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The Blood Gospel: The Order of the Sanguines Series: 1 Mass Market Paperback – 27 August 2013
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From the Back Cover
New York Times bestselling authorsJames Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell combinetheir talents in a gothic tale about anancient order and the hunt for a miraculous book known only as . . . The Blood Gospel.
Some books should never be found, never opened--until now.
An earthquake in Masada, Israel, reveals a tomb buriedin the heart of the mountain. A trio of investigators--Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensics expert;Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant but disillusioned archaeologist--are sent toexplore the macabre discovery, a subterranean templeholding the crucified body of a mummified girl.
But a brutal attack at the site sets the three on the run, thrusting them into a race to recover what was once preserved in the tomb's sarcophagus: a book rumored to have been written by Christ's own hand, a tome that is said to hold the secrets to His divinity. But the enemy who hounds them is a force of ancient evil directed by a leader of impossible ambitions and incalculable cunning.
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.
New York Times bestselling thriller author Rebecca Cantrell's novels include the award-winning Hannah Vogel mystery series, the critically acclaimed YA novel iDrakula, which was nominated for the APPY award and listed on Booklist's Top 10 Horror Fiction for Youth, and The World Beneath, the first book in an exciting new series and the winner of an International Thriller Writer award. She, her husband, and son currently live in Berlin.
- Publisher : HarperCollins; Reprint edition (27 August 2013)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 736 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061991058
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061991059
- Dimensions : 10.64 x 4.22 x 19.05 cm
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The first thing to note is that The Blood Gospel is not part of the excellent Sigma series. It is completely different. Co-written with Rebecca Cantrell, whose work I am not familiar with, it is a mystery thriller with a supernatural twist. Normally, this would be enough to put me off, especially when I learned that this was a novel about vampires. But, and this is a huge but, wipe from your mind images of the sparkly and painfully tragic undead. This is nothing like that at all. In fact, The Blood Gospel is my favourite thriller of 2013 so far and it will take a lot to knock it off that pedestal.
From the very beginning it is clear that the reader is going to have to hang on tight. The novel opens at Masada, the desert fortress in Israel which was the site of a mass suicide by the last of the Jewish rebels to hold out against the might of Rome in the 1st century AD. An earthquake devastates the ruins, revealing a hidden temple containing the crucified remains of a mummified girl and unleashing something else into the air. The remains are investigated by military forensic expert Jordan Stone, archaeologist Erin Granger and Vatican priest Father Rhun Korza. It's not long before the three are on the run, propelled on a chase to discover what was once in the girl's sarcophagus and is now lost - a gospel believed to contain the words of Christ himself. Stone and Granger are soon caught in a war between two breeds of eternals - the Sanguines and the Strigoi - which takes them to the religious heart of Rome as well as the evil centres of Europe. Each must reclaim the words of Christ.
As with all thrillers of this type, you need to suspend your powers of disbelief. If you manage that, as I did almost instantly, then you'll find yourself on a thriller rollercoaster that merges history with the supernatural. We follow the three heroes across Europe, making stops in Rome, Germany and St Petersburg, incorporating familiar figures from history, throwing light or darkness on religious rituals from the past 2,000 years, resurrecting demons from the deepest wells of horror, fighting for life, death and worse, and having an absolute blast of a time!
James Rollins writes thrillers exceptionally well. The Blood Gospel is no different. The characters are all entertainingly real, with the expected added frisson of love, lust and jealousy done well. There are three heroes after all - none wants to be the one left out. The locations are well realised and the mystery itself is a corker. Above all else, though, The Blood Gospel is a very well-written and brilliantly plotted thriller, completely preposterous and utterly gripping. Rebecca Cantrell is, one suspects, the reason for the supernatural edge but it works well with Rollins' style. This is also a substantial book. There are enough pages here to consume you for more than a couple of days.
I was left wanting much, much more and I'm delighted to hear that this is the first in a planned series. Great characters, fantastic story, full of excitement and packed with passion. What more can you ask from a thriller? Marvellous!
This one,(although James books either revolve around the excellent Sigma force novels or totally different adventure with ferocious creatures ) doesn't seem to work as well
It is co written with Rebecca Cantrell a vampire type writer,and the the book is somewhat different from other vampire type books,but I can't help feeling it's been written to get on the "band wagon" with the modern theme of vampires being the "in thing " to read and watch
It is well written,and is basically a story between good ...ish religious vampires and very bad ones with human intervention,Nazis,Russians,Israel and Rasputin thrown in for good measure. To be fair it is quite a good read,but,if it hadn't had James Rollins's would I have bought it?.....probably not,if it had just been Rebecca cantrells name on it I probably wouldn't even have picked it up to read the small print...sorry
Saying that,I probably will buy the others in the series,just because they have input from James Rollins,but I won't rush to buy them before my other favourite authors.
One other thing,American authors always make their heros tall,well built handsome Hollywood types,the British and Aussie heros are more normal....Andy mcdermotts is short ,balding getting older and putting a little weight on despite being ex-sas,but far more believable and Matthew reilly's characters have scars and issues,I do think the American writers should install a bit more of normality into the characters..they can still be strong etc,but most Americans I see certainly aren't like the books?
I won't bore any of you by repeating half of the synopsis as it's up there in black and white for your perusal. What I will do, is say what I loved about it. I have always loved Rollins' style and the kind of book he writes. To me, he is akin to Dan Brown, but with a keener edge. Where Brown takes a breather with lengthy descriptions of historical locations (which is okay for a history buff such as myself) Rollins just ploughs on with the story and never relents with his pace. Of course, this is a collaboration with Ms Cantrell and together I feel they are a formidable partnership.
A cocktail of ancient mysteries, cults, vampires of both persuasions, secret societies, the Nazis, a host of historical greats, and the Catholic Church. What more could a reader want? I liked also the use of three main protagonists as opposed to the usual ritual of hero plus one(usually female). All three have their intricacies and complexities that keep them interesting, as well as their individual interactions with each other that bring us to identify with and care for them. I loved too the introduction of many great historical figures going back two thousand years. I don't give spoilers so you will have to read the story for yourselves, but they each add real substance to the book, leading up to the final excellent twist at the end.
Blood Gospel is an action-packed, fast-paced, thrilling read that I would recommend to anyone. I'm going straight to Amazon now to order Innocent Blood. I know it will be money well spent. Five glowing stars from me.