" From Publishers Weekly
The first in Wilson's Jerusalem's Undead trilogy mixes vampires and religion with awkward results. After a prologue depicting Judas Iscariot's suicide in A.D. 30, the action shifts to 1989, near Jerusalem, where a work crew accidentally awakens the evil Collectors of Souls, whose spirits have been trapped in ground stained by Judas's blood. Once the collectors assume corporeal form, they begin to feast on human victims. Their paths eventually cross with a Romanian girl, Gina Lazarescu, who may be one of the Nistarim, the 36 people on whom the world depends to hold back the Final Vengeance. Stilted prose ("His stare collided with Ariston's and, like one icicle jabbed at another, glanced off in a shower of black splinters and chipped courage") and thin characterization limit this one's appeal. Wilson is the author of two novelizations, Facing the Giants and Flywheel.
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Judas hung himself in a place known as the Akeldama or Field of Blood.
But what if his death didn't end his betrayal?
What if his tainted blood seeped deep into the earth, into burial caves, causing a counterfeit resurrection of the dead?
Gina Lazarescu, a Romanian girl with a scarred past, has no idea she is being sought by the undead.
The Collectors, those released from the Akeldama, feed on souls and human blood. But there are also the Nistarim, those who rose from their graves in the shadow of the Nazarene's crucifixion--and they still walk among us, immortal, left to protect mankind.
Gina realizes her future will depend on her understanding of the past, yet how can she protect herself from Collectors who have already died once but still live?
The Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy takes readers on a riveting journey, as imaginative fiction melds with biblical and archaeological history."From the Author's Website, www.jerusalemsundead.com :
"1989: Scores of Romanian children contract a life-threatening virus. In Jerusalem, the same year, an ancient tomb is broken into.
Gina Lazarescu is a girl caugtht between an unknown past and a dark future.
Will she stand in the gap against the rising evil?
Or become victim to it?
Death is not a question. It is the answer.
Welcome to a world that hides before your eyes."
"Field of Blood" is the first book of Eric Wilson's trilogy, Jerusalem's Undead and boy, was it an exciting premiere to what looks like it's promising to be an amazing trilogy. The book is a mix of symbolism, history, growth, pain, faith, evil, survival, vampires, action and hope.
The book begins with the death of Judas at the Akeldama (Aramaic for Field of Blood) then goes right to the Collectors inhabiting the bodies of 18 members of two different families who are buried in the field of blood. Collectors are essentially vampires, as they feed off the blood of humans. However, they do have a weakness: Those Who Resist. The blood of the Nazarene pumps strongly through their veins.
There is discussion about the Nistarim. Nistarim who are the 36 righteous people. They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They carry the pain, the sorrow, the indignation, and all. The Collectors want to destroy the Nistarim. Here is some information from Wikipedia on the Nistarim http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzadikim_Nistarim
We are introduced the Gina on the eve of her 12th birthday and finds the mark of the "Tav" on her forehead. Gina has a traumatic childhood spent with a controlling mother who still practices old Jewish traditions of bloodletting. Releasing the sins committed through her blood. Gina is taken from Romania, to the Ukraine and off to the United States as unbeknown to her, she is being chased by the Collectors. Throughout the book, Gina grows. She matures. She suffers heartache over and over again and she becomes a sarcastic, bitter, cynical and angry. Gina is young and has several obstacles to overcome and grow. She also has a special ability, and well that's for you to learn :)
I liked Gina from the beginning. Maybe I connected with her and her heartaches and being a strong woman. I can't wait to read the next book, The Haunts of Jackals. I am betting Gina has a lot more in store.
Another strong character in the book is Cal Nichols. Or just Nickel. He actually has brief moments, but his presence is so strong that he stays ingrained in your memory. Who IS Cal Nichols? Who IS he to Gina? There are so many unanswered questions about him but yet, there is enough near the end that has you saying "Hmmm.. that's what I was thinking but... " Yeah, exactly. Seems like Cal is going to be on the forefront next book.
I really enjoyed Mr. Wilson's writing style. The dialogue is realistic. Gina's cynicism and sarcasm come off the pages and literally makes you think of the annoying angsty teenagers. However, I think that's his point, she is angry, angsty and important. The action jumps from page one and keeps running at a perfect pace throughout the book. If I can actually VISUALIZE the characters, the scenes, and the events, then that, in my book, is good writing. I was able to close my eyes and see Gina, see Cal, see Benyamin, Dov, Lord Ariston, Erota, I could see the battles, and the scenery of Tennessee. There were so many things that I had to look up, let me tell you, that's NOT a bad thing. This book had me doing side reading afterwards, from the online bible to just plain googling. I read it in two days. I wish I didn't have to put it down, not even for one minute.
I suggest picking up the "Field of Blood" and giving it a chance. Eric Wilson gives a new twist on an old subject. I find it refreshing and unique. This book goes to the top of my favorite books list.
I give this 5 out of 5