Innocent Blood: The Order of the Sanguines Series
In THE BLOOD GOSPEL, the first installment of the Order of the Sanguines series, readers were introduced to a fictional work that depicted both an age-old battle between two vampyrrhic sects --- the Sanguines and the Strigoi --- and a biblical tie-in with origins going back to the birth of Jesus Christ.
Combining elements of THE DA VINCI CODE and THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS, James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell collaborate on INNOCENT BLOOD. This second book in what promises to be a highly engaging --- and hopefully long-lasting --- series digs deeper into biblical speculative fiction and less on the historical sects of vampires that dominated the first novel.
Allegedly, the long-lost Gospel of Judas contains prophecies around the second coming of Christ. Confirmed by other ancient seers, they involved the Gates of Hell being reopened via the use of a boy of innocent blood who represents the first angel. More terrifying is the fact that Judas himself will have a hand in this event.
"INNOCENT BLOOD moves at breakneck speed and involves enough history and symbology to keep the readers engaged and happily along for the ride."
The infamous betrayer of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, Judas Iscariot, may not have died by his own hand. Instead, he was cursed with immortality and has been biding his time on earth until a certain series of events would fall in sync with the prophecy that would allow him to open up the Gates of Hell and, at the same instant, bring about Armageddon for all those on this planet.
Can this event be stopped by mere mortals? Part of the prophecy also indicated that a trio of heroes would stand up to battle this and pose a threat to Judas and the legions of Strigoi that do his bidding. One of the good things about INNOCENT BLOOD is that you never really are sure if the protagonists involved are also those predicted to save the world. Nevertheless, archaeologist Erin Granger must reunite with Army Sergeant Jordan Stone to lead a group that includes immortal religious figures from the order of the Sanguine to race through Europe and the Middle East to go head to head with an evil of truly biblical proportions.
The wild card in the mix is a young boy named Thomas, who is believed to possess the quality of the first angel. It is his innocent blood that, once spilled, will allow Judas to complete his task. Judas is indeed a tragic figure as his curse of immortality has warped his mind, and the only way to overcome the guilt he has borne with the betrayal of Christ is by doing all he can to bring about his second coming.
INNOCENT BLOOD moves at breakneck speed and involves enough history and symbology to keep the readers engaged and happily along for the ride. Fictional characters mix with historical figures to create an imagined new reality that Rollins and Cantrell have breathed life into and one in which their fans will not be able to get enough of.
Reviewed by Ray Palen on December 20, 2013