Publication Date: December 10, 2013 by William Morrow
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review
Description from Goodreads:
In this riveting follow-up to The Blood Gospel, the first book in their thrilling and atmospheric Order of the Sanguine series, New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell deliver a riveting tale of international adventure, intrigue, suspense, and supernatural mystery involving a modern scientist, a highly secret eternal spiritual order, and a terrifying power who must join forces to bring down a ruthless and cunning enemy and prevent the Apocalypse
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.
I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the first book, The Blood Gospel, that I jumped at the opportunity to read the second book in the series, Innocent Blood. I will state up front, that I was not disappointed by the second book. The subject matter is fun and exciting and the writing is just great. I enjoyed the pacing and I don't know if the authors could have put any more tantalizing hints or characters in the book if they tried.
We follow the characters from the first book and get to know them a bit more. The woman that Rhun turned into a Strigoi, Elizabeth, becomes a major character in the story and there is some debate about who is the real Woman of Learning - Erin or Elizabeth. Either way, she becomes an important figure and plays a vital part in the drama. As with each important character, she is complicated and interesting.
I found one particular new character to be especially interesting. Arella, the immortal woman that Judas loves and encounters over the centuries is such a compelling character. I don't want to give too much away, but I really enjoyed this story line.
I have to say that Rollins and Cantrell definitely know how to keep the reader interested all the way to the end of the story. They also have mastered the art of throwing some tantalizing hints at the reader right at the end of the book, so that you are anxious to read the next one. The Order of the Sanguines Series has so much going for it: vampires, Sanguines (holy vampires?), Judas, Rasputin, ancient mysteries, prophecies, and angels (both good and evil). I'm not sure what more a reader could ask for. Innocent Blood, like The Blood Gospel was such fun to read from start to finish. Highly recommend.