up with – it’s a fun series!

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