Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Judas Strain

I recently read a novel entitled The Judas Strain by James Rollins ( It was my first time to read a book by this author and was pleasantly surprised by his writing style, which is like a cross between Dan Brown (of Da Vinci Code fame) and Michael Crichton (of Jurassic Park fame). He mixes historical facts with a fictional story line to come up with very interesting what-if's.

The Judas Strain is premised based on the historical travels of Marco Polo. When he left Kublai Khan's China to go back to Europe along with Khan's daughter to be married off somewhere, he was originally given a fleet of 14 ships. But strangely, only 2 were documented to have made it to Europe. What fate befell the other ships? This mystery was intricately linked to the modern day where there is a conspiracy by some global evil organization called "The Guild" to release a very infectious disease that will wipe out humanity (unless they pay The Guild some really large money to be immunized). Sounds like Dan Brown's "Illuminati" in Angels & Demons.
There's a lot of medical science involved in the story line. James Rollins, a veterinarian in profession, does quite well in this department. Just like Michael Crichton, another doctor/author, he gives a good layman explanation of some bet-you-didn't-know-that medical facts.
Overall, I think The Judas Strain is a good book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Brown or Crichton types of novels. In fact, I just bought his other book The Black Order ( Rollins' books are available at

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