The Blood Gospel – James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell

“The dead continued to sing.”

Have you ever wondered what The Da Vinci Code might have been like if it had been full of vampires? Wonder no more – that’s exactly this book!

It seems that proposition is either going to fill you with joy (certainly a heck of a lot of review site users seem to have loved this) or terror – in my case, the latter. But then, mostly because I’m still traumatised over the whole experience. Not because the story is so scary, but because it is so badly written – HOW is this getting 5* reviews all over the place?!!

In fairness, this does have a DVC-like level of pushing the story at a good clip, and after the first third or so of the book, it improves a little from the horrible, clunky language that sets the whole thing off. Every sub-chapter sees the POV change characters, and there’s simply far too much sharing of ‘inner thoughts’. Really inappropriate ones to the scenes, at that: yes, I get the whole attraction-amidst-conflict thing, but really – you’re going to start writing odes to her hair while being chased by blood-thirsty killers?!

I didn’t capture the quote, but the worst scene – that I’ve read all year, if not longer, to be frank – involves the female lead finding she’s been given some ultra-conservative clothing to wear. Cue a loooong inner monologue about how this dredges up memories of her awful childhood, etc etc, before she finally decides that, okay, she will still wear this skirt rather than go about in her underwear. What?! NO ONE gives that much thought to whether or not to get dressed (unless the alternative is pjs, of course! ;)) EVER, never mind in the middle of a crisis!! o_O

As if all of this isn’t bad enough, the actual story being told is superbly inconsistent in its message: I won’t spoil it for you, but to say that the ending has a huge hole… but then, why the heck did I even get that far?!

Hardback: 479 pages / 66 chapters
First published: 2013
Series: The Order of the Sanguines, book 1
Read from 6th-15th September 2015

My rating: 2/10 – vaguely entertaining but quite frankly very poorly written drivel. Will probably appeal to fans of The Da Vinci Code (*)

(* I do not think the Da Vinci Code is a good book, but I will concede that it is cleverly written to keep you reading, and ultimately entertaining enough. This book is a very pale shadow of all that.)