Thursday, June 13, 2013

Eldren: The Book of the Dark – review

Author: Willie Meikle

First published: 2007

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Two boys in the West of Scotland awaken an ancient vampire. And the only way to stop it is in the power of a book—a bible detailing the dark religion of the Eldren. But time is running out, and the sun is getting low.

Are you afraid of the dark?

You will be.

The review: In March this year I reviewed the Vampire Bible by Willie Meikle, a reimagining and rewritten version of the old testament. The idea was that before Adam, God created Yorah and Eriah and forbade them to eat the flesh of animals. Eriah is tempted by the serpent to drink the blood of a lamb, as it is not the flesh, and then she frenziedly attacks her mate; his spilt blood creating the Eldren – or vampires.

For us, the biblical story remains the same, this is extra – rather than totally alternative – mythology and passages that would later make up parts of the Vampire Bible are also part of Eldren, though in the main it is a modern day story of the vampires.

There are actually three types of vampire – Eldren (split philosophically into those who keep the tenants of God and those who worship the serpent), and then humans who have been turned. These are sub-divided into two distinct types, intelligent ones (some of whom hunt the Eldren themselves) and other ones who are more animal than anything, tied to the will of the Eldren who created them.

Practical lore sees the vampires unaffected by religious paraphernalia (in terms of the Christian church but there is a Hebrew exorcism that seems to work), they have reflections but they must avoid sunlight and garlic. A stake through the heart, beheading and a garlic clove in the mouth (if they haven’t turned to dust) are the order of the day (a stake in the heart seems to incapacitate but when removed they come around again). They can create powerful illusions as they feed to keep the victim docile. There is a scene where a pregnant woman is fed upon, her baby is born vampiric and dies in the sun.

The book itself is a good, old fashioned horror. The prose is as you would expect for a good horror novel and the story sees the rapid fall of a town as vampirism takes over. 8 out of 10.

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