Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha

I've been vacillating about this review for a few weeks.  I read this book and when I was finished I knew it was a well-written, engaging story.  Many people will enjoy it, I'm sure, and I bet the reviews for it will be awesome.  But it wasn't my cup of tea.  And that doesn't make it a bad book at all, just not something I would normally chose to read.  In fact, I wanted to read it after learning it was set in the 17th century.  I love that time period.  I think the Puritan values and military interactions were what didn't appeal to me.  So this will be a lesson (for me) in writing a review that will hopefully highlight the parts that'll captivate readers, because I know not everyone has the same tastes, and the reviewer is just one reader.
I have a signed review copy of this book that I will give away to one commenter!  [winner announced this week]

BLOOD PROPHECY by Stefan Petrucha is an origin story.  I do love a story that shows how the hero became a vampire in the first place.  (Many religious references as the hero died, and then rose three days later.) The V-word is not used in this book, but it is implied, and you'll know that is exactly what the hero has become as he must feed on blood to survive and completely cover his skin as the sun burns him.  It starts in the mid-17th century on a Puritan homestead.  The hero is attacked and his family is destroyed.  Jeremiah Fall is his name, and you will find yourself rooting for him throughout the story as he goes on a quest to find a cure for what he has become.
The story jumps to Napoleonic times while he is serving the military in Egypt, and he is captured and taken prisoner.  Escape seems fore until he realizes his captors have found the Rosetta stone, which Jeremiah believes to be the answer to his quest.  The villain, Skog, a true monster that the hero fears is his fate, haunts Jeremiah throughout his journey, sometimes engaging in deadly combat with him, at other times only tormenting his thoughts.
There is a lot of evocative historical and military detail.  The action never slows down, and there are many page-turner scenes.
Throughout the story Jeremiah fights the beast within him and clings to his faith, which showcased an interesting combination of Puritan beliefs, vampirism, and the forgotten man mythology.  The story moves swiftly when it is focused on Jeremiah's quest and his journey to find the cure in Eden.  The ending went all lyrical on me, and really sucked me in.  I couldn't not like this story, but like I said, just not my cup of tea.
— Michele Hauf for VampChix


Man and monster are in his blood. . .
His name is Jeremiah Fall. A soldier of fortune, he has been fighting his own war for 150 years--ever since the beast in him was born.
Desperate to restore his lost humanity, Fall crosses the sands of Egypt, discovers a lost city off the coast of France, and finally arrives at the birthplace of all mankind. Shunning daylight and feeding only when he must, he battles the monster who transformed him forever. He can share his deepest secret with no one . . . not even the beautiful woman he starts to love, the only human who grasps the mysteries of an ebony stone as old as creation itself.
Across the world, across time, Fall seeks the stone's secret. But has he found a cure for himself or unleashed a final curse on all mankind?

For more info on the author and this book, check out Petrucha's website.


Blodeuedd said...

I saw this one on a blogger's page and thought it looked so cool (though I thought it was fantasy) but hey vamps kick ass too ;)

Michele Hauf said...

I would call it horror with a touch of fantasy. Well, vamps always add that fantasy element, don't they? :-)

On the spine the label is FANTASY. Go figure.

Teresa K. said...

Well Michele,

I like anything that has to do with Vamps and Weres. Even more if its set in Historical times. I guess thats why I like alot of Amanda Asley's books. I like the time frame that you mentioned for this book. Can you imagine the religious values that was instilled in him. He must be going through a lot of torment for being what he is now.

Merry Christmas Michele and thanks for the review on the book.

Shannon said...

I really want to read this book. I understand your views on Puritans as I am direct descendant of a family that came on the ship right after the Mayflower and I still have a lot of questions on the whole Salem witch trials. I am also a staunch pacifist. I do however have much respect that you still went ahead an reviewed a book that you had hesitations about.

tetewa said...

Vampires are my favorite reads, first time hearing about this one!

Michele Hauf said...

I didn't have a problem with the author giving the vamp religious values at all. It just wasn't a topic I was at all interested in, so you know how you sort of want to skip pages when that happens? But i didn't. And I will reiterate it was a great read. It's not like I'm trying to say 'hey, I didn't like this book so I don't think you should like it either'. By far, it was very well written. That's why I wanted to review it because I know all you vamp fans will probably love hearing about it and many will probably read it!

Stefan Petrucha said...

Hi Michele -
Thanks for your review. I really admire your ability to distinguish between your personal tastes and the overall quality of what you're reading. It's rare to see that, even among professional reviewers, and much appreciated!

BLHmistress said...

I love the sound of this, and your review was amazing. I wouldn't mind adding this to my list in fact running off to do it now lol.

the cautionary tale said...

I am a MAJOR history nut so I would read this. Anytime you can mingle history and vampires it is a WIN. Thanks for the review. It's awesome that you could look at it objectively.

Michele Hauf said...

Stefan, thanks for stopping by! And as you can see, even if it wasn't my 'cup of tea', lots of others here do seem VERY interested in it, so I'm happy to spread the word about a book I'm sure they'll love.

Spav said...

This is the first time I've heard of this book, but it sounds interesting so far.