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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  404 ratings  ·  73 reviews
When Holly Reilly finds herself on the run carrying a piece of technology with the potential to change what it even means to be human, she calls the only person she trusts with the skills necessary to keep her alive, her estranged husband, Gabriel.

Gabe and Holly soon find themselves caught up in a secret conflict that has raged for centuries, a battle poised to
Kindle Edition, 343 pages
Published November 14th 2014 (first published October 31st 2014)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  404 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Kath Middleton
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you enjoy fast-paced action adventures, this is the book for you. It hits the ground running and barely lets up. Holly phones her ex-husband Gabriel for help when she finds her life is in danger. She has in her possession a mysterious vessel which two factions want and will kill to get. She herself was working for one of them as part of a team analysing it. Her boss tells an incredible tale, naming the vessel the Holy Grail though it bears no resemblance to the Last Supper cup of legend. It’s ...more
Joel Hames-clarke
This book is paced to perfection. The contemporary action is truly thrilling, racing from scene to scene with barely a pause for breath. The fascinating back-story, for want of a better phrase, is thoroughly absorbing, merging history, legend and character in a way that should put many better-known writers to shame. The writing is smart, snappy and original. The gripping final sequence is particularly satisfying, in a genuinely can't-put-it-down sort of way. This is the book Dan Brown would writ ...more
Terry  (TBC)
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook review
First off not what I expected at all! John Bowen can mix a story so well. He’s got different books that just give a whole mix of his writing talents. Well worth reading or listening to.
Ok ! This book, it starts with gentle historic intro, then you get into the thriller side, then the links to them both way to describe. Fab.
I actually rewound a couple of times to relisten to chapters as I wanted to get all the info again. It wasn’t complicated it was excellent.
It cro
Melanie Lewis
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible-books
I am berating myself for my tardiness in getting around to reading this book. Boy, have I lost out because it is SUPERB! There was a lovely, believable connection between Gabe and Holly, which demonstrates the exceptional quality of Mr Bowen's writing. I could feel the love and chemistry they have for each other. Nicholas and Jin were also fascinating and strangely convincing as men aged in their 100s! The back story threads wove together to make a tapestry full of delight and wonderment. The wh ...more
Sandra Leivesley
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, tbc, 2019
I have read or listened to all of Mr Bowens other books and absolutely loved them all but I was a little reluctant to listen to this one because I wasn't sure if it was something I'd enjoy. Anyway I did start listening and to be honest I didn't enjoy the first 15 minutes or so. It just wasn't my cup of tea but I persevered and I am so glad I did because it turned into a rip-roaring action packed adventure story about the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail. The book is well written and the charac ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tale was riveting! I imagined myself watching an action-packed movie as I read. Fast paced with bits of actual history and romance as well, I did enjoy it.
I'm no expert at grammar and punctuation but my one recommendation is to recheck these two in your writing. There were a few words here and there which had the wrong spelling. There were also moments when I had to start the sentences again because what I read made little sense, all because a comma was absent.
Since I liked "Vess
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a word - Brilliant! Exceptionally well written. The story was immediately gripping and held my interest for the entire book. Full of action, danger, a little history mixed with fantasy, and a beautiful love story. I won't spoil the ending for you, but - just Wow! I predict this author will be on the best seller list soon.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another John Bowen genre-bending tour de force. A self-described multi-genre author, you’ll find this the perfect, if unlikely, blend of historical fiction, paranormal fiction, action-thriller, and techno-thriller. But lest you think this a highly experimental and wholly unorthodox storytelling technique, I should tell you I’ve found that Clive Cussler and James Rollins (two of my favorite authors) blend their stories together in just this fashion. And they’re loads of fun. So it is with ...more
Iain Hart
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
I love historical stories, especially ones with a sharp thriller element like this one has, I enjoy every incarnation of the holy grail story I hear but this one put a completely different twist on it that kept me interested from beginning to end.

This globetrotting and time trotting adventure takes you here, there and everywhere, I loved the history soaked tales of the Knights Templar onto Japan, the adrenaline spilling over each bit like an overflowing bucket (or chalice). The atten
Simon Howard
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vessel picks you and sweeps you along from the very first page on a breakneck ride, we are introduced to two warring factions desperate to get their hands on an atefact that has changed the course of history and could lead to ultimate power......Thundering along from the Crusades and Medieval Japan......all the way up to present times, this is where we meet Holly an unsuspecting scientist who is soon on the run trying to keep the Vessel safe and escape merciless killers, lucky for Holly she has ...more
John Podlaski
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed "Vessel" by John Bowen, especially, his input regarding the Templars and the Holy Grail. I wasn't prepared to learn about this interpretation of the Grail, the "gifts", and its protectors. A real good vs. evil story, full of action, deceit, love, and spans almost a millennium of time.

I did not enjoy the "open" ending and thought the author could have continued for a few more pages. Personally, I would have thought the Grail would be used to recruit and heal the survivors af
M. Lovell
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

I enjoyed this book, even though the story is not overwhelmingly original nor is the ending unexpected. The author told the story well, adding enough of his own voice to make it interesting. I could have read more, I wanted a glimpse beyond the ending as cliched as that might have been for the author to write. If you want something that's complex and totally original, this is not the book for you. If you want a book to hold your interest and to raise your pulse a bit, then by all m
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was very different from my usual reading, but as anything by John Bowen utterly enjoyable!
The historical elements feel authentic and well-researched, the contemporary parts are thrilling and credible, the plot is as ever cleverly crafted and sharply executed, it’s got plenty of the author’s trademark humour and there’s plenty of fast-paced action, original ideas and some surprises along the way.
The fabulous narration by Craig Beck brought it all together.
Brilliant book, audio versio
Sandy Adams
Good adventure yarn but....

