Monday, September 14, 2009

Eternal Vigilance 2: The Death of Illusions – review

Author: Gabrielle S. Faust

First Published: 2009

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: In the year 2111 Tynan Llwelyn, the forsaken philosophical leader of the Immortal vampire race, awoke after a century’s Sleep to a world decimated by war. Drawn into the new vicious apocalyptic society, Tynan has found himself at the heart of an epic battle to bring down the Tyst Empire. The Tyst have made a pact with an ancient vampiric god valled the Vicinus who has promised them eternal life in exchange for freeing him from his otherworldly prison. Tynan’s vampire Elders and the Phuree, a cunning human rebel uprising, have enlisted Tynan in their war against the Tyst Empire and the Vicinus, viewing him as their last hope for survival.

A year later, struggling against the ironclad orders of his Elders and his own vicious moral demons. Tynan has relented and agreed to join the fight. Amidst a crumbling Immortal legacy and a divided human world suffocating from fear and bloodshed, he will lead the way towards the front lines of a war against a colossal empire he has barely begun to comprehend and a primordial force hell-bent on destroying the world. Tynan can only pray now that the Immortals and the Phuree have chosen wisely in him.

The review: When I looked at Eternal Vigilance: From Deep Within the Earth I ended the review with the sentiments “rich, gothic prose encapsulating a sci-fi heart, I want more.” The Death of Illusions is the more I wished for.

The book sees the reluctant hero Tynan Llewelyn, vampire and madman, thrust deep into the war between the technological Tyst Empire and the spiritual Phuree rebels. The Tyst plan to bring about the physical birth of a vampiric God, the Vicinus, and Phuree shaman and vampiric ancient Nahalo has foreseen that only Tynan can stop the birth.

I said that by the end of the first novel we were only scratching the surface of the vampires’ capabilities and the world that Faust created. What Faust does in this volume is draw the world deeper around us. The first half of this volume, if you like, is a gothic cyberpunk adventure that takes us at a breakneck pace to the heart of the Tyst Empire. The pace then twists and changes skilfully as we meet revelations and betrayals head on and morphs into a much more supernatural fantasy. The two halves skilfully blended in such a way that one would be impoverished without the other.

The books are a formidable mix of the sci-fi and vampire genres and this volume took the series higher than the first. If we were finding our feet within the world of the first volume, here Faust encourages us to run over the landscape and it is an exhilarating race. Faust manages to twist our character expectations and, by the end of the volume, we have travelled to a place very different to that we began with. 8 out of 10.

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