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Eternal Vigilance book 1: From Deep Within The Earth by Gabrielle S. Faust (book review)

July 19, 2021 | By | Reply More

The idea of having medical conditions, physical or mental, on some kind of spectrum is an increasing phenomenon. It seems that vampirism could be considered as such. On one end of the spectrum is Nosferatu, as depicted in the 1922 film, evil, ugly and whose motives are to kill, especially young women. At the other end of the scale are the cute, sparkly vampires who intend no harm to anyone. Between the two extremes are a wide range of morality and qualities. Other than the blood needed for sustenance, about the only thing they have in common is their longevity.

The vampires in Gabriella S Faust’s ‘Eternal Vigilance’ trilogy, of which this is the first volume, fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. When they kill, the victim dies and they are good looking with a predilection for long hair. They have reflections, heartbeats and breathe but their skin has a lower temperature than most humans. They can be killed by sunlight and do not appear to have to excrete and are capable of sex.

While most vampire tales are either contemporary or historical, this one is set in the future. The first person narrator is Tynan. Having been a vampire for three hundred years, he decides to opt out after having made some bad mistakes. These are sketchily presented but would probably make a volume on their own. He doesn’t want to commit suicide but instead has sealed himself into a sarcophagus from which he did not intend to emerge. To his chagrin, he wakes up after a hundred years, throws off the marble top and kills the first person he meets. Out of the catacombs, he discovers a world in ruins. At some point there has been a war and the world is ruled by the Tyst Empire. This seems very shadowy as we never really get a discussion of its rise and methods. Probably Tynan isn’t interested. He waxed philosophical but recent history doesn’t seem to concern him so we don’t get to know it either.

From the point of his awakening and him bumping into another vampire who directs him to a place to stay, there is a gap of a year before the story continues. This is frustrating as we fail to learn along with Tynan, the ways in which he discovers how to survive and feed in the world. He may not be interested in politics but it has to directly relate to the society he has become a shadowy member of. All we learn is that he has acquired a cat and a human lover. Then Tynan gets a summons and is carted off to the mansion where his Maker lives. Against his wishes and instincts, Tynan is enlisted into the war between the group of humans known as Phuree and the Tyst. He is told that the Tyst are trying to resurrect the being that was the originator of the vampires. This is definitely a bad idea.

The original vampire novels such as Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ are Victorian Gothic and the style of writing was florid, the prose verging on the purple. In trying to capture this kind of ambience, Faust loses any immediacy in the prose. It doesn’t help that Tynan is prone to philosophising. Usually, with a first person narrator, the reader is expected to sympathise and be on the side of the person telling the story. This is difficult when Tynan is a cold-blooded killer, showing no emotion when selecting and dispatching a victim.

For those readers who do immerse themselves in the book, be aware that if you want the outcome of the story, all three volumes will be needed.

Pauline Morgan

July 2021

(pub: Immanion Press, Stafford, UK, 2008. 232 page enlarged paperback. Price: £11.99 (UK), $21.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-904853-53-4)

check out website: www.immanion-press.com

Category: Books, Fantasy, Horror

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