Published by William Morrow
Released: December 10, 2013
Format: e-Book, 437 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Thriller, Paranormal
While exploring a tomb hidden for centuries in the depths of Masada, Israel, brilliant archaeologist Erin Granger began an incredible journey to recover a miraculous ancient artifact tied to Christ himself. The quest introduced her to a diabolical enemy determined to discover the book and use its powers for his own dark ends. It also led her to an ancient and highly secret Vatican order-known simply as the Saguines. Though she survived, the danger has only just begun . . .
An attack outside Stanford University thrusts Erin back into the fold of the Sanguines. As the threat of Armageddon looms, she must unite with an ancient evil to halt the plans of a man determined to see the world end, a man known only as Iscariot.
With The Blood Gospel, the first novel in the Order of the Sanguine series, James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell breathtakingly combined science 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.
Innocent Blood is the second installment of The Order of the Sanguines. Seeing as I have the final installment called Blood Infernal ready to go thanks to the publisher, I figured I might want to go back and read Innocent Blood first. Kind of silly skipping over books don't you think? That way I can jog my memory into remembering why I should care about these characters, or the different variations of vampires, or the fact that this Sanguine sect abides by Christ's teachings and doesn't drink blood from humans even though they're strigoi.
I find it interesting, especially after the President's wrong choice of words regarding the Crusades, that Rollins/Cantrell start out this story going back to the Crusades (1099) and Cardinal Bernard's search for a weapon said to be able to rid the world of evil. I would ask future readers to pay attention to characters that are introduced, even in flashbacks, and not skip over any books. You may be seeing them again and their participation may be pivotal in how the story wraps up.
In Blood Order, the Gospel of Christ was found, but stopping the impending Apocalypse has just started. Prophesies say the a Woman of Knowledge, a Knight of Christ, and The Warrior of Man must continue this quest together. These characters came together in the first book and survived numerous tribulations to find the Book. Their journey has a long way to go before anyone gets their happy ending, and there are numerous revelations still to be uncovered.
Innocent Blood takes our cast of characters from California, to Italy, to Sweden, and Egypt. The story is told from a handful of characters like Archaeologist Dr. Erin Granger, Cardinal Bernard, Father Rhun Kurza, 14-year old Tommy Bolar, and Army Sergeant Jordan Stone, who, along with Erin, & Tommy, suffered heart breaking losses in Israel and ended up discovering the Order of The Sanguines.
Back at Stanford and having some strange visions after Rhun bit her, Erin is thrust back into danger after a Blasphemare shows up looking to eliminate her from stopping the coming apocalypse. Meanwhile, Jordan is searching for answers having not only lost his wife Karen, but his entire team in Israel. He is called back into working alongside Erin, Cardinal Bernard, and Father Rhun Kurza to search for the so called First Angel before their enemies can find him first.
For me, I think the interesting part of this story is how the authors actually use historical figures like Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, Rasputin, Alexei Romanov, and the Betrayer of Christ himself, Judas Iscariot, who is the previously unknown leader of the Belial. I think these characters give the story more depth, especially Elizabeth. I will say that Judas has some issues when it comes to understanding his purpose and the reason he was given Immortality after betraying Jesus.
To summarize, Jordan is the The Warrior of Man; Erin is The Woman of Learning; Rhun is The Knight of Christ who only drinks the blood from Christ, and not humans. I think the relationship between Erin and Rhun and Rhun and Elizabeth takes up just enough storyline not to be tedious. I definitely see Erin and Jordan's relationship going even further then it does in Innocent Blood, while Rhun and Elizabeth have a ways to go before they get over centuries of betrayal and heart break. Even though they've been through a lot, and discovered a world full of secrets, Erin & Jordan are really good together.
Rollins is an author that I am familiar with after reading almost all of his Sigma Force novels (I may be a book or 3 behind). Cantrell is a new to me author, who I only know from reading the first installment Blood Gospel. The Order of the Sanguines mixes not only good and evil, but history, religion, and myth. I suppose were I an Atheist who doesn't believe in the existence of Jesus Christ, I might not find this series as entertaining and intriguing because it does focus on bible teachings.
Next Up: Blood Infernal