Monday, October 19, 2009
CSFF Blog Tour: Haunt of Jackals Day One
This month, we're taking a look at Haunt of Jackals by Eric Wilson, the second book in the Jerusalem Undead Trilogy.
The story picks up pretty much where the first book left off. Regina Lazarescu, or "Gina," has faced off against the demonic Collectors in the hills of Romania and come out battered but victorious. Her "partner in crime," Cal Nichols, a disgraced member of the Nistarim, sets her up with a new identity and a new life in a place he hopes will be far from danger.
But the Collectors aren't done with the Nistarim yet. One half of the Akeldama cluster have retreated to the birthplace of Judas Iscariot to set a horrific plan in motion. The other half are focused on finding Natira, a member of their cluster who has been missing for centuries. Before long, all the threads converge in one gigantic clash that will change Gina's life forever, especially as a new player emerges on the scene.
I'll say this up front: I'm not a fan of vampire stories. I don't care for the movies, I despised Twilight, and I wasn't exactly a fan of the first book in this trilogy. I did my best to keep an open mind as I read the second book.
For the most part, I enjoyed it. Wilson is extremely creative and pulls a lot of obscure Scriptural threads together as he weaves his story. It works . . . for the most part. There were a few times when I was left scratching my head. For example, I didn't see any significance in the fact that the remains of Nehustan, Moses's bronze serpent, is a part of Gina's dagger. And Wilson's retelling of a contemporary American myth seemed a bit too over-the-top to me. That's just my opinion, though, and others might disagree.
The other major problem I had (and it took me until the second book to really put my finger on it) is the "voice" of the Akeldama Collectors. I get that they live in the modern world and will naturally begin to adapt themselves to the patterns of this world. My problem is this: these are the reanimated corpses of first century people possessed by demonic forces. Personally, I would think that their internal voices wouldn't sound so . . . well, normal. Human. There should be a touch of otherworldliness to them that didn't seem present.
But again, these are my opinions about a book that sits in a sub-genre of speculative fiction that I normally don't care for. Take what I've written with a grain of salt.
Normally I'd suggest you go and see what the other participants have to say, but I don't have the list at hand right now. If you do want to see what the other tourists have on their mind, check back later today and hopefully I'll have the list by then.
And here's the list:
Wayne Thomas Batson
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson