Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: The Blood Gospel, by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

I found The Blood Gospel to be riveting -- I actually stayed up past my bedtime to finish, which is very rare for me. Although very entertaining, I consider The Blood Gospel to be a bit over the top.

Erin is an archaeologist working on a dig in Israel. Jordan is a sergeant in the military who is an expert in forensics. Father Korza, well, he's a vampire.

Now he's a "good" vampire, called a Sanguinist, who serves God and the church and never drinks human blood. His goal is to defeat the Strigoi -- the bad vampires who want to rule the world.

These three characters end up together because of an earthquake in Masada, Israel, where an ancient underground tomb is supposed to contain a treasure that the Sanguinists and the Strigoi have been searching for. This item will give those who posses it complete power over the universe. It is a book -- a gospel -- written by Jesus in his own blood.

The quest for this book sends them all over Europe, most of the time barely escaping with their lives. The quest gets more and more intricate -- the back story that is slowly revealed is complex and complicated. There are many characters, but I didn't find it hard to keep track. The Blood Gospel is well organized and easy to follow. It's a complex story that required more concentration than my usual YA fare, but it was also immersive. I had a hard time putting it down and found myself thinking about the book when I was away from it.

My only complaint, which is a minor one, is that as the story goes on, as our beloved characters overcome obstacle after obstacle and are pulled from the jaws of death over and over, it just got a little difficult to buy. They were very lucky at times. (Or I guess, God was watching over them.) The "alternate Christianity" part of the plot got farther and farther from the traditional Bible stories, especially at the end of The Blood Gospel, and became a bit much for me. Not that I was offended or anything, just that some things that were "re-told" were a bit  far-fetched. I do admire the authors' creativity though.

The Blood Gospel is the first book in a series called The Order of the Sanguines. There's a character in this book called Tommy, who inexplicably survives the initial earthquake in Masada. We get a glimpse into what is happening to him once in a while, but his character is purposefully vague. He is part of the big setup for the continuation of the series. So, while The Blood Gospel has a climactic ending, there are still plenty of questions and much more to discover about this world.

I would highly recommend The Blood Gospel to the right reader. It grabs you and takes you on a very entertaining ride. It's almost 500 pages long, but it didn't seem like it. There are a select few teens that I could recommend The Blood Gospel to, but it has wide appeal for adults who enjoy a good adventure story with a lot of biblical history and some vampires thrown in too!

Published by William Morrow, January 8, 2013
Copy obtained from the library
479 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. Great review, Annette. I'm currently reading a ton of sci-fi and steampunk, but as soon as I'm pack on the paranormal I'll give this a whirl.

  2. This book definitely sounds interesting, even if the escapes from death and alternate Christianity parts of the story seems a bit far fetched. I love being swept away by a riveting story, and it's a good sign that you couldn't put this one down in time for bed. :-) Great review!


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