The Judas Codex, by Mark Everett Stone: A Catholic Priest Leads the Battle to Defeat the Evil Descendants of Judas

The Judas Codex ($15.95, 280 pp, 6×9 ISBN: 978-1-60381-282-5) is the long-awaited follow-up to book2Mark Everett Stone’s highly acclaimed work of urban fantasy, The Judas Line. The third book in the Judas Line Chronicles, The Judas Revelation, will be published in June of 2018. Now in possession of the Sicarii’s unholy book, Father Michael Engle joins forces with Cain, a fallen angel, and mysterious new allies against the forces of evil.

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“An amazing group of characters that are both good and evil, adding to more intensity as the first one did. This is definitely, edge of your seat, page turner.” Read more….

—Amy’s Bookshelf

The Judas Line earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which wrote, “Stone’s depiction of magic is realistic and intelligent and his treatment of Catholicism refreshingly informed and three-dimensional. Even the obligatory near-apocalyptic ending is coherent, surprising, and exciting.”

Blaine Deschamps has succeeded Julian as head of the all-powerful family known as the Sicarii, the fearsome descendants of Judas, the apostle who betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver. These silver coins became a powerful artifact known as The Silver, giving the Sicarii an edge in the battle against the forces of Good. Jude Oliver, born Olivier Deschamps, renounced his family and stole the Silver. In an epic battle, he killed his father, Julian, putting a major crimp in the Sicarii’s plans.

Although Jude gave his life to protect mankind, his friend, the Catholic priest Father Mike Engle, survived, and is now in possession of the Codex Infernales, the Deschamps’ unholy book. The Sicarii will go to any lengths to kill Father Engle and retrieve the Codex, but the task proves far more difficult than they imagined. Mike is watched over by another arch-enemy of the Sicarii who has eluded their assassins for millennia: Cain, son of Adam, doomed to wander the Earth until he is killed, or the end of time, whatever comes first. Now Cain and Mike must fight the Sicarii, find a mysterious oracle, avoid ambushes, and ally with an old enemy of the Sicarii who has been fighting them for centuries. What could go wrong?

Says Stone, “What inspired me, or better yet was my genesis (pun intended) for writing this series was my desire to explore my own faith. As a Christian and a man of logic, I certainly don’t believe in magic, but as a writer, I always have magic at my fingertips. I wanted to write a fantasy that takes God and magic into account. Most magic was a reflection of the divine spark that God imbued upon mankind and the world and I wanted to play with that idea. I also felt this concept would be different enough and bold enough to attract readers.”

Born in Helsinki, Finland, Mark Everett Stone arrived in the U.S. at a young age and promptly dove into the world of the fantastic. Starting at age seven with The Iliad and The Odyssey, he went on to consume every scrap of Norse Mythology he could get his grubby little paws on. At age thirteen he graduated to Tolkien and Heinlein, building up a book collection that soon rivaled the local public library’s. In college Mark majored in Journalism and minored in English. Mark is also the author of the From the Files of the BSI (Bureau of Supernatural Investigation) series. Mark lives in California with his amazingly patient wife, Brandie, and their two sons, Aeden and Gabriel. Click here to find Mark online.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Out in the dim light of the church proper, written on several pews, written in blood that shone black in the spare light, were the words “There is NO GOD.”

“Do you know how long I have waited for you?”

That voice floated from the darkness pregnant with menace. An Irish brogue so thick the words were barely understandable. A man’s deep baritone. I didn’t jump or twitch or scream. I was firmly in combat mode, training that ended over twenty years ago kicking to the fore in a rush of muscle memory. My switches flipped and I felt frosty, cold enough that I fancied the juices in my eyes froze solid.

“Come out, come out wherever you are,” I sang, mind clicking along like a clock.

“A priest with a sense of humor,” said the voice. “I like that, I do.”

“Who are you?”

What answered me was a sort of high-pitched warble, a fluctuation of tones that grated on my nerves. The man was giggling.

When the voice once again emerged, it was filled with a strange sort of hilarity. “Me? I’m the one having fun!”

“Come on out. Let’s have fun together.” Drip, drip. Fun. Eviscerating Father Paul and hanging his corpse in an obscene parody of crucifixion was fun for this guy. I was sorely tempted to put a few rounds into his skull the second he showed his face.

But that’s not the kind of guy I am. Not anymore.

Deep breaths, stay frosty, be the machine, no emotions. “Come out, Sicarius.” I flicked my eyes to Father Paul, whose dull, lifeless hazel eyes gazed fearfully at the blood-drenched carpeting. “Come out, Atheist.”

“Awww … who’s been telling tales?” came the mocking voice in a parody of a child’s whine. “Been watching the telly?”

“You’ve been making a splash in Chicago,” I replied, trying but unable to get a fix on the source of the voice. The only thing I saw were shadows and the twin rows of pews stretching toward the front door. It was a wide-open space, but there were plenty of places to hide. “A serial killer who targets priests, hangs them upside down from the cross and writes ‘There is no God’ in blood on the pews. Tends to grab the attention of my sort.”

“It’s good to be famous, isn’t it? Be that as it may, I’m glad you know what I am, who I answer to, although it takes away from a clever monologue I’ve been developing.” Giggle.

“Who’s the new boss, Mr. Atheist?” Any intel was good intel. Providing I survived. “Who pulls your strings?”

“We all have strings, giggle, little priest. Rome pulls yours.”

There you are. My gun rose as if it had a will of its own. There, fourth pew from the front, where the shadows were deep. Come on.

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