Friday, December 7, 2012

James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell Blood Gospel is Epic!

The Cardinal sighed. "I do not need to be
reminded of my past mistakes. I carry that
burden as heavily as you do, my son. I
attempted to force God's hand in Hungary
all those centures ago. It was hubris of the
highest order. I thought the portents pointed
to Elisabeta, that she was meant to join you.
But I was mistaken. I admitted it then, and I
do not recant that foolishness now." He
reached over and placed a cold palm atop
Rhun's hand. "But do you not see what
happened today? You stumbled out of that
rubble with a Woman of Learning to your
left and a Warrior of Man to your right.
It must mean something."
The Blood Gospel

By James Rollins
 and Rebecca Cantrell

Ok, I admit it, when I started reading different terms for "vampires" I started to laugh, chuckling that once again it seemed like another author found it necessary to participate in the present craze for vampire blood... so that's one giveaway...

I believe the title has already given away that the novel is based upon places, names and some beliefs found in the Bible. If you don't want to read that type of material, I will quickly warn to be careful. However, if you are like me and enjoy reading how Christian material is understood, perceived, and creatively "toyed" with by imaginative and experienced authors, then right now, I have to encourage you to consider this a must-read.

For one, I think most Christians will learn from this type of book, as long as you are able to consider and discern through faith...I must say that once I had read more, I couldn't put this book down until I had finished it...Ok I did take time out to sleep one night...

The key point spotlighted is a routine event in the life of Christians--Holy Communion. Do you understand the meaning behind this activity--the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine? If so, then you should easily be able to connect the dots as Rollins has done to bring the ancient myth of vampires into the church... With that, I will just say that, in my opinion, the authors did their research and came up with a plausible story line, thus your need for discernment...LOL Once I got past that, it was fun to explore just how far the authors' imaginations would take us...but I could have lived without the icarops...

The book starts in Caesarea, Israel, where Erin Granger has an archaeological dig with a few student assistants. An interesting finding there was not, totally, closed out in this first book--yes, there will definitely be at least one more book since readers will, sadly, be left hanging (I hate that, worrying that I won't remember to get the next book to close out everything--plus having to wait!)...

This follows a Prologue in Masada, Israel which you will not totally understand until later, but it is to that place that Dr. Granger was literally taken away from her own site by soldiers and a priest. There had been an earthquake, with an accompanying opening into an old site which was of great concern to ensure it not be corrupted. Dr. Granger would have the responsibility  that did not occur.

At that time she meets her new love interest, Jordan who is an American with a specialty for nerve gas, as well as a priest, Father Korza, who was assigned to join them. It is this group who will travel underground and inspect what has happened. We learn that the site was supposed to hold "The Blood Gospel" but that apparently the Nazis had already broken into the site and stolen (or killed) what was there. At the same time, readers also learn that there is another group searching for the Gospel and we meet them as they fight their way back out!

Following the first clue next takes the three on to another underground facility where it was thought the Germans might have hidden the Blood Gospel (this is supposedly a book written by Jesus in his own blood).There the full measure of what immortality might mean is brought clearly to readers! OMG!

The final location takes us to Russia. The fascinating clues are picked up by Erin Granger mostly with help from Jordan and Rhun Korza--supposedly the trio that had been prophesied to find the book at the right time.

The flavor of a treasure hunt is, of course, one of the comparative points that we have loved in other novels, but I promise that no hunt has been quite like this one--especially the characters involved in the race! All of the vampire issues, I think, have been given different names specifically for this book to lend credibility to the historical perspective of the novel and to link to identifiable Biblical characters. For me, I could not find anything that had not been adequately explained to support the realism of the story line. Let me know if you disagree!

I especially enjoyed the use of flashbacks to explain what had happened in the past for Father Korza, as well as the connection that develop between Erin and Jordan. I often wonder when two individuals collaborate which one does the various parts of the writing, but I'm crediting Cantrell for the flashbacks at a minimum. Both had done an outstanding writing job, in my opinion, in creating this epic story that, while unbelievable for me, still provided a fascinating adventure that I simply loved! I've tried not to share too much because you simply have to experience things to get the full effect! This book is not yet available but I highly recommend you Pre-Order!


JAMES ROLLINS is the New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers, 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).

REBECCA CANTRELL'S novels have won the Bruce Alexander and Macavity awards and been nominated for the Barry, APPY, RT Reviewers Choice, and Shriekfest Film Festival awards. She and her husband and son just left Hawaii's sunny shores for adventures in Berlin.

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