Deep Fathom

Deep Fathom

by James Rollins

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“[Rollins] will make your toes curl and your free hand clutch the armchair as you speed through the pages.”
Tampa Tribune

“James Rollins knows adventure.”
Chicago Sun Times

A sensational early work from “one of the most inventive storytellers writing today” (Lincoln Child)—the third pulse-pounding adventure novel from perennial New York Times bestselling thrill-master James Rollins—Deep Fathom is an extraordinary story of desperate survival and mysterious discoveries. The acclaimed creator of Sigma Force seamlessly combines action, science, lore, and breathtaking suspense in this classic tale of a lost civilization and a wondrous journey to a beguiling world beneath the sea. Part Michael Crichton, part Douglas Preston, part Indiana Jones, yet completely, exhilaratingly Rollins, Deep Fathom is an undersea roller coaster ride that never slows down from the first page through the explosive climax.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061965821
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/27/2010
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 97,799
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

James Rollins is the author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma 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.


Sacramento, California

Date of Birth:

August 20, 1961

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


July 24, 3:35 P.M.
75 miles SW of Wake Island, Central Pacific

Jack Kirkland had missed the eclipse.

Where he glided, there was no sun, only the perpetual darkness of the ocean's abysmal deep. The sole illumination came from a pair of xenon lamps set in the nose of his one-man submersible. His new toy, the Nautilus 2000, was out on its first deep-dive test. The eight-foot titanium minisub was shaped like a fat torpedo topped by an acrylic plastic dome. Attached to its underside was a stainless steel frame that mounted the battery pods, thruster assembly, that mounted the battery pods, thruster assembly, electrical, can, and lights.

Ahead, the brilliance of the twin lamps drilled a cone of visibility that extended a hundred feet in front of him. He fingered the controls, sweeping the arc back and forth, searching. Out the corner of his eye he checked the analog depth gauge. Approaching fifteen hundred feet. The bottomof the trench must be close. His sonar reading on the computer screen confirmed his assessment. Nomore than two fathoms. The pings of the sonar grew closer and closer.

Seated, Jack's head and shoulders protruded into the acrylic plastic dome of the hull, giving him a panoramic view of his surroundings. While the cabin was spacious for most men, it was a tight fit for Jack's six-foot-plus frame. It's like driving an MG convertible, he thought, except you steer with your toes.

The two foot pedals in the main hull controlled not only acceleration, but also maneuvered the fourone-horsepower thrusters. With practiced skill Jack eased the right pedal while depressing the toe of the left pedal. The craft dove smoothly to the left. Lights swept forward. Ahead, the seabed came into view, appearing out of the endless gloom.

Jack slowed his vehicle to a gentle glide as he entered a natural wonderland, a deep ocean oasis.

Under him, fields of tubeworms lay spread across the valley floor of the mid-Pacific mountain range. Riftia pachyptila. The clusters of six-foot-long tubes with their bloodred worms were like an otherworldly topiary waving at him as he passed, gently swaying in the current. To either side, on lower slopes, giant clams lay stacked shell-to-shell, open, soft fronds filtering the sea. Among them stalked bright red galatheid crabs on long, spindly legs.

Movement drew Jack's attention forward. A thick eyeless eel slithered past, teeth bright in the xenon lamp. A school of curious fish followed next, led by a large brown lantern fish. The brazen fellow swam right up to the glass bubble, a deepsea gargoyle ogling the strange intruder inside. Minuscule bioluminescent lights winked along the large fish's sides, announcing its territorial aggression.

Other denizens displayed their lights. Under him, pink pulses ran through tangles of bamboo coral. Around the dome, tiny blue-green lights flashed, the creatures too small and translucent to be seen clearly.

The sight reminded Jack of flurries of fireflies from his Tennessee childhood. Having lived all his young life in landlocked Tennessee, Jack had instantly fallen in love with the ocean, enthralled by its wide expanses, its endless blue, its changing moods.

A swirl of lights swarmed around the dome.

"Unbelievable," he muttered to himself, wearing a wide grin. Even after all this time, the sea found ways to surprise him.

In response, his radio earpiece buzzed. "What was that, Jack?"

Frowning, Jack silently cursed the throat microphone taped under his larynx. Even fifteen hundred feet under the sea, he could not completely shut out the world above. "Nothing, Lisa," he answered. "Just admiring the view."

"How's the new sub handling?"

"Perfectly. Are you receiving the Bio-Sensor readings?" Jack asked, touching the clip on his earlobe. The laser spectrometer built into the clip constantly monitored his bloodgas levels.

Dr. Lisa Cummings had garnered a National Science Foundation grant to study the physiological effects of deepsea work. "Respiration, temperature, cabin pressure, oxygen supply, ballast, carbon dioxide scrubbers. All green up here. Any evidence of seismic activity?"

"No. All quiet."

Two hours ago, as Jack had first begun his descent in the Nautilus, Charlie Mollier, the geologist, had reported strange seismic readings,, harmonic vibrations radiating through the deep-sea mountain range. For safety's sake he had suggested that Jack return to the surface. "Come watch the eclipse with us, " Charlie had radioed earlier in his Jamaican accent. "It's spectacular, mon. We can always dive tomorrow."

Jack had refused. He had no interest in the eclipse. If the quakes worsened, he could always surface. But during the long descent, the strange seismic readings had faded away. Charlie's voice over the radio had eventually lost its strained edge.

Jack touched his throat mike. "So you all done worrying up there?"

A pause was followed by a reluctant "Yes."

Jack imagined the blond doctor rolling her eyes. "Thanks, Lisa. Signing off. Time for a little privacy." He yanked the Bio-Sensor clip from his earlobe.

