You Made Me Like You (I Didn’t Want to do It): Reviewing Field of Blood

I’m channeling Judy Garland singing to Clark Gable, here in my book review of Field of Blood by Eric Wilson.

“You made me like you, and all the time you knew it. I’ll bet you always knew it. You made me happy sometimes; you made me sad. But there were times, boy, you made me feel so bad.”

I mean, c’mon. Jacob? Poor little Jacob? But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe you’d like to know a little more about Mr. Wilson’s story of the Jerusalem Undead, Gina, Nikki, Cal, and a whole host of other characters. (No pun intended.)

I really didn’t want to like this book. I do like vampires and I like biblical history. I just wasn’t sure the two could work together. I like an easy, old-fashioned story between good and evil. This is not an old-fashioned story. And there’s nothing easy about it, either. So many characters, so many changing points-of-view, and so many plot lines to follow.

The story opens with Gina, a Romanian girl, inexplicably caught up in her mother’s fanatical beliefs, beliefs that will lead Nikki, the mother, and her confused daughter (and if I’m being honest, the reader is probably just as confused at this point), to a rather mundane life in America. Meanwhile, in another part of the world, The Collectors have found new hosts at last. Now these 19 men and women, the Jerusalem Undead, can search the world for the Nistarim, the 36 left behind by the Nazarene to protect mankind. The Undead will search, too, for blood, always hungry, always looking to infest others and sow destruction. And ultimately, they’ll look for Gina and her unborn child. Fortunately for Gina, she’s not alone. She has help from Cal, the one she calls The Provacateur, the one who’s always been there for her. But as the forces of evil gather against her, Gina will fight for her life and the life of a child. Just not the child she bore.

After a slow beginning, this tale of vampires intermingled with the rich history of Jerusalem and the story of Christ, fallen angels, sin and suffering, eventually sucked me in. (Yeah, I know. That was bad.) The author does an excellent job developing his characters, particularly that of Lord Ariston and Erota, powerful vampires from the Jerusalem cluster. Once the story starts moving, it’s a cat and mouse game, with a few surprises thrown in, just to keep everybody on their toes.

What I loved (if you can use such a word for something as evil) were the vines of thorns, the symbolic imagery of the sins wrapping around the victims. What I had a real problem with was Gina’s relationship with Nikki. And Nikki, herself. A mother does not cease to protect a child, EVER. It’s as simple as that. But don’t expect the rest of the story to be that simple.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m reviewing Field of Blood. Remember when I mentioned that you, too, could be a book reviewer, and get a free book, if you checked out the deal at Thomas Nelson Books? Field of Blood is the book I picked. It’s part of a trilogy. The second book comes out in August of 2009, I think. And I think I might get sucked into reading that one, too. I’m worried about Dov.

I just can’t help myself. You made me like you, Field of Blood.

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