A really thought provoking book. I enjoyed the reality that we may not see with our eyes yet it does exist. There are evil presences and good ones. As long as we are in Christ we are not going to fail. I can't wait for the next one in the series to arrive.
I have to confess that Field of Blood is not a book I would normally read, mostly because of the vampires. In fact, it sat on my to be reviewed pile for several months before I finally read it. And the only reason I did was because I was asked to proofread the second book in this series, Haunt of Jackals. I was so drawn into the story and the characters, I found myself picking up Field of Blood just to get caught up with the back story. So in essence I read both books at the same time. The only other vampire book Ive read is the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker. And Eric Wilson puts an entirely difference spin on his characterization of vampires, putting their lust and evil desires on a more spiritual plain. To me, Wilsons depiction is more believable to me than Bram Stokers. The premise of Field of Blood and the Jerusalems Undead Trilogy is a mixture of truth and fiction. But Eric Wilsons melding of the two makes even the fiction plausible, given a healthy dose of suspension of belief on the readers part. Erics characters are real, well-rounded individuals. Even the less savory characters are believable in the context of the story. Lots of research, in-depth and on-site, has gone into this trilogy, giving even more credibility to the story line. The writing is strong and descriptive. Not only do the characters come alive, but the varied settings do, too. A combination of legend and biblical truth, this first book of the trilogy contains a strong message of spiritual warfare on a much higher level than many of us want to think about. It is a book that demands an open mind to possibilities that might exist beyond our understanding of the spiritual world. Haunt of Jackals releases in July; the final book in the trilogy, Valley of Bones, releases in 2010.
Story begins with the suicide of Judas, his blood seeps deep into the ground.Modern day,a young Romanian girl has a dog, no father is evident, a crush on a boy. We witness a bizarre ritual between mother and daughter involving a knife. A cleansing of sorts.A burial ground is disturbed where Judas died. A group watch as this is their opportunity. They enter the bodies of the dead. Instantly, the dead rise. Only it's more a mock resurrection. They must feed on blood to keep the bodies going. Their mission is to find a member of the Nistarim and destroy them. This will be the end of humanity.Field of Blood is the most imaginative story I've ever read. Easily the best novel I read all of last year. Eric has topped himself with this series. He has a knack for blending history with fiction. Field of Blood blends so many elements. History, Jewish mysticism, Christianity, the Bible and both contemporary and historical settings in a way that left me wanting the sequel and the final novels right them.I don't think Eric's writing has ever been better and that is the one thing that impresses me most. I've read all his published novels and with each one he builds on what he's learned and done before and refines his craft to an even better level. This work has his tightest writing and his best pacing to day in my opinion.The only negative I have is that of one of the character names. The spelling changed several times. This was a bit confusing. I don't see this as an issue the author caused but rather the typesetter and perhaps proofreader. It shouldn't detract from an otherwise excellent, creepy read. I haven't been able to scratch an itch without first inspecting the area since this read.It you're looking for boundary stretch stories, the kind that make you think long after you place it on a bookshelf Field of Blood is for you. Book 2, Haunt of Jackals, will be releasing soon. Followed next year by Valley of Bones, concluding the series.
Before I start with my review I want to encourage you to look at Field of Blood with an open mind and not toss it aside because it's a vampire novel. Sure, it's about vampires, but its so not a typical clichd vampire novel. Though supernatural in nature the book is also filled with a valuable message that we all need to hear and embrace. Everyone is vulnerable without the power of Christ. We have free will and can choose God or walk away from Him and live in our own sin.The first plot line opens with Judas Iscariot ending his life and his blood seeping into burial graves. Fast forward to 1989 where the site is excavated and the souls, The Collectors, are freed to wander among the living. But these Collectors are not the only immortals wandering the earth. They are accompanied by thirty eight individuals, the Nistarim, who were marked by God to protect the human race. The Nistarim hunt the Collectors and vice versa. Gina Lazarescu is at first unaware she is being hunted by the undead. Shes whisked to America by her mother to keep her safe as she grows up. As Gina becomes suspicious of her mysterious past, she shoots to center stage in the war between good and evil, transforming the book into a nonstop page turner. I am unabashedly an Eric Wilson fan and have loved all of his previous works. When he announced the upcoming Undead Trilogy, I blinked a few times, and sighed. Why Eric, why? Why mess with what I have enjoyed reading for years? I am not a huge supernatural/speculative fiction reader, and definitely not a gothic vampire novel lover, so when the book arrived, I began to read simply because Wilson had earned my respect as a writer and captured my joy of reading as a reader. With an open mind I delved into the book and was pleasantly surprised that the story was not at all what I expected. It was so much more and it held Wilsons signature writing with flawed characters and a strong message without preaching.
Eric Wilson took on a seemingly insurmountable challenge in writing a Christian vampire novel in the first place. But that wasnt the only difficulty; with so much advance buzz about the announced Jerusalems Undead trilogy, he ran the risk that, no matter how rich the story, it might not be enough to match the hype. Anticipation is its own kind of monster; it often turns on its masters.In the hands of a lesser writer, a lesser researcher and man less acquainted with his scriptures, it might have been a disaster. In the hands of Eric Wilson, its a tour de force. Wilson merges folklore and Biblical theology to effectively bridge the vampires Christian themes with Romanian lore, supplying a long-missing link. In doing so, Wilson has supplied something lacking in the slew of vampire fiction today: originality. In Field of Blood, the undead are founded in the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, who managed to bleed out in the half-botched act of hanging himself, loosing unholy blood on the soil of the Akeldama. While staying true to the bloody death and blood-as-life staples of vampire mythology, Field of Blood offers a new angle on character redemption, new boundaries on the realm of the vampire, and new charges for the anti-vampire protagonist. Wilson introduces an entire cast of undead characters all too deliciously easy to hate including the convicted criminal, Barabbasthe very man released at the urging of the mob in lieu of the Nazarene, Jesus. My main fascination with Field of Blood, however, is the genius behind the story itself. Having visited Romania and grown up in the church, I was intrigued in a howd-he-do-that? kind of way at Wilsons weaving together of post-revolution Romania, world news, scripture and Hebrew lore. As a reader, I was delighted. As a writer, I was envious. In breaking the Christian publishing vampire barrier, Wilson has set an incredible bar.