While this book had it's moments, what ruined it for me was the ending. I loathe it when do much is left up in the air presumably to force the reader to purchase a follow-up. This one was really annoying as this does not appear to be the case - instead, after all the action, blood and gore the story just kind of stops. No resolution at they get away? Did Jin survive? What happened to the 'artifact' and what was it really? Could the author not come up with a
Sandra Rae
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping tale of Templar’s

Fast paced and gripping, from the beginning. A tale that crosses centuries, Templar’s, knighthood and honor, protecting a biblical treasure.
An adventure with great story telling, details, pulling you into its grip.
How do you protect an ancient treasure, who do you trust when you need help. Holly and Gabe learn an age old secret, it’s story through time, but will they and the protectors live to continue the journey?
Excellent read!
Judith Roberts

The book included hundreds of years, the long trip thru time simply added to the intensity of story. My biggest complaint the book ended
In a cliffhanger. I really don't care for that method of writing, and is the reason the book is not rated higher. The story and premise are good and the action is too notch. If you aren't bothered by the way the book ends, I am sure you will enjoy it tremendously.
Ms E Lee
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is a rollercoaster ride from the beginning to the end .I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.Truly great characters .This is one of those rare books that captures your imagination.And keeps you mesmerised to the last page .I sincerely hope that there will be a sequel as it leaves a few tantalising questions to be answered.
Diedra Eby
A unique take on the holy grail.

This is a totally unique take on the holy grail. Not for those of a strong religious bent.

A few of the action scenes could have flowed better and a couple metaphors knocked me out of the flow of the story they were so bad but other than that, it was not a bad read.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absorbing, enjoyable read.

A well-written story, absorbing and enjoyable, whilst also being informative. The lack of a fifth star is due to quite a few typos (probably not the author’s fault) and rather too many detailed and lengthy violent episodes for my liking. Generally, though, a good yarn.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great read by John Bowen! I’ve enjoyed all his work! This novel is a very fast paced, full of energy, suspenseful read! I think the author does a great job of telling a story within a story and keeping the reader compelled to find out what happens next! I enjoyed the mix of history and fantasy that this book has to offer and I look forward to reading more by this author!
Paul McLaren-Cook
Great read

Could hardly put it down. Intriguing, fast paced full of action. John Bowen writes in a way that makes his story believable with well drawn characters and descriptions that bring the whole story alive.
nick eaton
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story ,gripping groom the start

I had to remind my self that this was a fictional story as it was almost believable .
Turkey a great story enjoyed every bit of it from start to finish
Richard Myers
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book with an alternate theory about the Holy Grail which makes sense if you are a science fiction/fantasy/military fan. I could write so much more about this book but you just need to buy it and read it!
Michelle  Driscoll
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow this book was brilliant and very fast-paced. I loved it!!! I left this a little while before reading and that was a big mistake.

I am very keen to read more from John Bowen, his writing is superb.

5 whopping stars!!
Angela Kitchen
3.5....would've been 4 if the middle section was a bit shorter. I think the backstory could've been edited it a bit. With the hint of a open question at the end; I wonder if is meant to continue in another book. Beginning was gripping however.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real pageturner

I liked the slightly supernatural twist to this and the storyline was exciting,the characters were interesting and likeable,I was just wishing for a few more pages to see what happened.
Donald R Coscia
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Far fetched. But what if?

Well written and well edited. If you enjoy reading stories of ancient times Before & After Christ and of all the colts in organizations that sprung up there In that time you will enjoy this
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A very quick read from John Bowen. Words just flowed right off the page. Can't wait to read more from this author
Gail Baker
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read!

A real page turner! Plenty of action, a love story, and an age old mystery. Good ending and would love to know if there will be a sequel?
Simone Padfield
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly fantasric

I really enjoyed this book being a fan of history and the knights Templar. It really makes you think. Lots of twists and tyrns. An excellent job Mr Bowen 👍👍
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John Bowen is a multi genre thriller author who lives in the UK. When not playing video-games, reading, catching up on movies, going to the gym, and enjoying time with his wife and children, he occasionally finds time to write...

His debut novel supernatural suspense thriller WHERE THE DEAD WALK is an Amazon Top #100 Bestseller, his second novel, action adventure thriller, VESSEL a #1 B
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“The memories our minds store are fragile, prone to lapses and inaccuracies. Dates, names, faces and places all may fade or be forgotten entirely as the years fall behind us, but the memories we store in our hearts…? These are surprisingly tenacious.” 0 likes
“Change is ceaseless, relentless, and you must be supple enough to accommodate it in all its guises, because if you cannot, it will destroy you. Your existence will become a cycle of losses; a life spent mourning moments which are inevitably fleeting. Follow this course for too long and you risk becoming divorced from the world, a man out of time. I have learnt to welcome change, find comfort in progress.” 0 likes
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