It was a small victory. The remainder of the Bio-Sensor system would continue to report on the sub's environmental status, but not his personal information. At least it gave him a bit of isolation from the world above -- and this was what Jack liked best about diving. The isolation, the peace, the quiet. Here there was only the moment. Lost in the deep, his past had no power to haunt him.

From the sub's speakers the strange noises of the abysmal deep echoed through the small space: a chorus of eerie pulses, chirps, and high-frequency squeals. It was like listening in on another planet.

Around him was a world deadly to surface dwellers: endless darkness, crushing pressures, toxic waters. But life somehow found a way to thrive here, fed not by sunlight, but by poisonous clouds of hydrogen sulfide that spewed from hot vents called "black smokers."

Deep Fathom. Copyright © by James Rollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Deep Fathom 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 147 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without giving anything away, this book likely has something for everyone who enjoys the action/adventure genre. Natural disasters, world chaos, a missing Air Force One and the president, ancient civilizations, romance, name it and you'll find it in this novel - even including a Canadian! This third novel by Rollins has more refined character development than his previous novels while at the same time, keeping the mystery and the adventure on an even keel. If you enjoyed his previous novels, you won't be disappointed with this one. In my opinion, Rollins easily ranks up there with the likes of Preston and Childs, DuBrul and other action/adventure writers. In fact, so far, he's demonstrating consistancy in his writing unlike some of the other writers who seem to lose momentum after their first success and is in fact in the process of surpassing some of the other household name action/adventure authors. Anxiously awaiting the next novel! Monsieur Rollins, you make reading a pleasure as always... ;-)
Thumper23 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoy the writing of James Rollins and have beceome a collector of his series now. This is a great read and page turner!
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Rollins has done it yet again with his new novel. While in the past, many of his works are riddled with themes of lost civilizations and their eventual discoveries, i think that Rollins has outdone himself with this novel (in a good way). The first 50 pages are quite hard to get through but once you've passed those, the book doesnt disappoint. It's essentially like reading a movie, the action never stopped.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting into this book. For one thing the characters were just not that interesting. Then there is no end to the constant catastrophes that appear starting with chapter one and never stopping. There are so many things going on and I don't think the author brings them all together well in the end. In fact the ending was just plain UNBELIEVABLE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well...ive been waiting for this the prologue about 3 months before....and waited soon as i heard it was coming out...i was at the rolins is an awesome writer....this is THE best one yet....each book he has is incredible....a CANT PUT DOWN....i was so anxious to finsih it i read so fast...i had to reread the end...because i couldnt wait....i tell everyone at bookstores every where...get his wont be disappointed...he is awesome....cant wait for his next one.....
cajunlady More than 1 year ago
I love all the James Rollins books. Great characters and crazy bad guys are always fun, but I especially like seeing those strong smart females doing their share to save the day.
SallyLockhart More than 1 year ago
This book is totally ridiculous yet so hugely entertaining and readable that I loved it. Definitely recommended.
JudeEwill More than 1 year ago
Reading this book was like watching a disaster movie, but so much better. Well written. Very interesting subject. Fast moving. This was the first book by James Rollins I have read, but it will definitely not be the last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of action and well researched story line.
Silas_Dogood More than 1 year ago
The thing that I really like about James Rollins is the really interesting science that is threaded throughout his books. This book is no exception. The discussion and fictional application of dark matter is really interesting. Also, as always, there is a decent amount of action at various times throughout the book. However, the plot of this book is SLOW and you will be 150 pages into it before it really gets interesting. Also, there are a couple of subplots that seem to have been included for no other purpose than filling space.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to start off slow and it took me awhile to get into it but it did pick up towards the end. I don't think this was James¿s best work but I still recommend it. However, It may be just me? In the last couple months I have started 2 other books and never finished¿ I am now on my third and that doesn¿t seem promising either. I guess I am a picky reader.
JoClare on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really love James Rollin's books. I love how he takes a historical tidbit of information and connects it to a slice of science, mixes it all together with a lot of adventure and a dash of romance and voilà!; I'm ready for an enjoyable read~I also love how he points out the facts and the fiction at the end of his stories; more than once I have gotten lost on the internet satisfying my curiosity regarding the history/science he calls to attention there.I think he does a great job with his protagonists, I find most to be really interesting and fleshed out. Sigma Force is a recurring theme in many of his stories and it adds another layer of interest for me, taking the adventure to the next level.Rollin's novels are every bit as enjoyable to me as a big screen summer blockbuster; think I'll go get some popcorn~
macygma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good book from Rollins who, as far as I'm concerned never fails to excite his readers with new theories, myths, etc.
nicchic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another solid effort! To rack up the suspense Rollins has habit of seemingly killing off characters but then all of a sudden they are alive again. Some readers may dislike the predictability of this but I get involved with the characters and hate to see then go...Deep Fathom was sort of the exception to the rule and I was a little disappointed to see some characters I was interested in not come back...but then there was this twist at the end of the novel that led to a satisfying conclusion. Good read.
Tara714 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has a good mix of adventure and archaeology. It's about an anthropologist and her friend who discover an ancient artifact and a group of salvagers/treasure hunters who also find something ancient. They come together to try to keep the world from ending. It's faced paced and keeps you entertained. If your a fan of Clive Cussler, you should check this one out.
Page_Turner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On the process of reading. Haven't made up my mind about the quality of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those who say this starts off slow, I say you are wrong. I thought it was intriguing and exciting from the start. For those who say it was tough to follow, I say go back to "See Spot run". In my opinion, excellent read, cover to cover.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another nail biting adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! I really enjoyed this one. It starts off with a bang, and gets better from there. I loved the characters (except for the antagonists, who were very well developed: Easy to appreciate, impossible to like), the story of the ancients, the action, the rivalries. Wow! And that ending! 20 pages from the end, I didn't expect it to turn out that way.
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