Field of Blood by Eric Wilson

Summary: Judas hung himself in a place known as the Akeldama or Field of Blood.

But what if his death didn't end his betrayal?

What if his tainted blood seeped deep into the earth, into burial caves, causing a counterfeit resurrection of the dead?

Gina Lazarescu, a Romanian girl with a scarred past, has no idea she is being sought by the undead.

The Collectors, those released from the Akeldama, feed on souls and human blood. But there are also the Nistarim, those who rose from their graves in the shadow of the Nazarene's crucifixion--and they still walk among us, immortal, left to protect mankind.

Gina realizes her future will depend on her understanding of the past, yet how can she protect herself from Collectors who have already died once but still live?

The Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy takes readers on a riveting journey, as imaginative fiction melds with biblical and archaeological history.

My Review: Once I got into this--and, to be honest, it took a few chapters--I really got into this story. Even though the main character, Gina, is young female, this is definitely a masculine book--perhaps the guys' version of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Gina's story was the most gripping to me, and I hated being pulled away from it, unless it was to catch a glimpse of the other two "good guys." I loved the use of real places: Rembrandt's Coffee was one of my hangouts in college, and it was very cool locations from my past, including Ruby Ridge. I imagine the other locations are accurate, too, and the settings did come alive to me, perhaps more than some of the characters.

Field of Blood is a hefty book, but one that moved with the same sort of feel as one of Clive Cussler's recent (better) releases. I'm not a fan of books that follow the Bad Guys heavily, and this one did (I'd wager about half the book is about them, and the other half about Gina's story) but Erota's storyline held me captive. While the Bad Guys' story was rich in mythology, history and geography, I felt as though this could have been integrated in a less heavy-handed way, and with fewer characters. By doing this, the pacing would have flowed a bit better and the characters that remained would have received more air time--more time for us to connect and begin to really experience the events with them.

Even though I didn't like certain aspects on a macro level, I really enjoyed the book, and I'll definitely seek out the rest of the series.

On a petty note, they mention Harry Potter in, I think, 1996. It wasn't out until '97, and I'm not sure when it was published in the U.S. Gina doesn't seem to be the type to rabidly follow children's lit--especially not kidlit that wasn't wildly popular in the US until 2000. But that's nitpicking. I did love the Rob Zombie reference.


wilsonwriter said...

Thanks for the review. When I pitched the book to publishers back in 2005, I said, "It's The Historian meets The Screwtape Letters," so that was an interesting note on your part.

That is also why a lot of the book focused on "the bad guys," to expose some of their thinking in the way C.S. Lewis did with his seminal book. The second book, Haunt of Jackals, is more focused on Gina--just so you know.

And good catch on the Harry Potter thing. I had to throw it in, because it seemed like an obvious connection to most modern readers. I don't know that Gina would read them, but she did have even a childhood interest in American films, so there was a part of her intrigued by pop culture.

Nicely done review. Thanks.