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Innocent Blood LP: The Order of the Sanguines Series: 2 Paperback – Large Print, 10 April 2020
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|Paperback, Large Print, 31 December 2013||
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"[A]nother darkly hypnotic hybrid, and supremely effective, horror-thriller... A harrowing tale that's truly epic in scope. Not to be missed."--Providence Journal on INNOCENT BLOOD
"[C]aptures the imagination and leaves the reader panting in anticipation for the next adventure."--New York Journal of Books on INNOCENT BLOOD
"A combination of religious conspiracy and another popular genre, and to reveal more about the concept behind this engaging novel would be a crime."--Washington Post on THE BLOOD GOSPEL
"A thriller of dark subterranean complexity, rather like a rare, vintage red wine."--NY Journal of Books
"There's a touch of genius... in pairing a Dan Brown-ian hidden-codex mystery with a vampire tale. Let that suffice lest spoilers ruin the fun, except to say that the blood of the title is no accident."--Kirkus on INNOCENT BLOOD
From the Back Cover
A vicious attack at a ranch in California thrusts archaeologist Erin Granger back into the fold of the Sanguines, an immortal order founded on the blood of Christ and tasked with protecting the world from the beasts haunting its shadows. Following the prophetic words of the Blood Gospel--a lost tome written by Christ--Erin must again join forces with Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and the mysterious Father Rhun Korza to find and protect a boy believed to be an angel given flesh. But an enemy of terrifying power and ambition seeks the same child--not to save the world, but to destroy it.
Erin must discover the truth behind Christ's early years and His first true miracle, an act that yet remains unfulfilled and holds the only hope for the world. The search for the truth will take Erin and the others across centuries, around the world, and at last to the very gates of Hell itself, where the fate of mankind awaits.
- Publisher : HarperLuxe; Large type / Large print edition (10 April 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 736 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062297880
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062297884
- Dimensions : 23.04 x 15.29 x 3.12 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Yes, I read the second one. Yes, I will read the third one when it comes out. Congratulations, Mr Rollins and Ms Cantrell, you've got me. Despite the eye-rolling I do at things like "Women were priests and bishops and it was only the Nasty Old Patriarchy that got into the Church and took away their rights", never mind things like "Lazarus was the first Vampire", and that ordinarily a book with an epigraph from the Gospel of Judas would have me "nopeing" back out at lightspeed, I'm following the story with great interest, even though with the move to an Egyptian setting I knew we'd be seeing something from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels.
However, in its favour, if I'm going to read a book about vampires and accept that Lazarus was the first vampire (for the plot purposes), then to demur at the rest would be to strain a gnat and swallow a camel. Even though the theology is on the level of the "Left Behind" books, the writing is fluid, the prose style unobjectionable (that may sound like damning with faint praise, but often to get a clearly written, non-clunky line of plain descriptive prose is a rarity in books intended for a mass-market genre audience, so good straightforward honest writing is nothing to turn your nose up at), and unlike the better known Dan Brown, the authors are willing to allow the Catholic Church to be acting in good faith and with good intentions regarding secret orders and their activities in the world, as well as the respectful handling of the doctrine of Transubstantiation (they're a little cavalier with splashing around the Most Precious Blood), but they haven't attempted any misuse of the Host, and they don't engage in any symbolic representation or 'it works if you believe in it' psychological explaining-away; they treat it straight-up and, as a traditional Catholic, I appreciate that greatly.
The characters are also interesting and sympathetic, and the authors have managed the extremely difficult feat of making even Elizabeth Bathory vaguely sympathetic (which, if you are aware of her real-life crimes, is indeed a triumph to pull off: it's like making Jeffrey Dahmer sound relatively not that bad, once you get to know the background to his crimes).
I am also pleased that vampirism is described and treated as a curse, as a plague, as something that will warp you and cause you to lose your humanity which is valuable, and that it will make you a predator on others to their woe, unless you have support, wish to make amends, and engage in penitential suffering.
And I am also pleased that a vampire-human love triangle is not presented as a romantic notion, with the heroine sighing over the tortured brooding vampire in preference to a mortal love. Choosing vampirism is a very bad idea, and "vampires in love" works out badly for all concerned, vampire and human alike.
So in sum, I can recommend this for anyone looking for a vampire novel. Not a vampire romance in the current urban fantasy/paranormal romance style, but a return to the older style of vampire novel where vampirism is as bad as smallpox, not a cool means of staying young, hip and beautiful for eternity. If you take Christianity seriously, then your mileage may vary on how you feel about how the themes are handled; personally, I contented myself with a bit of compensatory eye-rolling and a strong invocation of suspension of disbelief, but if you feel that the name and person of Christ have no place in this kind of book, it may put you off. That's my only caveat.
Innocent Blood is a supernatural, mystical thriller that sends shivers down the spine while keeping you hanging on to every word. The action pounds along from start to finish, racing through countries, all wonderfully described. It is beautifully and carefully written, both authors working together perfectly. Its twists are powerful and the atmosphere is extraordinarily rich and consuming. This is storytelling at its best and now one of my very favorite thriller series.