Sunday, June 26, 2016

Vengeance Obtained – review

Author: Eric M Gore

First Published: 2016

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Marcel Dekrey, angel of The Lord and nine-hundred year old vampire, is a double agent in service to The Most High God. Marcel is charged with a clear mandate; observe and report to the heavenly host events as they unfold in the dangerous world of anomalies--vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks, demonic creatures, and variations of each--which exists within our own, and intercede if and when necessity demands.

Necessity does indeed demand when Marcel learns a recent attack against him was orchestrated by his ancient enemy, Stefano the Gouge. The assault is part of his enemy's plan to use Marcel's duel nature to enact a ritual derived from a powerful artifact which has been in the possession of the human military since the end of World War II; The Book of the Dead.

This ritual will reprise the devil's first fall from grace when one-third of all the angels followed him to the pit, ushering in a new demonic world order and humanity's final day. Marcel must use his skill in swordsmanship and hand to hand combat, honed to their most ardent degree in nine hundred years of unlife, to stop Stefano before The Heavenly Host descends to Earth to carry out God's will and puts an end to reality itself.

The review: I was sent Vengeance Obtained for review and, as I looked at the back of the book, I must admit to being wary of what I was about to read. The author, by his bio, is clearly a committed Christian and the blurb made it clear that this was a book steeped in Christian mythology – now I don’t mind reading a book based around Christian mythology (many, many books in the vampire genre are) but I worried that this may lay it on a bit thick.

So, first of all – despite encompassing the concept of the Christian Apocalypse and using phrases such as "most high God" this was a very readable book that didn’t make me feel that I was being evangelically preached at, and those moments that were a tad heavy handed tended to be in the main character Marcel’s voice and, him being an angel and all, that actually works. The next worry was the idea of a vampire being an angel – why on Earth would that pan out. Well it did. Marcel is actually more angel than he knows (he is an archangel actually) but he has no memory of his angelic origin pre-turn (at least when we first meet him). In the book he is told of his angelic nature after he is turned and told that he is to observe and report on the activities of the “anomalies” – vampires, werewolves etc… One might ask why an omnipotent deity needs such a double agent… but that would be nit-picking.

Marcel was sired by a daywalker and thus is immune to sunlight - this has nothing to do with his angelic side. The vampires are able to manipulate reality and can open portals that allow them to "flick" or appear to move with impossible speed and can regenerate destroyed flesh - one does so and develops a huge tentacle as his "body image" was askew. Another vampire got too close to a nuclear fission reactor and has permanent raven wings. The book itself is set in a universe where such things as quantum computers were developed (by the military) in the seventies.

So we get a rip roaring yarn that involves vampires, the Necronomicon, the devil, werewolves (and lycans, they are separate, though related, beasts in this) and mages. It is not necessarily the most sophisticated prose but it moves along at a brisk pace and is generally clearly constructed. However, all is not positive and my biggest complaint probably rests around one phrase that Gore uses way too often. Everything seems to be caveated as being “vampirically fast” or “vampirically strong”, later this also leads to the phrasing “angelically fast”. It is really clumsy English that jolts the reader’s suspension of disbelief with its clumsiness and, to be honest, once the reader is told that the vampires are stronger and faster than humans it is unnecessary.

That gripe aside, solid enough, not too preachy and fun. 6 out of 10.

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