So James Rollin came out with a new book last week: The Blood Gospel, which he co-wrote with Rebecca Cantrell. It’s a departure from his best known works involving Sigma Force. And, unsurprisingly, I loved it.
And here’s why: James Rollins blends adventure, historical facts, and compelling characters into a page turner. Now lots of authors have compelling characters and adventure, but I really think its the historical angle though that makes him so enjoyable. It’s the ‘what if’ factor. He has an ability to take history, in this case the Nazi’s interest in the occult, the events surrounding the end of the Romanov line, and biblical stories about Jesus’ miracles and gets the reader to imagine how they are all related. Your brain scrambles trying to put it together and loves every minute of it.
In his new book, his ‘what if’ angle is that Jesus wrote a Gospel, vampires were real, and Jesus played a role in their existence. Okay, now as I read that, it looks ridiculous. But then the idea that scientists took the DNA from mosquitoes to re-create dinosaurs which run amuck on an dinosaur island theme park sounds equally ridiculous. In fact, most quick synopses of huge best sellers sound completely implausible: an FBI agent befriends an incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer to track down a serial killer on the loose or a girl from a post apocalyptic world saves her sister from certain death by volunteering to fight eleven other children to the death for the entertainment of the wealthy. From those descriptions, I’m picturing really lousy three am movies on cable.
Let’s be honest, all short summaries of books sound ridiculous. But a good author can make a ridiculous sounding premise pure undiluted, joyous escapism. And in my opinion James Rollins is one of the best in the business at it. So, say what you will, an afternoon and evening spent with a trio trying to track down a gospel written by Jesus while being chased by vampires written by James Rollins – I’m in!
What about you? Who helps you escape?