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Blood Symbols

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Halfway through her Ph.D., Jennifer Jaine’s faith has been shaken. She has become convinced that the Catholic church’s authority, which incidentally constitutes the cornerstones of her own Protestant faith, is based on a lie. Desperate to prove herself wrong, she goes to the Vatican, only to be caught up in an international hunt for the truth about the church, the Pope, an ...more
Published November 14th 2016 by Izak Botha
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Popular Answered Questions
Izak Botha Dear Mario,
My apology for not responding to your query earlier, but I only noticed it a few days ago. Thank you none the less for the interest in Bloo…more
Dear Mario,
My apology for not responding to your query earlier, but I only noticed it a few days ago. Thank you none the less for the interest in Blood Symbols. I will answer you best I can.
My initial reaction was that you were blowing off steam, “because” Blood Symbols follows trends like The Da Vinci Code. Then I realized it is a question of, “if” it follows similar trends. And that is in fact a good question.
Blood Symbols falls in the same genre as Dan Brown’s celebrated, yet contentious, The Da Vinci Code. The quick answer to the first part of your question is therefore that it does follow similar trends—but not for the reasons mentioned in the latter part of the query. Since you do not identify authors depicting members of the Church in seemingly deplorable ways, I cannot judge if I make myself guilty of same.
Blood Symbols is an honest reflection of a student in religious studies seeking resolve for her spirituality, salvation, and what it may or may not entail. And since the Catholic Church’s leadership arrogates custodianship of the keys to salvation, my protagonist’s quest is to examine the authenticity of such claim.
But how does Blood Symbols differentiate from a book like The Da Vinci Code?
Dan Brown’s novel deals with the time of Jesus: was He Married, was it with Mary Magdalen, was she the Holy Grail, and did they have offspring? Blood Symbols on the other hand deals with the time of the Apostles: did Apostle Peter inherit the power and authority of God from Jesus during the crucifixion, did Peter minister to the gentiles in Antioch, Turkey, did he become the first pope of Rome, and did he pass the power and authority of God to the second pope, Linus, effecting the start of apostolic succession?
The pope’s legitimacy as God’s custodian on Earth is founded on the premise of uninterrupted apostolic succession. In the absence thereof, however, he becomes a feeble head of an illegitimate Church. The truth of an all-powerful person such as the Bishop of Rome wielding the power of salvation for all humanity is all-important. But it is also up for scrutiny. Blood Symbols does just that. And in this regard, it is challenging.
Blood Symbols, as The Da Vinci Code, has its share of antagonists. After all, what is a thriller without its bad guys? Some are priests, and others mere pawns in the service of the Vatican City. Notwithstanding, to ensure Blood Symbols does not turn into a biased attack on the Church, the Vatican’s highest-ranking official, the Bishop of Rome, is a protagonist—a good guy, of high repute, and a visionary, seeking genuine resolve to the curiousness of human spirituality. And despite the often-hard-hitting scenes, at no time does Blood Symbols make its mission to ridicule, offend, or belittle Christians and Catholics alike. If anything, its challenges the hierarchy—the Holy See—for answers. Offending the faithful is not in the interest of my work—it simply would not sell.
That said, the answer to your query is also reflected in the favorable ratings and reviews Blood Symbols has been accruing since publication. And finally, scoring 10 out of 10 and making Semi Finalist in Publisher Weekly’s, BookLife Prize 2017, the uniqueness of Blood Symbols is reflected in the inspirational words of the reviewer: “Inevitably, all mysteries centering on this topic will be reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code. Once the reader digs further, however, the story here is strikingly distinctly different and original.”
I hope this answers your question.
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Shanell Meek
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly well written and full of twists and turns

Blood Symbols by Izak Botha follows the main character Jennifer Jaine as she embarks on a spiritual journey that will change her life forever. On her journey Jennifer experiences many exciting encounters as she continues on her quest for answers regarding the church, and Jesus. The book addresses secrets, theories, conspiracies and many other aspects of religion. The whole story is fast paced and full of unexpected twists and turns that keeps yo
Katherine Hebert
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Religion, Mystery and Action

A lot of reviewers compare Botha’s Blood Symbols to the Da Vinci Code. I agree. There is a lot of action in the book that will blow your mind yet it is deeply psychological and will leave you contemplating ideas long after you finish the book. Proof of that? My husband is currently reading the book so we can discuss it.

