Book Review: Blood Infernal by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Book: Blood Infernal by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Published February 2015 by William Morrow|576 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: The Order Of The Sanguines #3

Genre: Adult Thriller

In a masterpiece of supernatural mystery and apocalyptic prophecy, New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell bring to a thunderous conclusion their epic trilogy of novels set between the worlds of shadow and light, between salvation and damnation, where the very gates of Hell must be shattered to discover the true fate of humankind in…

Blood Infernal

As an escalating scourge of grisly murders sweeps the globe, archaeologist Erin Granger must decipher the truth behind an immortal prophecy foretold in the Blood Gospel, a tome written by Christ and lost for centuries: The shackles of Lucifer have been loosened, and his Chalice remains lost. It will take the light of all three to forge the Chalice anew and banish him again to his eternal darkness. With the Apocalypse looming, Erin must again join forces with Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and Father Rhun Korza to search for a treasure lost for millennia. But the prize has already fallen into the hands of their enemy, a demon named Legion, before whom even the walls of the Vatican will fall.

The search for the key to salvation will take Erin and the others across centuries and around the world, from the dusty shelves of the Vatican’s secret archives to lost medieval laboratories, where ancient alchemies were employed to horrific ends. All the while, they are hunted, besieged by creatures of uncanny skill and talent. As clues are dug free from ancient underground chapels and found frozen in icy mountain caverns, one that will destroy not only her, but all she loves. To protect the world, Erin must walk through the very gates of Hell and face the darkest of enemies: Lucifer himself.

With The Blood Gospel, the first novel in the Order of the Sanguines series, James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell combined science, myth, and religion to introduce a breathtaking world where miracles hold new meaning and the fight for good over evil is far more complicated than we ever dreamed. And now, in this epic conclusion to the Sanguines trilogy, Blood Infernal, they take us to the very pit of Hell itself, making us peer into the abyss and face our greatest fears, to answer the ultimate question: What price will we pay for true salvation? 

I liked this one.  The series didn’t end how I thought it would, but it was a pretty interesting ride.

What I liked most was how different historical figures were involved.  I’ve really liked Elizabeth Of Bathory, and she’s been a pretty solid character this whole time.  I really liked how John Dee was included, and they did a great job at including his experiments into what was going on.  With what I know about John Dee as a person, I could see him trying what he did in this book.  He was mentioned more than anything else, but we did actually see him at the very beginning of the book.  We learned a lot about him in this book, and Cantrell and Rollins did a great job at weaving in history.

This book was a blur to me.  I waited a while to read and then I was scrambling to finish it before it was due, so even though I’m reviewing not too long after finishing it, I still feel like it’s going to be a struggle to actually review it.

I did want more action from this book.  There wasn’t as much as I thought there would be, and that was a little disappointing.  Considering they’re trying to stop the apocalypse from happening, you’d think there would more action and less talk.  But that wasn’t the case at all.

You do see what lengths they’ll go to stop evil, and how they’ll deal with it as they travel all over the world to do it.  They are alone for part of the book, but no matter how far apart they are from each other, they always end up working together as a group to figure out what’s going on and how to stop it from happening.  It makes me wonder if they’ll cross paths now that the book is over.  Jordan and Erin do, for sure, but I’d be curious to see if they ever cross paths with Rhun or Elizabeth.

I had the feeling Erin and Jordan will be just fine, but Rhun?  Of the three, he had the most earth-shattering revelations to deal with, and now he’s really going to have to deal with all of that.  Whether he does it on his own, or with Elizabeth, I’m not sure.  But he has a lot of soul-searching to do after learning what he does.

And I hope Elizabeth keeps in touch with Tommy for the rest of their lives.  They seem pretty important to each other, so hopefully they’re still a part of each others lives now that they don’t have to deal with this apocalyptic craziness.

3 stars.  I liked Blood Infernal, and while it wasn’t the action-packed ending I thought it would be, I did like the blending of suspense with history, religion and the supernatural.

Book Review: Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Book: Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Published December 2013 by William Morrow|733 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: The Order Of The Sanguines #2

Genre: Adult Thriller

A vicious attack at a ranch in California thrusts archaeologist Erin Granger back into the folds of the Sanguines, an immortal order founded on the blood of Christ and tasked with protecting the world from the beasts haunting its shadows and waiting to break free into the sunlight. Following the prophetic words found in the Blood Gospel–a tome written by Christ and lost for centuries–Erin must join forces with Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and the dark mystery that is Father Rhun Korza to discover and protect a boy believed to be an angel given flesh.

But an enigmatic enemy of immense power and terrifying ambition seeks the same child–not to save the world, but to hasten its destruction. For any hope of victory, Erin must discover the truth behind Christ’s early years and understand His first true miracle, an event wrapped in sin and destruction, 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 and around the world, from the dusty plains of the Holy Land to the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean, from the catacombs of Rome to an iron fortress in the Mediterranean Sea, and at last to the very gates of Hell itself, where their destiny–and the fate of mankind–awaits.

With The Blood Gospel, the first novel in the Order of the Sanguines series, James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell breathtakingly combined science, myth, and religion and introduced a world where miracles hold new meaning and the fight for good over evil is far more complicated than we ever dreamed. In Innocent Blood they again take us to the edge of destruction . . . and into the deepest reaches of imagination.

