Saturday, March 28, 2009

Field of Blood

Great concept. So-so delivery. That pretty much sums up Field of Blood by Eric Wilson.

Ever read a Christian vampire novel? That's what this is. It turns out that when Judas Iscariot killed himself in the Akeldama, the Field of Blood, he tainted the ground with his blood. Two thousand years later, the tombs within are opened and those buried there come back to life, possessed by demonic Collectors. These Collectors, led by Lord Ariston, want one thing: to destroy a group called the Nistarim. If they can take down even one of them, they will usher in the Final Vengeance.

Somehow their plot centers around a girl named Gina. She is somehow tied into the Nistarim, although Nikki, her mother, is trying to protect her. But as Gina grows older, she learns more and more about herself and discovers that she is deep into this conflict whether she wants to be or not.

It's a great concept. Wilson weaves together some vampire lore with Talmudic legends about the Nistarim, the thirty-six righteous men who must bear the sorrows of the world on their shoulders. And while there's a lot of exciting scenes and a lot of gritty reality, the whole experience left me a bit unsatisfied.

It's hard to say why exactly. Part of it, I think, is that Wilson didn't do a good enough job explaining exactly who or what the Nistarim are. I was only able to piece it together because my wife read a book about the Nistarim a few months back and told me about them.

Part of it was also craft-related. Wilson's prose, while fun and energetic, got to be a bit too over the top from time to time.

Now all of this is probably subjective. Someone else reading this book may love it. It wasn't for me.

1 comment:

wilsonwriter said...

Thanks for the honest review, John.

The Nistarim are those who came out of the tombs at the time of Christ's resurrection (Mt. 27:53), and I blended that with the Jewish tradition of the Tsadikim Nistarim, also known as the Lamed Vov. I explained all this in the book, but apparently I didn't make it clear enough. Of course, more will be revealed in the second book, Haunt of Jackals, this summer.

It's too heady for some, but I appreciate you giving it a chance.