Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Eternal Vigilance – review

Author: Gabrielle S Faust

First Published: 2008

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: After a century of Sleep, Tynan Llywelyn has awoken to find the world he once knew utterly obliterated by a war of epic proportions. In a new apocalyptic society, bitterly divided by magic and technology, the Tyst Empire has found that a hundred years of global domination is not enough to sate their thirst for power. They have discovered the secret of the vampire race and have designed a plan to seize their own sinister form of immortality with the help of an ancient vampiric god.

The Phuree, a rebel uprising that has been engaged in a bloody war with the Tyst since the beginning of the new regime, have obtained the knowledge of Lord Cardone’s plans and have allied themselves with the remaining Immortal clan. The powerful Phuree oracle, Nahalo, has had a vision that in Tynan alone lies the power to defeat the vampiric god and the dictatorship.

Cast into the midst of a global war between magic and technology, mortals and vampires, Tynan must make the harrowing decision to save the world he bitterly detests or stand and watch as humanity is destroyed by a primordial evil beyond all imagining.

The Review: The first thing to note about Eternal Vigilance is that it is a sci-fi novel. However, unlike many a sci-fi vampire story we do not have a sci-fi explanation for vampirism, these are not mutations or virus infected creatures, what we have are undead in the good old fashion sense of vampires. As a result we have a novel that blends the gothic and science fiction and that blend works well.

Faust’s writing style is richly gothic, but she doesn’t fall into the trap of all too flowery prose, rather she spreads a splendidly velvet web over her story. The story itself encompasses several areas of sci-fi and fantasy blended together; the world Tynan wakes to is best described as post-apocalyptic, the glimpse we get of the Tyst Empire is a cyberpunk society (at least amongst the elite) that has become totalitarian and then we have the spiritual, ‘new age’ rebels who have embraced magic, the Phuree. These disparate societal strands work well together creating a future vision that works.

As for the vampires we know that they are dragged into a sleep they cannot resist with the sun, we know that massive injury can finish them off but blood repairs wounds and drinking a creature's blood gives the vampire the memories of that creature. We know they can fly and hide openly amongst humans as well as read minds. I felt that the opening chapter, describing Tynan stirring after 100 years of vampiric slumber, to be one of the better examples of relating a vampiric awakening. However, to many degrees, through the length of the novel we are still learning of the vampires’ capabilities.

This introduces my minor issue with the novel, by the time I reached the end we knew a little of the vampires and had been introduced to the new world orders but I wanted more. As the story ended I felt a little cheated, I wanted to immerse further into this world and explore further the story presented. I felt as though I had been introduced to a vista but wanted to get to know the world further. Luckily, at time of review, book 2 is available also.

I enjoyed immensely the voice of the novel – it is written in first person from Tynan’s point of view – all the more interesting as he is a creature struggling with his own sanity.

Rich, gothic prose encapsulating a sci-fi heart, I want more. 7 out of 10.


Everlost said...

Sounds like a good read! (yes i did sneak internet access, lol)

Taliesin_ttlg said...