Blood Infernal by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
William Morrow (January 2016)
576 pages; $19.20 hardcover; $9.99 paperback; ebook $9.99
Reviewed by Peter Tomas
Blood Infernal, James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell’s apocalyptic nail-biter, is a story dripping with tension, religion, and vampirism. The three main characters, which consist of an archaeologist, a military man, and a vampiric priest, are united by a prophecy written in the Blood Gospel, a book Jesus evidently wrote in His own blood during His time on earth. They face off against impossible odds, dangerous individuals, and an array of damned souls, headed by a demon sent from the loving arms of Lucifer himself. The fallen angel is coming back, and only the prophetic trio are capable of keeping him shackled.
This story was, fittingly enough, quite the blood-pounder. Each of the individual heroes go through their own unique trials, together but forever divided by their natures, struggling to remain as one while the world crumbled around them. The action was positively immersive, and there was no shortage of it at any point during the story. Alongside this intensity were resounding religious themes and statements involving Christianity, commenting on the divine nature of God and the arrogance of religious self-righteousness. The story itself made plenty of subtle gestures towards the idea of absolution and forgiveness, contrasting the occasional carnage which occurred between philosophical conversations the characters would have.
However, there were some aspects of the story which I found to be a bit difficult to swallow. Certain events had a tendency to repeat themselves, and these events were no small ones. The death of a certain character became a recurring situation, and by the third time he was killed, I was left with a kind of dull expectancy as he revived once more, patiently awaiting his fourth, and perhaps truly final, last breath. The romance between two of the main characters also felt a bit out of place, as they simultaneously ogled one another and scrambled to save the world from Satan himself. There was so much focus on their love for one another that the religious connotations, in several instances, were in grave danger of being washed away with flowery words and kisses. All of this while a demon was stalking them.
These, faults, however, are merely minor inconveniences in terms of the story’s heart, and do not prevent it from beating properly. Blood Infernal is a well-constructed, engaging novel with thought-provoking undertones, complex conspiracies, quiet mysteries, and intense combat against the forces of evil. Overall, the book is a fun, pleasant read, and one which I struggled to put down.