Innocent Blood (The Order of the Sanguines Series) by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell—4 stars
In this second book of “The Order of the Sanguines,” James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell again join together to take the reader into a spellbinding world of intrigue. “Innocent Blood” continues the tale begun by “The Blood Gospel,” picking up two months later with the same characters and also a few new ones. Dr. Erin Granger again finds herself caught up in the shadowy world of the Sanguinists as she and Sergeant Jordan Stone are called back to fulfill ancient prophesy in an attempt to prevent the end of the world. Facing inimitable foes and battles, shocking alliances and betrayals pave the way forward as they seek their destiny and that of mankind itself.
As a sequel, “Innocent Blood” offers enough summary woven into the continuing story to recap the main points from “The Blood Gospel.” Steady action makes this an exciting read, although the concepts and background often requires deep thought and can be quite murky, particularly for anyone not familiar with Rollins’ historically and scientifically profound—and at times irreverent—writing style. The characters established in the first book become more developed in this story, and some are not as they appeared. History, religion, and fantasy blend freely in these pages, which are also infused with some seductive passion and heartbreak. While there is a natural—or perhaps preternatural—conclusion, the stage is also set for the next book, leaving the reader with remaining questions.