Author: Stefan Petrucha

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-446-55599-9

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In Blood Prophecy Stefan Petrucha succeeds in taking the vampire genre and turning it right onto its head, with this tale of a bloodsucker with a conscience.

For Jeremiah Fall, former Puritan and settler in an early American colony in the 1600s, may indeed have been bitten and cursed with an eternal thirst for human blood, but he is far from ready to cede to this ungodly temptation. Blessed though he is with heightened powers, unmatched strength and the double edged knife that is immortality, Fall nonetheless battles the beast within as he struggles to retain his essential humanity. Living exclusively off animal blood, Fall sets out in search of a cure for his affliction – an ancient stone of unmatched power ." I am the forgotten man’, goes an ancient, much adapted ditty that leads Fall onward . ” Unfinished by my maker’s hand. He left me when the world began, And would not tell me what I am.” Seeking this stone , and some explanation to what it is he has become, Fall finds himself in Egypt, a hundred and fifty years later, face to face with the evil being that began his ordeal. Yet greater evil lurks in the sands, and Fall is soon faced with the prospect of sacrificing himself, or rather, his humanity, to protect all of humankind.

Along the way, he finds himself a faithful horse, and a friend- a Russian called Hylic Kirillov with a bizarre death fetish. His morbid leanings notwithstanding, Kirillov provides the few lighter moments in this otherwise grim adventure , making himself a cheery , if unwanted, Sancho Panzo to Fall’s taciturn Quixote. Fall also finds love, drawn to a mysterious woman called Amala with an uncanny ability to interpret the arcane writings on the stone. Rest assured, though – Fall is no Cullen brother and Petrucha’s intentions are far removed from a saga about immortal love with humane vampires, especially when the future of humanity lies in the hands of his tortured hero.

The pace of ‘Blood’ is unrelenting as it zips back and forth through Fall’s life; the language lush, and with a strongly visual feel - Petrucha is, after all, an acclaimed writer of comic books.He neatly weaves historical fact into the tapestry of this story; Fall, in a manner reminiscent of Forrest Gump (albeit an undead one with an aversion to sunlight), finds himself participating in historic battles across the ages – from the Crusades to Napoleon’s Battle of the Pyramids.

Blood Prophecy ends on an intriguing premise, hinting at greater travails ahead for Fall and Hylic – a sequel I certainly look forward to.

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