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on December 17, 2013
Innocent Blood follows the popular thriller, Blood Gospel, in the Order of the Sanguines Series. Cantrell and Rollin's collaboration in this daring tale explodes the boundaries of genre, taking their fans and new readers on a 4 dimensional odyssey in which the past and the present collide for the ultimate battle of good and evil.

Monsters of myth, and figures from scripture, confront credible contemporary characters with a deadly puzzle and enlist them to fulfill a world-changing prophesy. Intriguing science, a secret Vatican sect, gothic undead, historical villains --this book is full of mysteries! The storytellers bring alive both the present and the ancient past in their telling, with the sounds, smells, textures, and temperatures of pivotal historical places.

Woven into this fast-paced, surprising, adrenaline-juiced thriller are provocative postulations about sin, redemption, and the true price of penitence, as well as the realization (at least for me) that most of us find it easier to believe in demons than in angels.

I recommend that you read Blood Gospel first if you can. Have fun!
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VINE VOICEon December 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Book two of the “Order of the Sanguines” Series follows shortly after the thrilling events of the first book, “The Blood Gospel”, and it continues the rich context of that first novel. Any time I read a second novel in a series it is always with a little trepidation because I worry, especially when the first novel is so filled with original concepts. How does an author(s) bottle that lightning a second time and ensure it continues for a third book and so on? So many times it just doesn’t and a second book, just like a movie sequel, falls flat.

Not so with this series as everything is turned up a notch or two. The action is practically non-stop with another crisis around every corner. And yet, somehow, the authors manage to expose the reader to their characters’ true natures and we really get to know them and care what happens to them. That, for me, is one of the key elements for a good novel, no matter what the genre. This series is a combination of known history, supernatural myth, religious fervor, and Indiana Jones style action plotting. It’s like watching a really good action-packed, intrigue-filled movie. Apocalyptic prophecy…supernatural intrigue…a religious political power struggle of the highest order…and even a bit of romance? What’s not to love?

What we think we know from the first book, like the identities of the Knight of Christ as well as the Warrior of Man and the Woman of Learning may not be accurate and a large part of the plot hinges on the quest to determine who has what role. And we have a new role to determine…the First Angel. We also get to experience several intriguing new characters that are woven into the mix. Two of history’s most intriguing characters, Rasputin and Judas Iscariot, make their debuts. At stake is the potential for the launch of the no-kidding Armageddon. And while this book’s story has a satisfying conclusion, the final segment does a great job in setting up a third book in the series.

One more mark of a really good thriller novel that appeals to me: I love it when the good guys aren’t always good and the bad guys aren’t always bad. Having gray characters that don’t always make the right choices or the wrong ones, is just good story telling. The conflict and tension that builds is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Travel from California to Italy to Egypt and hold on for the ride on this one. You’ll be glad you did.
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VINE VOICEon December 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A fantastic follow-up to Blood Gospel, the first in a series of books co-authored by James Rollins (one of my fav's) and Rebecca Cantrell (whom I was unfamiliar with before reading the first book). Innocent Blood picks up shortly after the end of book one, and never for a moment lets the tension slow. Too often a second novel in a series tends to suffer from "Middle Book Syndrome" which may not be an actual syndrome, but if you've ever read series before, you know what I'm talking about.

Many didn't like the first book because it was a serious departure from Rollins previous works--but shouldn't ANY author be given the opportunity to spread their wings and explore outside their typical realm if they wish? Any more, its difficult for publishers to be willing to allow established writers to break away from what they typically do and attempt anything new for fear that it won't sell. I am happy that as Rollins decided to co-author his first book, he chose to take a different path and give me something I simply was NOT expecting. With that being said, I was less surprised by Innocent Blood having finished the first book last year. While I could guess at several plot lines first established in book 1, I definitely didn't see where this book ended up going. Kudos to both authors for keeping the tension taught and always at the surface of what is happening.

Taking us to secret societies within the Vatican certainly isn't anything new, but it was in the way these authors tell it. Conspiracies within bigger conspiracies and adding the Indiana Jones style entertainment along with James Rollins trademark action gives this story not only a great deal of depth, but it was literally LOADED with fun. I say for those who were a bit turned off by book one give this one a try and see if they don't win you back. Just remember that the Order of the Sanguines is a series unlike anything you may THINK Rollins has produced before. Keep that in mind and I believe you are well on your way to not only really enjoying these books, but becoming entirely obsessed. With all the interest these days switching from one series being turned into films to another, its a shame that film producers didn't give this one a look-see. So much more depth than the typical fare being thrust on us every week or so.

All I can say is I am eagerly awaiting book 3.
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on December 10, 2013
'Innocent Blood' takes you on a journey of self discovery. This novel wasn't so much about going to places.. and finding relics from the past... it was more about finding one's purpose in life.. regardless of who you are or are not.

A masterful tale filled with great adventure and intrigue.. The story very much remains in the present. Literally over the course of a few short days in December. From the Sanguines to other "Immortals".. you will find yourself cheering for the Good guys.. and then.. figuring out.. you really aren't sure who the good guys are!

Again, a book that does not make you think you're reading about vampires.. Instead.. you are reading about a secret sect that hides behind the walls of the Vatican.. and there's just a little part of you.. that will have you watching the Midnight Christmas Mass.. and wondering.. just WHAT is going on beneath the floor of the Pope!

