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The Blood Gospel LP: The Order of the Sanguines Series Paperback – Large Print, January 8, 2013
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Author One-on-One: James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
Q. How did you two meet?
Rebecca: I used to live in Hawaii, and Jim was my instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat where I was workshopping a thriller. My first novel, A Trace of Smoke, had been accepted for publication a few weeks before and he kindly agreed to give me my first blurb. It was so good, I printed and hung it above my writing desk until it got covered in gecko poop. Then I took it down. Sorry about the poop, Jim.
Q. The Blood Gospel is a bit of a deviation from the books that both of you are traditionally known for. What inspired the idea for this book?
James: This book came about from viewing Rembrandt’s painting of "The Raising of Lazarus." It struck me strange how scared everyone looked, and this started me down a road of reflection about early Catholicism, vampirism, and a story began to unfold. I knew this could be a huge, ground-breaking new mythology, a story so epic in scope that I knew I didn’t want to tackle this alone.
Rebecca: Jim called to ask me if I was interested in collaborating on a project. The premise and the world were so intriguing and controversial, I said yes immediately.
Q. Both of you are well known authors in your own right; how did you learn to collaborate?
Rebecca: We went back and forth a lot while trying to decide what would be fun and interesting for both of us. Since we’re two people, more ideas come out and the books end up going in a direction I don’t think either of us would have found on our own. Luckily, he’s very open and easy to work with and has never once said “that’s the stupidest idea ever,” because I think you need to feel safe to throw out any idea at the beginning and see what sticks.
James: It’s one of the best things about collaboration: we each bring a unique skill set to the table. Scenes where I know I perhaps am more deft (i.e. action), I handle. Likewise, Becky’s skill at characterization and atmospheric historical descriptions, I let her run with it. That said, then we each take each other’s work and tweak it in new and surprising ways that neither of us could have done alone.
Q. Could vampires have been or be real?
Rebecca: Our series plays with the idea that vampires are and always have been a myth, but the myth is based on some truth—that strigoi have always existed within and without the Church and their bloody crimes have formed the basis of the vampire myth.
James: It was interesting how many of the Church’s trappings (hooded robes, crosses, celibate priests, and the rite of turning wine into Christ’s blood) could be directly folded into the vampire mythology. It makes you wonder if the Church isn’t keeping something secret about a mythology that has existed for millennia.
Q. Can fans expect to find elements of science in this series?
James: With a scientific background in biology, I wanted to instill into the mythology how vampirism might be possible, how such creatures could live among us, how they could survive without beating hearts, why silver would be toxic to them. The goal of this book was to explore the line between faith and science, so that meant exploring a scientific and historical rationalization for the existence of vampires.
Top Customer Reviews
I am a James Rollins fan who had absolutely no idea what I was in for when I selected this book to review. Fortunately, I am also a fan of urban fantasy and the supernatural, so I was pleasantly surprised at what I got. I really enjoyed this book. The action is non-stop and the main characters were all interesting and well-developed. Even the bad guys were interesting and surprisingly sympathetic - yeah, they were evil, but you could kind of see how they ended up that way and feel a little sorry for them.
This book does require you to suspend disbelief at many points, but no more so than many other books of this genre - as long as you're willing to fully accept the fundamental premises upon which the book is based. I rarely found myself falling out of the story to question whether or not anything made sense. The pace of the story pulled me along quickly enough that I generally didn't have any trouble just accepting things and moving on.Read more ›
The Blood Gospel is yet another new direction for Mr. Rollins. Well, two new directions, actually. For the first time, he's sharing authoring responsibilities with Rebecca Cantrell, a writer well-respected for her own historic mystery series. And while The Blood Gospel is as much a fast-paced thriller as anything Mr. Rollins has written to date, it also falls firmly in the territory of a new genre: horror.
The novel opens with a brief prologue set in the past--AD 73 in Masada, Israel--where readers are witness to events leading to the tragedy for which the historic site is known. However, we are also witness to a far more inexplicable drama... After just a few pages, the action shifts to present-day Israel, at the dig of American archaeologist Erin Granger. Her own promising work is interrupted by an earthquake--and is further interrupted when Israeli and American soldiers arrive to escort her to Masada. The quake has unearthed something and her expertise is required. Along on the journey is a mysterious figure. "He was no soldier. He was a priest. He wore black pants, overhung by an ankle-length hooded cassock, along with black leather gloves, dark sunglasses, and the familiar white collar of the Roman Catholic clergy.Read more ›
Dr. Erin Granger, an architect on a dig in Israel, is pulled away from the students she is overseeing after a strange earthquake affects Masada, the rocky fortress where the Romans laid siege to Hebrews almost two thousand years ago. She is teamed up with a small force of U.S. military, including Sgt. Jordan Stone, and this group is accompanied by Father Rhun Korza, a mysterious monk. At Masada, this group finds a mystery and comes under attack from strange and supernatural forces. The survivors, Granger, Stone, and Korza, are caught up in a centuries old hunt for the "Blood Gospel," a legendary Christian artifact. But they must race against their supernatural foes, who don't play by any of the same rules........
This was a fun ride, and anyone who liked Rollins' early pre-Sigma Force books will not only enjoy the action, but a return of Rollins' creative monster side, as mutant critters and odd evolution have been an early staple for the author. (I always particularly enjoyed the strangely evolved piranha from Amazonia, but that's for another review....)
To be honest, it's a challenge to write this spoiler-free, because the people who don't like this book apparently don't like it for the supernatural aspect, or the role the Catholic church plays in the adventure. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I've never read a James Rollins novel because I thought any part of it was real.... I read them for the high-speed adventure. And that is in this book, start to finish.
For me, this book was very hard to put down, and I look forward to Rollins' future efforts!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
James Rollins books rule....and make a great read to! They shipped super fast thanks!Published 2 days ago by Lorna J. Dodge
Read the 3 book series. Really enjoyed it - Loved the archeological twists and the theology too !!Published 1 month ago by KatieSparkle
I had not read this particular series and I am as pleased with this genre as all of the ones Rollins has written, looking forward to reading them all.Published 1 month ago by kas