The Unwilling

Rated 4.67/5 based on 3 reviews
When Carl Morgan witnesses the murder of his sister and police can't locate the killer, he takes matters into his own hands. But his search for justice costs him everything. Carl is unknowingly transformed into the world's only unwilling vampire, damned to an eternity of darkness, until he meets Moira, a repentant vampire searching for redemption she'd feared was impossible. Suddenly there's hope.
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About C. David Belt

C. David Belt was born in Evanston, WY. As a child, he lived and traveled extensively around the Far East. He served as an LDS missionary in South Korea and southern California (Korean-speaking). He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Aerospace Studies. He served as a B-52 pilot in the US Air Force and as an Air Weapons Controller in the Washington Air National Guard. When he is not writing, he sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and works as a software engineer. He collects swords (mostly Scottish), axes, spears, and other medieval weapons and armor. He and his wife have six children and live in Utah with an eclectus parrot named Mork (who likes to jump on the keyboard when David is writing).

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Reviews of The Unwilling by C. David Belt

Treg Julander reviewed on Feb. 9, 2015

This is not an ordinary vampire story, and these are not your ordinary vampires based on the same tired tropes. Sure they drink blood, can’t take the sunlight, and have superhuman abilities, but that’s where the similarities end. The main characters are “moral” vampires who resist their curse and quench their thirst for blood by siphoning from criminals as midnight vigilantes (mistaken for angels). I was a little dubious at first about the Mormon vampire angle. But the tension from the main characters’ desires to obtain the blessings of the gospel despite their belief that they were damned for eternity sucked me in immediately. My favorite character was an eight-year-old African American boy who was turned into a vampire as a child and remained at that age and maturity for decades. I found it remarkable that, by the end of the story, I could feel sympathy for characters with superpowers and eternal youth.
(reviewed 77 days after purchase)
Sarah E. Seeley reviewed on Nov. 26, 2014

I love this book. The twisted world of the vampire cult Carl (the main character) infiltrates to find his sister's killer is openly dark and honestly horrifying. The story follows strong themes of agency, power, temptation, love, and redemption. It made for deep thinking about evils that plague our real world and how one goes about restoring hope, security, and goodness where it is seemingly bereft in the lives of truly tortured and potentially dangerous individuals.

Carl's LDS background and convictions to stay true to his faith despite his unwilling damnation (when he becomes a vampire) was a dynamic I really enjoyed. Carl and Moira are both strong characters, battling darkness within and without on a journey full of twists and turns, both bitter and sweet. I was swept away on this dark, suspenseful adventure to save Salt Lake City from the nefarious Children of Lilith. This is a gem of LDS horror fiction. I found it both entertaining and deep.

Highly recommended reading, and I'll be looking forward to the rest in the series!
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
Deborah Carl reviewed on June 4, 2012

I am reviewing a copy I received from the publisher. Good story, I liked the ending and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel. I would have liked to give it 3 1/2 stars because I'm a little ambivalent about it. I liked it, but I'm not crazy about it.

The police are unable to bring the murderer of Carl's sister to justice so Carl infiltrates the vampire cult himself seeking justice. He doesn't believe in vampires and believes it is all part of a Goth fantasy, until he finds himself changed. But a very important step has been skipped, Carl did not willingly become a vampire.

Horrified and unwilling to kill to survive, Carl flees the cult and is found by Moira, a repentant vampire who teaches Carl what he needs to survive. But there is an interesting twist, Carl is a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- a Mormon. Can God forgive him for becoming a vampire? Is his soul lost forever? And can Carl and Moira destroy the vampire cult?

It is a story of choices and redemption and my favorite character is actually a very minor character -- Ben. Ben is a slave boy who's been turned by his Master and is trapped in slavery as a vampire forever.

So again, some really great moments in the story, but there was too much repetition which keeps me from really liking the book. Moira and Carl discuss something, and then Carl meets with his Bishop and has to explain it again. In most stories we'd see, "And Carl laid the plan out for the Bishop." In this book, Carl repeats everything he and Moira discussed. While it was slightly annoying, it didn't make me want to quit reading.
(reviewed 10 months after purchase)
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