No spoilers from me! You'll just have to read it yourself! ENJOY!! I know, I certainly did!
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James Rollins is one of my favorite authors. Yet after reading this and the first collaboration with Rebecca Cantrell, she too is in the top five. The dramatic twist on a group of priests who are everything that they seem not to be is a triumph of imagination. You must read the prelude to Innocent Blood; "The Blood Gospel" first then read this marvelous novel. I can guarantee, that is you are drawn to the strange and macabre without the blood and gore, you will be enthralled with these novels. These books are a tribute to the majesty of two minds working together. Once again, I would say that these novels sem to be a fittting beginning to a great mini-series for a forward looking TV network. Can I say any more than I loved the books and the authors are wonderfully imaginative and insightful.
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on August 19, 2014
What a thankless job it must be to save the world. Beaten, bloody, betrayed, and risking death all for billions of people who must remain totally ignorant of your existence, and also of the fact that you've allowed them another day to be, well, human.

Time is racing towards Armageddon and with a traitor in their midst it's going to be even more difficult to figure out how to stop the clock. Angels, immortals, strigoi, demonic beasts and a couple of humans make for one irresistible read.

One of the most enjoyable things about this story, for me anyway, is the lack of a definite clear cut delineation between good and evil. Every faction believes in their own rhetoric and some of the arguments are credible. When I can see certain aspects of differing opinions have merit, it makes me pay closer attention to the story as a whole. Although in the end there is evil and no arguments for extenuating circumstances are going to be enough to overcome that fact.

My only real irritation with the series is Rhun's continual guilt over Elisabeth, taking responsibility for every single evil action ever performed by her. It would seem that hundreds of years of reflection, repentance and fighting evil have still left him with the emotional maturity of a young boy. If he had any tattoos I'm sure the largest would be "mea culpa" in appropriately ornate script. And now, after all the angst and breast beating, he has made in essence the SAME mistake- irrevocably changing her existence without bothering to consult her first. I suppose the next tattoo should read "bonehead".

In the end, this is why I read. As much as I loved HBO's "Carnivale" and as much as I still love "Supernatural", they will never be able to compete with books that carry me away. Books like this one.
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on June 14, 2014
The Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell was so good I had to buy the sequel in hard back before the softcover was published. I hate hard back books because they are difficult to hold and jostle around when you're reading in bed.

I love most of James Rollins books, but I quickly grew tired of his Sigma series stories using the same characters etc. Mr. Rollins' earlier material was SO much better than ANY of the Sigma series books. So when Rollins finally came out with a story line that was something new, I grabbed up the paperback and found The Blood Gospel to be a story written with the imagination, wit and suspense that harkens back to his earlier material.

So, when Innocent Blood came out, I couldn't wait to read it.

Although it was good, it was a real let down as compared with The Blood Gospel. Although it continued the story line and characters and was somewhat just as suspenseful, half the time it read like a romance novel.

I'm not sure what Rebecca Cantrell's contributions are to these books but Rollins has never had so much lovey dovey romance and love story in any of his books. It just went on and on and on sometimes obscuring the story line and taking away from the action.

I enjoy James Rollins suspense and imagination, and romance is all good and well if it's a short part of the story, but this half romance novel was just too much. Since Mr. Rollins' books have never been filled with romance or a love story... I can only assume that this was the work of co-author Rebecca Cantrell.

And as the ending here leads one to believe there will be another sequel, I'll be less inclined or excited to getting it as soon as it comes out.
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on April 17, 2014
I have a hard time giving a Rollins book less than four stars. He seems to be taking on co-writing now, which I suspect means that he does less of the exercise of writing and more supervision over plot, but given the way the books in this series with Rebecca Cantrell are turning out, I'm okay with that.

The primary conceit of the Sanguines series is that there is an order of vampires, dating back to Lazarus, who serve the Church and protect the world from all manner of supernatural evil. If Rollins wasn't attached to that premise, I'd probably laugh it off, but he and Cantrell manage to spin a pretty good yarn about these characters and the humans who assist them in the epic battle between good and evil. Naturally, there is a prophecy to be fulfilled, and you never know which Biblical personalities are lurking around in the present day. All of James Rollins's books stretch the limits of the reader's imagination. You either go with it or you don't. If you suspend disbelief, you're in for a great ride.

Innocent Blood seemed to wrap up many of the loose ends from The Blood Gospel, which leads me to believe that this may be only a trilogy rather than an entire series, but at this point, I'm certainly on board for the journey.
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on November 9, 2014
Not bad as sequels go but it seemed t drag a bit. It wrapped up the story line of the first novel (The Blood Gospel) nicely but did it in too many pages. Then it ends with not so much a nail biting cliff hanger (ya know, AW MAN!) as it is clearly just the segue for another in the series(aw, man). Don't get me wrong I love James Rollins and have read almost everything he has written but I was looking for more of a supernatural horror novel, with just the kind of historical and cutting edge technology thrown in that Dr. Rollins is a master of. There is a bit of supernatural to it but far from anything even remotely scary. Yes I will read the next one if only to see where this train wreck of sexual tension and exhaustive globetrotting in the name of saving the world will take us next. I've come this far I gotta know how it gets wrapped up. And to support one of my favorite authors of course! For Better or worse! (The VAST majority of his work is for the better if you are not familiar with it.) so I'm gonna give him the benfit of the doubt. Can't wait for the next Sigma novel! Maybe he could do cross over? That would be a STORY!
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on March 20, 2014
I read the first book 'Blood Gospel' and pretty much blew through it in a matter of days; it was that good. So, of course when I heard that it was the first book in a trilogy I couldn't wait for the next one, this one, 'Innocent Blood'. I'm a big fan of vampires, archaeology, history, and anything Biblical. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the first meeting that James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell had about writing these books. I mean, who would've thought about weaving vampires and Jesus together...such a cool concept. You can tell that both authors put a lot of time into researching for these books...things from the Bible...things from history. It's beautiful really. I'm still in the process of reading this book but I had to go ahead and leave this review because it's just so good. I can't wait for the next book.
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