The Order of the Sanguines, Book #1
By James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell ISBN# 9780061991042 Authors’ Websites: http://www.jamesrollins.com/ http://rebeccacantrell.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Dawn
*Beware of possible Spoilers*
An earthquake in Israel kills hundreds and reveals a subterranean temple holding the crucified body of a mummified girl. Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant but disillusioned archaeologist are sent in to explore and find themselves in a race against an enemy like no other, to recover a book rumored to have been written by Christ’s own hand.
From crumbling tombs to splendorous churches, Erin and her companions must confront a past that traces back 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—creating 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.
The story begins with Professor Erin Granger, archaeologist, scientist, doctor, who is on an excavation with her students. She is called away to check a site for the Israeli government. Enter Jordan (US military) and Khan (priest).
Rhun is a deeply flawed man who has been through terrible tragedy. He fights his attraction to Erin. It’s pure torture but it makes him more relate-able. I enjoyed his character development the most. He shares his past through memories he relives throughout the book. His self-restraint is admirable.
I like Erin and Jordan but it was easy to see where it was headed. Not much surprise there. The Blood Gospel has a plethora of characters and supernatural beings: ursus, icarops, grimwolf, strogoi etc…I enjoyed the history behind each supernatural entity and group.
I nearly crapped myself when Lazarus, Rasputin and the Countess of Bathory were introduced. They are people I’ve been fascinated with since childhood. Yes, I was a macabre child.
As the 3 main characters travel and discover new clues, I became a world traveler. The mosaics, the structures were so aptly described I felt I was looking at them.
I was fascinated with the relevant scriptures used at the beginning of each section of the book. The plot is extremely intricate with many moving parts. When the betrayer from within was revealed, I was shocked. I did not see that one coming.
The book is close to 500 pages. You can’t speed-read or skim or you will miss too much information. Skimming through the book doesn’t do it justice. The authors’ research deserves to be appreciated. You have to slow down and digest each bit of information to begin putting the puzzle together. Ponder the individual pieces of the puzzle; it’s exciting to uncover each new aspect of the story.
I’m unsure of how Tommy fits in just yet. Tommy was cured of Melanoma. I look forward to reading the next book and going on further journeys with Erin, Jordan and Rhun.
The Blood Gospel has a climatic end although I do wish we could have gotten smut with Erin and Jordan. Maybe in the next one! 🙂
I have two minor issues with the book. First, I found it too cliched that Erin is such a beautiful woman. Everyone wants her but she has no idea…..really? Second, the book was a bit too long but that was saved with all the action. It’s never boring.
I recommend The Blood Gospel to all those who enjoy a marriage of history and religion combined with supernatural beings.