Altar of Eden: A Novel

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“Every James Rollins delivers mach-speed mayhem, throat-clutching suspense, high-style adventure, and a terrific story told terrifically.”
—Steve Berry, author of The Romanov Prophecy

The thriller king praised for his “edge-of-your-seat excitement” (San Francisco Chronicle), James Rollins storms the New York Times bestseller list with every novel he writes. With his latest breathtaking blockbuster, Altar of Eden, Rollins takes a breather from his Sigma Force adventures (Map of Bones, Black Order, The Judas Strain, et al) while delivering all the action, surprise, and intensity for which he’s well known—and loved. Combining science, history, and breakneck suspense—and a secret tied to the Book of Genesis—Altar of Eden is sure to satisfy every James Rollins fan while winning over a slew of new converts.

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To save the world and our future, Sigma Force must embark on a dangerous odyssey into an ancient past whose horrors are all too present in this page-turning thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author James Rollins that combines cutting-edge science, historical mystery, mythology, and pulse-pounding action.

For eons, the city of Troy—whose legendary fall was detailed in Homer’s Iliad—was believed to be myth, until archaeologists in the nineteenth century uncovered its ancient walls buried beneath the sands. If Troy was real, how much of Homer’s twin tales of gods and monsters, curses and miracles—The Iliad and The Odyssey—could also be true and awaiting discovery?

In the frozen tundra of Greenland, a group of modern-day researchers stumble on a shocking find: a medieval ship buried a half-mile below the ice. The ship’s hold contains a collection of even older artifacts—tools of war—dating back to the Bronze Age. Inside the captain’s cabin is a magnificent treasure that is as priceless as it is miraculous: a clockwork gold map imbedded with an intricate silver astrolabe. The mechanism was crafted by a group of Muslim inventors—the Banū Mūsā brothers—considered by many to be the Da Vincis of the Arab world—brilliant scientists who inspired Leonardo’s own work.

Once activated, the moving map traces the path of Odysseus’s famous ship as it sailed away from Troy. But the route detours as the map opens to reveal a fiery river leading to a hidden realm underneath the Mediterranean Sea. It is the subterranean world of Tartarus, the Greek name for Hell. In mythology, Tartarus was where the wicked were punished and the monstrous Titans of old, imprisoned.

When word of Tartarus spreads—and of the cache of miraculous weapons said to be hidden there—tensions explode in this volatile region where Turks battle Kurds, terrorists wage war, and civilians suffer untold horrors. The phantasmagoric horrors found in Homer’s tales are all too real—and could be unleashed upon the world. Whoever possesses them can use their awesome power to control the future of humanity.

Now, Sigma Force must go where humans fear to tread. To prevent a tyrant from igniting a global war, they must cross the very gates of Hell.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Dec 29, 2009
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Pages
528
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ISBN
9780061959141
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •  “All the Steve Berry hallmarks are here: scale, scope, sweep, history—plus breathless second-by-second suspense. I love this guy.”—Lee Child

Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone wakes to find an intruder in his Copenhagen bookshop: an American Secret Service agent with assassins on his heels. Narrowly surviving a ferocious firefight, the two journey to the secluded estate of Malone’s friend Henrik Thorvaldsen. The wily Danish tycoon has uncovered the insidious plans of the Paris Club, a cabal of multimillionaires bent on manipulating the global economy. But Thorvaldsen also harbors a hidden agenda—a vendetta—that will force Malone to choose between friend and country, past and present. Starting in Denmark, moving to England, and ending up in the storied streets and cathedrals of Paris, Malone is forced to match wits with a terrorist for hire and to plunge into a desperate hunt for Napoleon’s legendary treasure, lost for two hundred years. It’s a breathless game of duplicity and death, all to claim a prize of untold value. But at what cost?

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steve Berry’s The Columbus Affair and a Cotton Malone dossier.

Praise for The Paris Vendetta

“Outstanding . . . Berry has become the modern master of the thriller form.”—Providence Journal-Bulletin

“Thrilling . . . exciting and fast-paced . . . a worthy addition to a fine series.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News

“Steve Berry gets better and better with each new book. . . . [In The Paris Vendetta] there are assassination plots, searches for hidden treasure, battles between enemies and even friends, and a taste of romance. . . . Bring on the next one!”—The Huffington Post

“This well-crafted thriller also offers plenty of surprises.” —Publishers Weekly 

“Berry has written another amazing blend of suspense and history. Fans will love it, and for newcomers it’s the perfect place to start. . . . [Readers] cannot go wrong with Cotton Malone.” —Library Journal


Nationally bestselling author James Rollins has transported readers to the dark heart of the Amazon, the bowels of the earth, far below the ocean, and the top of the world. Now he embarks upon his most gripping and terrifying adventure yet: to a nightmare buried beneath a treacherous desert wasteland.

An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum—a devastating blast that sets off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world, as the race begins to determine how it happened, why it happened, and what it means.

Lady Kara Kensington's family paid a high price in money and blood to found the gallery that now lies in ruins. And her search for answers is about to lead Kara and her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery's brilliant and beautiful curator, into a world they never dreamed actually existed. For new evidence exposed by the tragedy suggests that Ubar, a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert, is more than mere legend . . . and that something astonishing is waiting there.

Two extraordinary women and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, are not the only ones being drawn to the desert. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Painter Crowe, a covert government operative and head of an elite counterespionage team, is hunting down a dangerous turncoat, Crowe's onetime partner, to retrieve the vital information she has stolen. And the trail is pointing him toward Ubar.

But the many perils inherent in a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmarish secrets to be unearthed at journey's end. What is hidden below the sand is more than a valuable relic of ancient history. It is an ageless power that lives and breathes—an awesome force that could create a utopia or tear down everything humankind has built during millennia of civilization. Many lives have already been destroyed by ruthless agencies dedicated to guarding its mysteries and harnessing its might. And now the end may be at hand for Safia, for Kara, for Crowe, and for all the interlopers who wish to expose its mysteries, as it prepares to unleash the most terrible storm of all . . .

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