Ark of Blood by J.F. Penn
Published by The Creative Penn Limited on April 16, 2015 (first published December 12th 2012)
Series: Arkane, #3
Genre(s): fiction, action, adventure, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 256
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A desperate race to find the Ark of the Covenant – and save the world from a devastating Holy War.
Cairo, Egypt. When the curator of the Museum of Antiquities is slaughtered in a horrific ritual by a group wearing the masks of Ancient Egyptian deities, local authorities ask for help from ARKANE, the agency tasked with investigating religious and paranormal events. Then, in Washington DC, a decapitated Arab body is discovered. The head is placed on the replica Ark of the Covenant along with a chilling message that warns of a terrifying escalation of violence in the Middle East.
ARKANE agent, British-Israeli psychologist Dr Morgan Sierra, must race against time to uncover the real Ark – aware that her nemesis, the vicious mercenary Natasha, is also in the hunt and out for bloody revenge. Morgan travels across Egypt and Jordan, retracing the steps of the Biblical Exodus and following a trail of clues that takes her into the mists of history – and mortal danger…
The third novel in the bestselling ARKANE series, EXODUS is a pulse-pounding thriller for fans of Dan Brown and James Rollins. Filled with puzzles, adventure and excitement, it also asks serious questions about the nature of religion…and the beliefs that lie at the very heart of humankind.
Ark of Blood is a solid story with plenty of action and intrigue. As this is the third book in Penn’s Arkane series, I’m going to keep this fairly short. There will be no spoilers for any of the books in this review.
As always, I really enjoy the way Penn mixes fact and mythology with fiction seamlessly, and then includes references at the end to show which parts are factual. Although religious myth is present throughout all of the books, this particular installment has more of a supernatural element than the first two. And so far, these books are not overly formulaic in their plots, which is nice to see in a series.
Like other stories in this genre, there are some decidedly unbelievable moments within these pages, but that does not bother me personally. I did have a few gripes, though. First, even though the main character came across some blocks along the way of searching for the Ark of the Covenant, there weren’t enough solid setbacks to create tension before coming to the climax. Everything seemed just a bit too easy. Second, I noticed certain phrases or wording that were significantly overused – with the same phrasing several times on one page sometimes! – that gave me pause. My brain kept trying to reword sentences to avoid reading them time and again.
Despite my couple issues, I still found Ark of Blood to be entertaining and will most likely pick up the next book at some point. I said it before and I’ll say it again, fans of Dan Brown, Indiana Jones, and James Bond will probably enjoy the Arkane series as well. Bonus if you pick it up on kindle or nook: the first book is free and the first three books are available in box set for $6.99!