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on 29 January 2013
Firstly,I do like James rollins books,he is in my top 7 of authors which include David golemon,David Gibbons,Matthew Reilly and especially Andy McDermott and Chris Kuzneski,so it gives you an idea of the style of reading I like

This one,(although James books either revolve around the excellent Sigma force novels or totally different adventure with ferocious creatures ) doesn't seem to work as well

It is co written with Rebecca Cantrell a vampire type writer,and the the book is somewhat different from other vampire type books,but I can't help feeling it's been written to get on the "band wagon" with the modern theme of vampires being the "in thing " to read and watch

It is well written,and is basically a story between good ...ish religious vampires and very bad ones with human intervention,Nazis,Russians,Israel and Rasputin thrown in for good measure. To be fair it is quite a good read,but,if it hadn't had James Rollins's would I have bought it?.....probably not,if it had just been Rebecca cantrells name on it I probably wouldn't even have picked it up to read the small print...sorry

Saying that,I probably will buy the others in the series,just because they have input from James Rollins,but I won't rush to buy them before my other favourite authors.

One other thing,American authors always make their heros tall,well built handsome Hollywood types,the British and Aussie heros are more normal....Andy mcdermotts is short ,balding getting older and putting a little weight on despite being ex-sas,but far more believable and Matthew reilly's characters have scars and issues,I do think the American writers should install a bit more of normality into the characters..they can still be strong etc,but most Americans I see certainly aren't like the books?
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on 5 November 2014
Interesting read
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 April 2013
I am a huge fan of James Rollins thrillers. I literally cannot wait for them and so as soon as I heard about The Blood Gospel I ordered in the American edition. What turned up was a huge paperback for the visually-impaired. As a result, I could certainly see it but I could barely lift it. A small price to pay.

The first thing to note is that The Blood Gospel is not part of the excellent Sigma series. It is completely different. Co-written with Rebecca Cantrell, whose work I am not familiar with, it is a mystery thriller with a supernatural twist. Normally, this would be enough to put me off, especially when I learned that this was a novel about vampires. But, and this is a huge but, wipe from your mind images of the sparkly and painfully tragic undead. This is nothing like that at all. In fact, The Blood Gospel is my favourite thriller of 2013 so far and it will take a lot to knock it off that pedestal.

From the very beginning it is clear that the reader is going to have to hang on tight. The novel opens at Masada, the desert fortress in Israel which was the site of a mass suicide by the last of the Jewish rebels to hold out against the might of Rome in the 1st century AD. An earthquake devastates the ruins, revealing a hidden temple containing the crucified remains of a mummified girl and unleashing something else into the air. The remains are investigated by military forensic expert Jordan Stone, archaeologist Erin Granger and Vatican priest Father Rhun Korza. It's not long before the three are on the run, propelled on a chase to discover what was once in the girl's sarcophagus and is now lost - a gospel believed to contain the words of Christ himself. Stone and Granger are soon caught in a war between two breeds of eternals - the Sanguines and the Strigoi - which takes them to the religious heart of Rome as well as the evil centres of Europe. Each must reclaim the words of Christ.

As with all thrillers of this type, you need to suspend your powers of disbelief. If you manage that, as I did almost instantly, then you'll find yourself on a thriller rollercoaster that merges history with the supernatural. We follow the three heroes across Europe, making stops in Rome, Germany and St Petersburg, incorporating familiar figures from history, throwing light or darkness on religious rituals from the past 2,000 years, resurrecting demons from the deepest wells of horror, fighting for life, death and worse, and having an absolute blast of a time!

James Rollins writes thrillers exceptionally well. The Blood Gospel is no different. The characters are all entertainingly real, with the expected added frisson of love, lust and jealousy done well. There are three heroes after all - none wants to be the one left out. The locations are well realised and the mystery itself is a corker. Above all else, though, The Blood Gospel is a very well-written and brilliantly plotted thriller, completely preposterous and utterly gripping. Rebecca Cantrell is, one suspects, the reason for the supernatural edge but it works well with Rollins' style. This is also a substantial book. There are enough pages here to consume you for more than a couple of days.

I was left wanting much, much more and I'm delighted to hear that this is the first in a planned series. Great characters, fantastic story, full of excitement and packed with passion. What more can you ask from a thriller? Marvellous!
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on 1 February 2017
For the most part, I enjoyed The Blood Gospel and flew through in no time. Sure it wasn't completely original, but it was different enough that I read it in two sittings. It's pretty fast paced, the whole story takes place over a few days and a lot happens in those few days.

