The Last Oracle, by James Rollins, is the latest in a series that follows the men and women of Sigma Force, a science-minded group of former Special Forces soldiers. Set against a backdrop of the nuclear devastated area of Chernobyl, it shows just how far some are willing to go to achieve their goals.
As an intellectual thriller, The Last Oracle works. It's smart enough to be enjoyable without being too cerebral. Some of the action sequences were a bit over the top - lots and lots of shooting with very few injuries on the part of the Sigma Force team (think Bruce Willis in Die Hard , who's constantly being shot at, yet never really getting hit). However, the plot was well-planned and executed, with enough suspense to keep you turning the pages, and with an ultimately satisfying conclusion. I found the afterword in which Rollins gives insight into his inspiration to be particularly fascinating.
This was my first experience with James Rollins' Sigma Force, and it can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel. However, I think following the characters from the beginning would add another level of enjoyment to an already fun read.