This is a question I've come across a few times recently, and it's one that I'm pretty quick to answer. For me, it has to be The Blood Gospel, the latest from personal favorite James Rollins and new-to-me author Rebecca Cantrell. It's the first in a new series, The Order of the Sanguines, and fortunately for me it comes out a mere eight days into the new year!
Since we're only a month away, I thought I'd share some of my enthusiasm.
I've read some interviews with the two authors, talking about the collaborative process, which was new to both of them going into this book. It's interesting and amusing at times to hear their take on it, but my favorite part has to be Cantrell's recounting of the way Rollins approached her with the idea:
"When I asked for details, he said he couldn’t give me any. I asked if he could answer yes or no questions, which brought a ten-second pause before he totally caved and told me everything about The Blood Gospel. Obviously he was not meant to withstand that kind of brutal interrogation."
The pair also wrote City of Screams, a short story that was released as an ebook in October. It serves as a lead-in to the novel, introducing one of the main characters in his own mini-adventure . . . which is actually pretty compelling on its own. When I read the story, it really left me wanting more. I came away a bit disappointed, knowing that the character is most likely the only common link between the two works (although maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised). Either way, it's an entertaining story.
Included in the ebook are the first few chapters of The Blood Gospel. I don't usually read sneak peeks when authors offer them, because I'd rather wait and read the whole story at once than be left hanging. But I did finally give in and read the prologue. I felt safe going just that far, since it takes place nearly 2000 years before the rest of the action. And even though I'm not caught by a cliffhanger, it definitely makes me even more eager for the rest of the book.
Speaking of the book, here's the publisher blurb:
An earthquake in Masada, Israel, kills hundreds and reveals a tomb buried in the heart of the mountain. A trio of investigatorsSergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant but disillusioned archaeologistare sent to explore the macabre discovery, a subterranean temple holding the crucified body of a mummified girl.
But a brutal attack at the site sets the three on the run, thrusting them into a race to recover what was once preserved in the tomb's sarcophagus: a book rumored to have been written by Christ's own hand, a tome that is said to hold the secrets to His divinity. The enemy who hounds them is like no other, a force of ancient evil directed by a leader of impossible ambitions and incalculable cunning.
From crumbling tombs to splendorous churches, Erin and her two companions must confront a past that traces back thousands of years, to a time when ungodly beasts hunted the dark spaces of the world, to a moment in history when Christ made a miraculous offer, a pact of salvation for those who were damned for eternity.
Rollins doesn't typically shy away from hot topics, but this one has the potential to be his most controversial subject yet. Not that I'm complaining. I have a weak spot for religious thrillers.
And that's my most anticipated book of 2013! I'm super excited, both to get a new James Rollins book, as well as to see what kind of an influence Rebecca Cantrell has on his writing (and after reading this, I may need to take a look at her other books).
I feel like I should maybe come up with a different answer to that question, though. Getting my most anticipated book of the year a week in feels like cheating.