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Smashwords book reviews by Stonehenge Press
- 33 A.D.
on July 26, 2010
Let me preface this with the following: I am not into vampire novels. The genre does absolutely nothing for me. This particular book caught my attention when I saw the cover and the title. The description sold it. Vampires trying to assassinate Jesus – brilliant idea!!
I was not disappointed.
It’s written by indie sensation, David McAfee. If you haven’t heard of his name, you will, because this man knows how to write a thrilling story and grab a reader’s attention.
I could NOT put this book down.
The story is based in Jerusalem in 33 A.D., the week leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. It is an incredible ride, this story, as McAfee weaves an intricate tale of Bachiyr (vampire) secrecy with the events surrounding the crucifixion. The cast of characters are flawed, yet you love them anyway. They lift off the page and you cannot help but empathize with their respecitve plights, whether their intentions be diabolical or not.
In all this, McAfee handles the character of Jesus deftly. He places him in all the key areas and in the few scenes that include dialogue with him, he sticks to what would be very much in character – that of a simple man.
I’m not a religious person, and my first thoughts when I saw this title was that this might be Christian fiction. I tried it anyway, and I can’t tell you how thoroughly impressed I am, not only with the story (which is quite neutral around the Christian theme), but also McAfee’s writing. It is riveting material that makes you yearn for more.
If you read anything this summer, make sure it’s this book. I, for one, will be looking at McAfee’s other books – vampire or not.
He’s that good.
- Drummer Boy
on Nov. 14, 2010
Scott Nicholson is an author I learned about this year when I interviewed him for The Skull Ring. I’m not exactly sure why I chose Drummer Boy as my first Scott Nicholson novel – he has quite a repertoire to choose from – but it was an excellent place to start.
I haven’t read much in the horror/supernatural realm in a long time. I used to read a LOT of Stephen King when I was younger. When King lost his edge, I more or less moved on to other genres – mostly fantasy and scifi. And after that I never really returned.
That has just changed.
Drummer Boy is one of those novels that creeps back into your thoughts long after reading it – in particular, the “Jangling Hole” and the darkness that lies within it. There’s a realism to this story that’s reminiscent of some of King’s earlier work that I once loved. Not the graphic scenes of violence which I don’t have much of a stomach for, but rather supernatural elements that have just enough reality in them to make you turn the lights on at night when you’re alone. It’s the kind of horror that reaches into the deep places where nightmares lurk and make them surface. This is my kind of fright.
With Nicholson, you are in the hands of a master – a brilliant writer that portrays a gritty reality to his characters. They’re flawed in one manner or another, but you can’t help but empathize with their predicaments, especially Vernon Ray. I had quite a personal connection with this particular character – a reluctant hero who shows great resilience considering the harsh environment he’s grown up in.
I think one of the greatest strengths of this writer is the complexities so well weaved into these characters. They live a life you would want to very quickly remove yourself from, yet at the same time you can’t help but be fascinated with them.
Nicholson also references, what I suspect, are some events from The Red Church. This will likely be the next book of Nicholson’s that I pick up. I’m also very tempted by The Skull Ring. Tough call!
All in all, I have to say I’m so pleased to have rediscovered my love of horror through Nicholson. This is a name you should be adding to your TBR list. He’s on mine!!
- 61 A.D.
on Aug. 18, 2011
I absolutely loved this sequel to 33 AD! The characters I cared about most (Taras and Theron) are back in 61AD and, yet again, McAfee has done a brilliant job of bringing these men to life. Deftly woven, the tale is filled with mystery and intrigue. I just couldn't put this down. It hints at a bigger story that I suspect we will learn more about in the next instalment. And there's a new character, Baella, that I totally love. I can't wait to see more of her!
If you read 33 AD, you MUST read 61 AD. And if you haven't read either, go and get them both!