I found the book to be slightly difficult to read (and I’m a Catholic) but an interesting main character (Jennifer) and descriptive imagery make it w
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, edelweiss
An engrossing and entertaining book. I loved the plot, the well written cast of characters and the setting.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Isaac (Ike) Standifird
Good story line. I feel like I should get some kind of degree or at least a certificate in theology for finishing this.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blood Symbols by Izak Botha is a book that will make you turn your pages up to the very end. Obviously, it fits right into the category of any of Dan Brown’s books: conspiracy theories, murders, secrets that would destroy important organizations, high-speed chasing in city streets, it has everything. Cleverly, the author chose to focus in the figure of the Apostles and in the story of the Pope’s succession, but the comparisons are inevitable.
Although the plot may not be original, the way the sto
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Jaine is not making friends among the Vatican’s residents as she searches for truths that will answer the doubts she has about her faith. Izak Botha takes you along in Blood Symbols as Jennifer breaks boundaries and uncovers secrets meant to stay hidden. To fail is the most devastating feeling she has encountered, and she doesn’t wish to go down that path again. With men wishing her dead she meets men that may have the answers she seeks. This world isn’t America and dangers could come f ...more
Julius Blitzy
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am already familiar with the book « Angelicals Reviewed » by Izak Botha and it seems to me that the author in his books tries to tell the reader something new about religion, to show other points of view. For example, in one book he tries to find out what the soul is and how to relate to it, he brings various hypotheses and opinions. Here is the topic of religion too, but the main character’s distrust of the principles and rules of the Catholic faith.
People who strongly believe and unbelievers
Joni Haynes
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this fascinating book from Goodreads. It's the type of novel that puts one in mind of the books (and later movies) by Dan Brown. The story purports to put the lie to the Apostolic progression of popes in the Catholic Church. It seems to show that Paul was actually on the side of the Romans...and that he had a hand in the killing of both Jesus and Peter. There are many twists and turns in the story, which is what makes it so interesting...but, at the end of the book, we find a little love s ...more
Jimmy Jefferson
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wild thriller filled with lies and twisted truths.

Blood symbols is a thriller from the first page. Jennifer is a student studying religion when she discovers a secret that could destroy the entire Catholic religion. As she follows the clues, she ends up at the Vatican to interview a high ranked official in the church. As Jennifer makes her way through the depths of the mystery, a body is found near a room that houses sacred texts and there is a discovery of one missing. The story follows a go
Lauren Callahan
This book is a cross between the DaVinci Code and a slight premise of the Godfather, especially with the violence. There needed to be a little more meat to several of the scenes, which unfortunately was stolen due to the shooting scenes. It is a fascinating read, but the writing needs a little work.
The plot and was an interesting supposition, but it has been written on so many ways that I felt I had read some of the surmises in other books. My fault, being a Catholic, I'm always searching for t
Liam Murphy
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having still not come down from my high after reading Dan Brown, I sought after books of a similar ilk. However, I did not expect to find such a writer as Izak Botha.

From page 1 he hooks the reader in, and will not loosen his grip until he's shown you how fast-paced and chaotic his writing style and narrative can go. A story of corruption and intrigue that shook me to the core at some points. Izak's writing really does force you to question the validity of even the highest forms of religious aut
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from a goodreads giveaway. This has not impacted my review.

I was utterly enthralled by this book.
The title caught my eye immediately as I have enjoyed other books in this genre. I was not expecting it to be as good as it was.
Blood Symbols is full of conspiracy, action, anticipation and quite deep philosophical questions. The care taken with the plot and the attention to details give the book a sense of realism and left me thing that, yes, this could actually be r
Charlie Latham
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A search for the truth, in a world that’s filled with secrets, cover-ups, and people trying to hide away what is really fact.

This book brazenly takes the Christian church head-on, in what it says is true and the story that it presents to most of the public.

The protagonist, Jennifer travels through Rome and Turkey on a quest that she’s not willing to give up no matter the cost.

