Crypt of Bone by J.F. Penn
Published by The Creative Penn Limited on April 24, 2015 (previously published as Prophecy December 1, 2011)
Series: Arkane, #2
Genre(s): fiction, action, adventure, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 204
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The prophecy in Revelation declares that a quarter of the world must die.
Now a shadowy organization has the ability to fulfill these words. Can one woman stop the abomination before it’s too late?
ISRAEL. A victim of Jerusalem Syndrome jumps to his death from the top of the Western Wall, his body smashed on the ancient stones. Another disembowels himself under the scrawled figure of the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse with the chilling words, “God told me to do it.”
Dr Morgan Sierra travels to Israel to investigate the deaths and becomes embroiled in an international conspiracy that will use cutting-edge technology to carry an ancient curse to mankind, and threaten those she loves.
Morgan joins agent Jake Timber at ARKANE, a secret government agency investigating the supernatural. Together they must hunt down the Devil’s Bible, pursued all the way by the evil forces of Thanatos.
From the catacombs of Paris to the skeletal ossuaries of Sicily and the Czech Republic, Morgan and Jake must find the Devil’s Bible and stop the curse being released into the world before one in four are destroyed in the coming holocaust. Because in just seven days, the final curse will be spoken and the prophecy will be fulfilled.
I came across the first book in this series, Stone of Fire, in a BookBub email as a free nook book. It’s been almost two years since reading it, but when I found the next couple books in the series at a low price, I didn’t even pause to think before buying them.
This particular installment bore a startling resemblance to Dan Brown’s Inferno. At a certain point, I had to stop reading and do some research because I couldn’t believe the similarities. From the start, with a scene where a man jumps to his death, to more specific plot points I won’t discuss because spoilers, I had to know if anyone else had noticed this as well. If they have, I couldn’t find it anywhere! For what it’s worth, Crypt of Bone came out first, originally published as Prophecy in December 2011. If anyone else out there has read this and either read or seen Inferno, let me know your thoughts!
Yet despite their similarities, the books are different in the respective paths they take. If you like one, you’ll probably like the other and could easily read both and get different things out of them. Have I confused you enough? Okay, let’s actually get into Crypt of Bone now, then.
J.F. Penn’s strengths lie where my reading brain likes to live; that is, she meshes her fiction into reality and history beautifully, in a way that you don’t know where the truth ends and the story begins. She also includes bits of her research at the end with additional reading recommendations if you want to delve deeper.
From what I’ve read, Penn’s storytelling ability has so far outshone the actual writing. Although there were definite improvements from the first book, there were some things that gave me pause: scenes that should have felt fast paced and gripping moved along as the same pace as everything else; chemistry between the main characters was still lacking for me (although the individual characters are more developed in this story); and enough punctuation issues that I noticed (but take this one with a grain of salt, I seem to notice these more than most). The plot line in Crypt of Bone was exciting and entertaining, tying in nicely with the first book and foreshadowing where the overall story arc will go in the next book. This is most definitely a series best read in order.
Overall, I am enjoying this series. I’m looking forward to reading Ark of Blood and deciding if it’s worth devoting additional time to continue on with. If you’re a fan of Robert Langdon, Indiana Jones, and James Bond, maybe give this series a shot! The first book is free on both kindle and nook, and the first three books are available in box set on kindle and nook for $6.99.