1. As you read, did you recognize the Man from Kerioth’s identity? What was the “fierce presence” he welcomed? How did his death coincide or conflict with your historical understanding?
2. Gina is a young woman dealing with a stern, superstitious mother. In what ways could you relate to Gina’s struggle? Have you ever been scarred by similar relationships?
3. The Akeldama is a real place in Jerusalem. What significance is there in the fact that children were once sacrificed to Moloch there? Did the Akeldama Cluster gain strength from this, or do you think they contributed to that former evil?
4. Cal Nichols investigates the death of a young Norwegian, but later we see that he is also involved in Gina’s childhood. What were your impressions of Cal? Why did he give Gina the pair of red orb earrings?
5. As the story progressed, did you wonder whose memories and whose blood was being unveiled in each section? What do you think about the biblical idea that “the life is in the blood”? Did the effects of the Nazarene Blood surprise you? Were they believable?
6. The Collectors have specific goals: to feed, breed, persuade, and possess. How did they accomplish these goals with Benyamin Amit and at the Constanta orphanage? The Romanian HIV outbreak of 1989 remains a mystery to this day. What did you think of the story’s explanation?