ETERNAL VIGILANCE: THE DEATH OF ILLUSIONS - 2009
by Gabrielle Faust
Trade PPB, 284 pages
Vampires. The undead. Romantic and sexy? Tortured, brooding and aloof? Terrifying and mysterious? Gross and monstrous? All of the above? None of the above?
However you prefer your vampires served, it looks like the vamp story is here to stay.
With the recent advent of the Twilight books and movies, and WB’s Vampire Diaries, the vampire story has been given a new afterlife. Not, actually, that they’ve been that far away or too far underground. The goth culture and the World of Darkness franchises, not to mention authors like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Anne Rice, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, and a hoary host of others, like L.A. Banks, Hal Bodner, Liz Maverick and Curt Hoffmeister – not to mention tons of movies, both good and bad, such as The Lost Boys, the Underworld series, and The Vampire’s Assistant – have kept the vampire story above ground for quite a while.
But does the vampire have any new ground to break? Is there anything new to say? Some have told me the vampire novel has been done to undeath and new stories only rehash old ground. Even the Cirque du Freak stories, they say, are not really anything new. Others disagree. But vampires have been around for a long, long time.
Enter new writer Gabrielle Faust to breathe new life into the old tale.
Her first book, ETERNAL VIGILANCE: From Deep within the Earth took vampires straight to post-apocalyptic earth to an America riven in half by the technocratic Tyst and the earth-loving, magic wielding Phuree. In this struggle, the last group of vampires, themselves fragmented by desires and agendas, are caught in the middle. They distrust the Phuree and are threatened by the Tyst.
It is to this world that Tynan Llewellyn, an old vampire of Welsh heritage, wakes after a hundred-year sleep buried deep in his own underground vault. He'd bespelled himself to escape the vagaries of the modern era, only to wake prematurely to the war-ravaged era of a century later.
It isn't long – barely a year – before he finds himself thrust to the very heart of a power-struggle within what's left of the vampire community as well trapped in the middle of the Tyst-Phuree conflict. The Phuree want to use him to keep the Tyst from raising the Vicinus, an ancient vampire god and the very soul of evil chaos.
ETERNAL VIGILANCE: THE DEATH OF ILLUSIONS, is exactly that in many ways. It recounts the story of Tynan’s attempt to foil the plans of the Tyst, his confrontation with the vampire who Made him, and his eventual confrontation with the Vicinus itself. As many of his own (and others) deeply held beliefs are shattered, one after another, Tynan must come to understand himself before he can save anyone else.
Faust has woven this tale of world domination and battle against fantastic odds with an artist’s hand and a poet’s tongue. The language in the book is the soul of Goth – beautiful language depicting a not only a bleak landscape, both political and actual, but also a tormented soul, filled with self-loathing saddled with an unwanted mission only he can perform.
The book is a powerful view of vampires as foil for humans. The relationships are complex, the characters fleshed with a deft hand, and a surprise ending that rang true. The story builds out of internal conflict mirrored by the conflict of the outside world. This reviewer wonders if Llewellyn’s world will only improve when he reconciles himself.
Faust herself brings together several personal interests to construct ETERNAL VIGILANCE: THE DEATH OF ILLUSIONS. It's clear she loves vampires. One look at her website and twitter feed prove that, as there you can find a one-stop shop for all the news of the vampire scene, both literary and in film. For the futuristic aspect of the story, she brings to bear a strong background in IT, making her programmers both interesting and convincing. And her experience writing poetry is apparent in the texture of her prose.
Four bookwyrms for originality, craft of story, and beauty of prose. This series will change the face of the vampire story
This review copyright 2010 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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