Field of Blood by Eric Wilson

field-of-bloodField of Blood by Eric Wilson (Thomas Nelson, 2008 ), 403 pages

This is book one of Wilson’s Jerusalem’s Undead trilogy. The second book, Haunt of Jackals, is due out in August 2009 but available now for pre-order.

The title Field of Blood refers to the Field of Akeldama, where the biblical Judas hung himself. Mostly, though, that’s just a jumping off point. Gina Lazarescu, a Romanian girl, struggles mostly with her past, unaware that she’s being pursued by the Collectors, who feed on souls and blood.

Vampires. My only previous exposure to vampires of any sort was Twilight the movie (haven’t read the book, and don’t really intend to). I just don’t really understand the fascination with vampires, at all. I understand, from My Friend Amy’s review of this book, that this is not a typical treatment of vampires. That’s not surprising to me at all, but still. Either way, I don’t care for them.

I read a fair number of thrillers (of the Christian Fiction variety, especially); this is the only one I was wary to not read before falling asleep. This caution was only there in the first few chapters, but it was still a new feeling for me. I didn’t like trying to fall asleep with this book in my head — at least until I got past a certain point.

Parts of the back story are still missing, unexplained — why is Judas idolized by the undead? Who are the Nistarim and why do they exist? Those are just two examples. I don’t think this is what’s supposed to draw me into the rest of this trilogy, though.

It’s surprising to me that the history doesn’t seem to go back past the incarnation.

The prologue was a jarring introduction to the rest of the book. I’d have liked that information to be at the end instead.

I did enjoy the symbolism throughout the book — the meaning of Gina’s name, for instance.

While my experience with this book improved as it went along, I’m not ready to leap back into this story again. Maybe I really just don’t like vampires?

The trailer:

Author’s website. Here’s an excerpt, and a reading guide. The official site for the trilogy.

Other reviews:
Amy’s review
SciFiGuy
Relz Reviewz

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10 responses to “Field of Blood by Eric Wilson

  1. Thanks for the honest review. I’m not actually fascinated with vampires myself; I’m interested in exposing the darkness, the counterfeit of finding unnatural life in blood as opposed to Jesus making way for us to find life in his blood. That’s the ultimate point of the book.

    The prologue, just to make clear, is absolutely vital to the rest of the story–and to your question about the Collectors’ fascination with Judas. In the entire Bible, Judas is the only one who was entered by Satan (the Master Collector in the story), and it’s Satan’s enmity that seeped down through the soil in Judas’ blood, thus giving unnatural life to the corpses in the Field of Blood. The Nistarim are an actual Jewish legend (the lamedvovnik), but I play off of that, hypothesizing that the saints who came out of the tombs in Matthew 27 are the fulfillment of that legend, raised immortal and left to guard mankind until the end.

    I’m sorry if I didn’t make all this clearer in the book itself, but of course it’s all foundational for the story. More will be revealed in book two. It may not be your thing, but I appreciate you taking the time to write a review anyway.

  2. for a more archetypal vampire you might want to check out anne rice or something along those lines. “interview with the vampire” is probably her most famous novel- also a good movie with tom cruise, brad pitt and a very young kirsten dunst.

  3. Pingback: Words from my reading « Word Lily

  4. I hope you give vampires a shot in a different book!

  5. A follow-up…

    I’ve had vampire fiction fans, and not just Christians, say this series is one of the most original they’ve read. One told me, “I’m a card-carrying pagan and I loved your book. It made me want to read the Bible, because I didn’t know some of that stuff was in there.”

  6. That’s awesome Eric! I also thought it was a very unique…but I’m a vampires as symbols of humanity rather than vampires as monsters fan.

  7. Amy, I too am much more interested in the human struggle. That’s why I used Gina Lazarescu as a woman with half-immortal blood, who is wrestling with her destiny, her blood-line, and her abusive past.

    The vampires in this trilogy are monsters, yes, but they are monsters preying on the weakness in humanity, and that’s what made it more intriguing for me as a writer. In fact, each of the vampires is also in a struggle between the human proclivities of its host and its own rapacious nature. I’m not much of one for monsters for monsters’ sake.

    Thanks for the comments.

    • I’m not a fan of monsters for monsters’ sake, either.

      I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to understand the whys and hows. Especially the whys. So anything for its own sake doesn’t really make sense to me. So I did appreciate, in this book, that there was a reason for how these monsters came to be. (And as I said above, I also appreciate the symbolism throughout the book.)

      Wow, Amy. Vampires as symbols of humanity? That doesn’t make sense to me at all, at least on the surface.

      I’m thinking Dracula is the place to start, if I want to understand more of vampires’ traditional role in literature?

  8. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: April 4, 2009 at Semicolon

  9. Pingback: Booking Through Symbolism « Word Lily

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