Saturday, 8 October 2011

Of Saints and Shadows

Level: Explicit
Genre: Fantasy/Horror > Vampires
Obtained: Borrowed from a friend
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Book:
The Church is not what it seems. Lying within its folds is a sect of sorcerers and priests whose sole purpose is to rid the world of The Defiant Ones, or what would be commonly seen as vampires.  Peter Octavian is one of these vampires, but unlike the others of his kind, he is able to walk in sunlight and touch religious items. The reason for this isn't because he was born to be special or anything like that. No, he simply disbelieves that crosses and sunlight will not hurt him therefore they don't. Granted, the only reason it hurts the other Defiant Ones is because the Church brainwashed them into thinking it would. Peter needs to convince the other Defiant Ones otherwise however, or the Church will come and wipe them out.

Rating: 2/10 Stars
Christopher Golden has come up with an original and intriguing plot. Evil runs amok in both the Church and the vampires, but one seems much more so. He brings forth elements that I hadn't seen before such as brainwashed vampires, but even with this fabulous idea, this book was a wreck. I enjoyed Twilight better than this. The writing was so horrible that I debated putting it down for good several times a day (I have only not finished two books thus far). His writing style was very similar to what you may find in a Dungeons and Dragons type novel. If that is your preference, go ahead and read this. As for me, I could not stand the stagnant and repetitive writing style that constantly told me things instead of showing me. The latter also lessened the characters immensely, making them seem flat so that I could care less what happened to them. 

Speaking of the characters, my god, they nearly all seemed like Mary Sues and Gary Stus. Peter, the main character,  certainly was one. He's supposedly handsome and good with the ladies. Check. He has special abilities that others of his type don't have. Check. He is connected to royalty (bastard son of the last emperor of the Byzantine Empire) . Check. Then, there is his love interest, Meaghan. It seems everyone is intrigued with her, and when she is

turned into a vampire, she is able to shift into anything and has instant control over her powers.
 Plus, Meaghan, well, I wanted to smack her. Where Golden was trying to make her assertive, I found her to be something of an idiot when she just starts going off with her temper, but of course, it's "sexy." Ugh. I seriously cannot see how anyone can stand these characters. The only one I could stand was Liam, the main priest, and that was when he was out murdering people. He still remains and two dimensional character.

Golden also seemed to have this notion that since he was writing a book for adults that he should add as much gore and sex as possible. Now, I did enjoy some of the grotesque scenes; they were disturbing in a good way and Golden sure had a knack for coming up with some unsettling creatures, even if they got old after a while. As for the sex, it just seemed put in there most of the time because it could be. While that is bad enough, the sex scenes weren't even arousing. No, it's not the worst I have ever read, but it was still boring. Then, of course, since a man wrote this, there had to be a fair amount of random lesbian scenes for extra sexiness.

Finally, the dialogue seemed forced and unrealistic such as "Girl, get in the gondola and we will leave the trouble behind. Your tears and those things you fear." or my personal favourite, "My name is Robert Montesi. For the murder of my father, I must kill you." Yes, Golden tried to pull a Princess Bride and failed miserably.

So why did this book got so many good reviews? I could not tell you. To me, it only had one thing going for it: originality, but that simply doesn't cut it. You still need a good storyteller to really make the story come alive, and Christopher Golden missed that mark completely. Maybe one day they will make it into a movie. I think it would make an excellent movie. However, as a book, this one would go straight to the bin for me. If you do want a vampire book that has more monster type vampires and originality, I would suggest Brian Lumley's Necroscope series instead. A much better read.

What I'm Reading Next:

No comments:

Post a Comment