Monday, October 18, 2010

On the Soul of a Vampire by Krisi Keley

Beautifully Told Tale with Little-Known Fascinating History
My Rating - 4 Stars
On The Soul of a Vampire is a mesmerizing and often sonorous story that examines the basic concepts of good versus evil, free will versus pre-destination, and a full spectrum of religious dogma, divine mercy and forgiveness.  Skipping through 800 years of history the author still managed to make the transitions between different scenes easy to follow and exceedingly interesting.  I was fascinated with the way in which the story unfolded bit by bit until toward the end I had that “ah ha” moment when the pieces meshed together beautifully.

A significant portion of the tale is told in the first person as the reader is privy to the tormented Valerien’s thoughts, internal arguments, and indecisiveness as he first stalks then grudgingly befriends Angelina, the first mortal who has ever truly known him.  As Angelina attempts to guide Valery toward the discovery and acceptance of the truth he has sought throughout his long centuries she also tests his patience with her almost beyond endurance.

This book is the first in a planned series.  For me, it was not a light or easy read and I had to several times put it down and return to it later as I preferred to slowly savor the intellectual journey.  This book can be read on several different levels.  There were scenes that were quite horrific but they were described in such an understated, unadorned manner that I was even more chilled and disturbed than I would have been otherwise.

The reflective, contemplative tone of the narrative was refreshing.  The author did a wonderful job creating an archaic manner of speaking for the oldest vampires and for the strange, beguiling and mysterious Angelina.  While it added depth to the overall narrative at times the sentences were difficult to decipher.  I believe this was purposely done so that the reader could more easily relate to Valery’s frustration as he journeyed the path to enlightenment.  I look forward to the next installment.

Laurie Jenkins
Reviewed 10/2/2010

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