The one thing that ruined it for me was the romance. It didn't need the romance and it certainly didn't need a love triangle. I do wonder sometimes why romance is thrown into books like this. I purposely look for books without romance. Why ruin a perfectly decent thriller? Is it to appeal to female readers? You do realise not every female likes to read romance right? This female found it completely unappealing, unbelievable, and out of place. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but in a situation like the characters found themselves in, the last thing that would be on my mind and the last thing I want to read about is constant inner thoughts about how a man's lips look, how their hair glints in the sunlight, how blue their eyes are, how the heat radiates off their skin, the list could go on and on... They were fighting their attraction at every step while evading the enemy, surrounded by chaos, wounded, in pain, and exhausted. It's ridiculous. It was extremely cringy and unbelievable and it certainly lowers my rating quite a bit.

That being said, I do plan on reading the next in the series because, aside from the romance, the main plot was enjoyable and I want to know what's to come. I just hope the romance is a lot less eye roll and gag worthy in the next instalment.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 May 2015
I was disappointed with "The Blood Gospel". Well the book wasn't all that bad, but I'm used to reading much more interesting books from James Rollins that I was surprised that I story that sounded interesting wasn't that interesting to read. Hopfully the next book will be better.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 13 March 2013
I generally like James Rollins' books, even if he's been coasting somewhat with some of his more recent Sigma novels. However I have to say that Blood Gospel is fundamentally not a very good book, which is really disappointing considering I bought in hardback whilst on a trip to the US.

The concept (a hidden supernatural war between vampires) is hardly fresh and has been done better by other authors. The characters, especially the human ones, don't in any way behave like normal or real people. The clunky Gothic romance elements sit awkwardly with the action-adventure aspects of the story, and the story itself is basically just a series of increasingly labored action sequences strung together with some pretty illogical plotting.

By halfway through I found I was actually becoming bored with the story & characters. By the final third I was skipping pages to get to the end.

The Blood Gospel is the first part of a trilogy and ends with a surprise 'twist'. I shan't be coming back for the next volume.
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on 11 April 2013
An interesting mix of religious mystery, modern thriller and all the usual things James Rollins likes to mix.
As usual I couldn't stop reading but I probably won't ever read it again.

To misquote "The world according to Garp" 'you read some books because they are good and want to read them again, others you read because you've got to know what happens'.

Mr Rollins writes the latter but in his defence the roller coaster he takes you on is first class.
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This is a book I had wanted to read for so long. Every ingredient in the synopsis whetted my taste buds - it is so my kind of book. Unfortunately, I spend the majority of my time in Norway and ordered it at my UK address. Okay, I accept I do stupid things on occasion. My embarrassment was compounded when one of the authors asked me if I had read it after I had told him/her (I won't say which one) that I couldn't wait. It was well worth waiting for anyway. I could read this book a dozen times.

I won't bore any of you by repeating half of the synopsis as it's up there in black and white for your perusal. What I will do, is say what I loved about it. I have always loved Rollins' style and the kind of book he writes. To me, he is akin to Dan Brown, but with a keener edge. Where Brown takes a breather with lengthy descriptions of historical locations (which is okay for a history buff such as myself) Rollins just ploughs on with the story and never relents with his pace. Of course, this is a collaboration with Ms Cantrell and together I feel they are a formidable partnership.

A cocktail of ancient mysteries, cults, vampires of both persuasions, secret societies, the Nazis, a host of historical greats, and the Catholic Church. What more could a reader want? I liked also the use of three main protagonists as opposed to the usual ritual of hero plus one(usually female). All three have their intricacies and complexities that keep them interesting, as well as their individual interactions with each other that bring us to identify with and care for them. I loved too the introduction of many great historical figures going back two thousand years. I don't give spoilers so you will have to read the story for yourselves, but they each add real substance to the book, leading up to the final excellent twist at the end.

Blood Gospel is an action-packed, fast-paced, thrilling read that I would recommend to anyone. I'm going straight to Amazon now to order Innocent Blood. I know it will be money well spent. Five glowing stars from me.
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on 14 May 2013
James Rollins books keep up a steady fast pace, are exciting (if nonsensical), pretty well written and generally a good read. He could write a more intellectual book if he wanted - but for a jolly roller coaster, gore and guts with a bit of history thrown in for interest he is one of the best. Much better than his Sigma Force books which are, for me, rather trite.
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on 20 June 2013
The personal stuff of the players was kept back at a " just in time" presentation
The story was well researched and historically correct which did relate to factual occurances
Felt totallty absorbed in the whole plot

Well Done All
Nick F

PS: I need to start my first book !!!
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