I’m super interested in Christianity, even though I myself am not Christian and this was the perfect mix for me of act
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting plot!
The fiction book is based on finding the truth about the Catholic church and its existence. Its weaved into a story wherein Jennifer, who is doing a PhD. In religious studies wants to find the truth and gets an opportunity to interview high profile people in the Vatican. But a series of incidents a murder, an intruder, takes her to an old church in Turkey, where she risks her life to find the truth or may just be somebody facing the consequences of knowing the truth. Interesting
Lorna Gundaker
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dan Brown fans
I received Blood Symbols from a giveaway from Goodreads. Thank you. From the small trailer I thought the book would have Dan Brown elements, and it did. I enjoyed the fast pace of The DaVinci Code, but not its conclusion, however literary.Blood Symbols is quite similar. The hidden secrets of millennia and all the trappings that go with it are interesting enough, but, again the path of the book left me cold. I’m not saying it is not a thriller, just not for me.
Another book I won on Goodreads, and I am glad I did. Jennifer Jaine is halfway through with her doctorate, but she starts questioning her faith. She sees things that make her believe the Catholic Church is based on a lie. She goes to the Vatican to find an artifact, but it all hits the fan. She is caught up in an international intrigue which may take her life. This is a very interesting book, and I would recommend it for reading.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. ‘Blood Symbols’ is a well-written thriller that takes you all around the Vatican while Jennifer Jaine looks for the truth that the Church has been hiding and how her discoveries change what she believes. She is faced with the choice of forgetting what she learns or taking on the Catholic Church herself. Izak Botha conjures up fantastic imagery and weaves together a story that will keep you guessing and turning pages until the end. A must-read for fans of thrillers.
Adriana Ferrero
Thank you Goodreads for the free giveaway of this book!
While I did have some problems with the writing, it didn’t matter. The storyline was interesting and the plot twists suspenseful enough to keep you reading. If you like adventures involving hunts for religious artifacts and Vatican secrets then this book is for you.
Kathryn Laing
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting novel of discovery and deceit around the Roman Catholic church. Jennifer Jaine has had a crisis of faith and is at the Vatican trying to find answers when she runs into Simon Kepa. Follow them as the plot twists and turns as they find archaeological treasures dating back to the Apostles, that turns the scriptures upside down.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To be honest, I expected to be a little bored with this book. The subject-conspiricy within the church, priests being murdered for hiding secrets for centuries- has been done several times. But this story has a refreshing plot and is exciting and informative.
Steve Bender
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this ebook in a Goodreads Giveaway. It is a fastmoving thriller about a woman who is doubting her faith. The story involves the Roman Catholic Church's desire to hide the conflict between the Apostles Paul and the early Jewish church. Interesting reading, but has a few holes in the theory.
Susan Trofatter
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminded me of the DaVinci Code. It is about the Vatican Archives, a mystery, an unwilling heroine, warring factions, priests (and cardinals!) with guns, Swiss Guards. It’s a romp, and a very fast read.
Patricia Mccammon
If you enjoy reading about trying to prove ancient truths, this would be a good book to read. Won this in a Goodreads Giveaway
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No doubt this is a well written book. But, as a person with limited Biblical knowledge, it was difficult for me to follow.
Cindy Robertson
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Kept me reading straight through. The ending was too much of a romance ending for my taste but still a good read.
Debra H. Wruble
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Well written and interesting story about a group of friends who try to solve the mysteries of religion. Very imaginative characters and good reading.
Jennifer  Peters
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! An extremely good book!
Peggy  Garcia
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review

I liked the book & the premise but sometimes Jennifer was irritating. I will probably read Izak Botha's next book.
Gayle Wheat
Just OK

I felt there was too much description of everything. I got bored and skipped over a lot to get to the story.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Well written, full of great suspense, but tiresome pontificating (pun intended) from chapter 50.
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Izak Botha is a perpetual student of life, a former artist, athlete, principal performer with the Cape Town City Ballet, counselor, architect, media entrepreneur, successful litigator versus national corporations, and now author of three titles: Homo Angelicansis, Angelicals Reviewed, and Blood Symbols, which made Semi Finalist in Publishers Weekly’s Book Life Prize 2017.

Professor George Claassen

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