The Blood Gospel by James Rollins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received an ARC print copy from the publisher, HarperCollins, as part of their advance review campaign.
Review of The Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
The Order of the Sanguines Series
A superb thriller, dipped in theology, history, archaeology, organized and disorganized religion, paranormal, eternal love, and romance, “The Blood Gospel” kicks off a series of which I am certain to be a fan. James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell, both excellent authors in their own right, combine in this series to create a world based on our own reality, with a few surprising differences.
The two-millenia-old Roman Catholic Church has been blessed, and blamed, for much during its existence. Many theorists believe that the Church hides secrets: documents, archives, and more. But no one has suggested that the Church conceals a covert order--of vampires. Yes, “strigoi,” vampires, though those under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church are members of the Order of Sanguines: although vampiric, they have taken an oath not to consume human blood. Instead, they drink only the wine transubstantiated by priests into the Blood of Christ. Most of the Sanguines are themselves priests, although there are many women in the Order as well. Their mission is to continue the unending battle against the strigoi who serve evil, who attack humans—and now, the group called Belial, administered by a very mysterious leader known only as “Him,” who search, as do the Sanguinists, for the “Gospel of Blood,” a book written by Christ, in His own Blood, and buried at Masada.
This was a non-stop read for me, as I kept turning pages in awe and thrill. Mr. Rollins and Ms. Cantrell cover a lot of territory here, not just geographically, but theologically, archaeologically, historically, and metaphysically, yet it makes logical sense in the context of the novel. Excellent writing propels the reader along, eager to discover the next set of secrets. I’d like to add, though, that the last four chapters, even given all the stunning surprises throughout the book, topped the “I never would have thought of that” bar. Strictly amazing denouements made me wish the next novel in the series could be published tomorrow.
I reviewed an ebook copy received from the publisher on 12.24.2012, in return for my provision of a fair and honest review.
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