The Blood Decanter Paperback – September 17, 2015
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About the Author
- Publisher : Parchman's Press; 1st edition (September 17, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 428 pages
- ISBN-10 : 099632691X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0996326919
- Item Weight : 1.38 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.07 x 9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The main characters in the series, Antoine and Darius, seem to represent two halves of the same spirit. The reader is continually faced with the question of whether the human soul is fundamentally good or evil. A.L. Mengel breathes new life into the philosophical debates on the nature of humanity, seen through the lens of these two characters, and against a backdrop of two distinct worlds: the material world, human society as we know it, and the spiritual world of the "immortals", a select few that have been brought from humanity into a broader, more complex world that involves angels and demons, and deep religious overtones. A.L. Mengel's world provides explanation for some elements of human mythology, such as vampires, that in this world are merely misinterpretations by the ill-informed and uninitiated.
The narrative moves back and forth between characters and time periods, weaving an intricate pattern that has shaped the lives of Antoine and Darius. The reader can feel the anguish as Antoine is frequently torn between two worlds, continually concerned with the salvation of his soul and the possibility of redemption. This struggle becomes all the more challenging with the appearance of the "Hooded Man", who claims to bear the promise of salvation but could be an imposter bringing false hopes and death.
Throughout the book, Antoine and Darius wrestle with concepts of human agency juxtaposed with predestination. Darius feels his fate has been predetermined and he is doomed with no hope of eternal salvation. Antoine, in contrast, sees choices laid before him, but is unable to pierce the veil obscuring the future ramifications for his soul.
The text is rich with religious connections, and his tale provides interesting explanations and backstory to cultural beliefs and conceptions regarding the occult. In this world, demons are physically real, but not what you would expect. A.L. Mengel teases out deeper levels of complexity in the supernatural war between angels and demons, set against the diverse backdrops of Vatican City, southern France, ancient Jerusalem, the island of Sri Lanka, and modern day Miami. This book reminded me of Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, but faster paced and more accessible for American readers. Throughout the book, the reader is faced with the mystery of whether the "Blood Decanter" lead to salvation or damnation - an enigma until the climactic conclusion at the end of the book. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
The characters are intense and seeking answers to the deepest questions of human existence. Once you become involved in the characters' intriguing stories, you won't want to put the book down!
This is the type of story that - when I finish it - I want to go right back to the beginning and read it again!
A.L. Mengel allows the reader to witness these conflicts without "fire and brimstone" - although he does give readers a crucifixion!