I liked this one! I think I liked it a little bit more than the first one, and I’m curious to see how th next one goes.

I feel like we have a better grasp of the world in this book. Now that we’re past the first book, and past the introduction stage, we were actually able to get into everything a little bit faster. I liked seeing Rhun, Stone and Erin work together to find the First Angel. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I did like it, and seeing them work through made the book a pretty interesting read.

I really liked Judas and Elizabeth Bathory in this book. I really liked following them over the course of the book- much more than Rhun, Stone, and Erin. They both had a lot of things to explore and deal with, and they were a big part of why I kept reading.

I also liked seeing what was going on with Tommy. His relationship with Elizabeth was interesting, especially knowing what she had done hundreds of years earlier. Her protectiveness definitely got my attention, and it was one of the things I really liked seeing change during this book.

I didn’t love it, though, and I can’t place why. The concept is interesting, at least to me, and so far, I do think it’s a book to check out if you like anything by Dan Brown. That hasn’t changed since the first book. I did want to keep reading to see what would happen, and I’ll definitely be continuing the series. That also hasn’t changed. But I also feel like I don’t have anything else to say about the book.

3 stars. I liked Innocent Blood, and a couple of the characters were really interesting to follow. I still want to know what happens next!

Book Review: The Blood Gospel by James Rollins And Rebecca Cantrell

Book: The Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Published August 2013 by Harper|717 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: The Order Of The Sanguines #1

Genre: Adult Thriller

In his first-ever collaboration, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins combines his skill for cutting-edge science and historical mystery with award-winning novelist Rebecca Cantrell’s talent for haunting suspense and sensual atmosphere in a gothic tale about an ancient order and the hunt for a miraculous book known only as . . . The Blood Gospel

An earthquake in Masada, Israel, kills hundreds and reveals a tomb buried in the heart of the mountain. A trio of investigators–Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant but disillusioned archaeologist–are sent to explore the macabre discovery, a subterranean temple holding 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. The enemy who hounds them is like no other, a force of ancient evil directed by a leader of impossible ambitions and incalculable cunning.

From crumbling tombs to splendorous churches, Erin and her two companions must confront a past that traces back thousands of years, to a time when ungodly beasts hunted the dark spaces of the world, to a moment in history when Christ made a miraculous offer, a pact of salvation for those who were damned for eternity.

Here is a novel that is explosive in its revelation of a secret history. Why do Catholic priests wear pectoral crosses? Why are they sworn to celibacy? Why do the monks hide their countenances under hoods? And why does Catholicism insist that the consecration of wine during Mass results in its transformation to Christ’s own blood? The answers to all go back to a secret sect within the Vatican, one whispered as rumor but whose very existence was painted for all to see by Rembrandt himself, a shadowy order known simply as the Sanguines.

In the end, be warned: some books should never be found, never opened–until now.

I really liked this one!  The Blood Gospel is definitely interesting, and it’s a good read-alike if you like Dan Brown.  Particularly the Da Vinci Code/Robert Langdon books.  But with vampires.

I did like the Sanguines, and how they came to be.  I also liked what Rollins and Cantrell did with history, particularly with Rasputin, and the Romanov family, though we only see Alexei, the son of Csar Nicholas.  Part of me wishes Anastasia had been the one mentioned, because of the stories of how she survived, but we can’t really do anything about that.  I will say that Alexei makes sense, because his hemophilia is how Rasputin ended up with the family in the first place.  Even though this book isn’t about that, part of me wishes we had a lot more detail about how he survived.

One thing I thought was confusing was when we had other perspectives.  We see a descendant of Elizabeth Bathory narrate at times, as well as a young boy who survived the earthquake.  People were referenced in those chapters, and those references were never explained.  They were known simply as He and Him, and I wanted something a lot more clear.  It made things more confusing and muddled than they needed to be.

Another thing I was not sure about was the kid who survived the earthquake.  I’m still not sure how he factors into things, but maybe we’ll see that in the other books?  The chapters that focused on some of these side characters were really strange.  I already mentioned how confusing they were and part of that is because it wasn’t obvious at first when we changed perspective.  I don’t mind multiple narrators or perspectives, but I do mind when it’s not obvious.

But things seemed to get randomly introduced and it wasn’t clear at first how they connected to the overall story.  Some of becomes clear by the end of the book, and while I’m doubtful it will come up again, I hope some of the people and things are explained more.  Again, the vagueness did not work for me at all because you’re trying to figure things out and it made it really confusing.  I hope that doesn’t continue in the other books.

I was definitely intrigued, and I did want to keep reading to see what would happen next.  It takes place over a couple of days, and even though we knew the timeline because dates and times were mentioned, it also seemed like it was happening over a longer period of time.

On a random note, I don’t understand why they couldn’t mention when we changed narrators, but could mention the exact day, time and location for the timeline.

Back to the timeline, though.  Things were definitely moving along, and I really liked the pace of the book.  Though it seemed like a lot, especially over a couple of days, there was never a lull in the action.

3 stars.  I liked The Blood Gospel, and I’m curious to see what happens next.