Review: Eternal Vigilance by Gabrielle Faust
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Eternal Vigilance by Gabrielle Faust
When I know a book is going to be part of a series, it has to be pretty darn good for me to consider forking out for future instalments. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t work so well as a stand-alone novel, and that was disappointing.
Basically, Eternal Vigilance is a vampire Fantasy novel set in 2111. Tynan, a vampire who created and led his own religion, has been asleep for a hundred years. After letting down the vampires who followed him, when his belief in his own faith crumbled, he cast a spell that should have sent him to sleep forever. It didn’t. He wakes to find the world he once knew ravaged by a fierce war, and technology literally evolving on its own.
Tynan is different from other vampires–-every time he kills and feeds he absorbs the pasts of his victims into his own memory. It is this unusual characteristic, as well as the human traits he can’t shake off, which led to his hatred of the world and a battle in which he disgraced himself by killing another vampire.
The first half of Eternal Vigilance deals mainly with backstory, which is necessary but a little tedious. However, when you get through that part, things start to get more interesting. Some of the immortals are not exactly pleased by Tynan’s return, and he fears their reactions. It's obvious Tynan is special, as well as an outcast in the immortal council. The story builds up slowly and delicately, as we gradually learn more about the Phuree, a rebel uprising that believes in ancient magic rather than the new technology favoured by the all-powerful Tyst Empire.
I absolutely loved the cover art, with a moment of “Ooo, shiny!” when I first picked the book up. Very appealing to my goth side. It took me a while to get into the story, and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like it at first. It’s a bit hit and miss in places, but it’s obvious the author has a lot of good ideas, which I’m really hoping will come through later on.
Tynan is quirky and likeable. The relationship he has with his pet cat Dune is a particularly nice touch. I would have liked all the main characters to be drawn with a little more depth, but as this is only the first part of a series I would expect their story arcs to be pursued later on. I found it a little hard to follow the story in places as some of the characters weren’t distinguished well enough from others. Although Eternal Vigilance can be tough going at times, I still think it’s a pretty good read.
Eternal Vigilance is interesting and poetically written, although the poetic language can get a bit purple in places. I am intrigued to see what will happen in the second instalment--hopefully after such a long build-up there will be a lot more violence and action, and also more explanation of the exciting technology and magic which has appeared only in brief glimpses so far.
Good fun, and slightly camp. A worthy addition to any collection of vampire fiction.
8 comments; 5 subscribers
Do you have a comment? Log in or Register; registration is quick, painless, free, and spam-free (unless you ask for it)