- File Size: 445 KB
- Print Length: 279 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Creativia; 3 edition (May 18, 2016)
- Publication Date: May 18, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01FVCE7O6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
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- #400 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales & Folklore > Royalty
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The Eternals, they are a breed apart. Born to immortality, neither human nor vampire, a dying sun is to end their race where no other could. It is to this ultimatum that Jean, the last Eternal lord, is born. Jean accepts the end once preached by his deceased parents, where others won’t, their arrogance furthering his melancholy. He would fight for the future where they, the Hierarchy, would waltz into nothingness.
But everything changes for Jean when he commits the cardinal sin: his bite takes the life of Princess Chantelle of The New Europa Alliance, whose sister will come to enthrall him. It is a deed Jean thinks has passed unnoticed; it has not. When the Britannian dandy, Sir Walter Merryweather, informs him of this, Jean runs. Aided and abetted by the irksome Merryweather, Jean stumbles from manipulated mishap into age-old conspiracies and beyond.
With the sun’s clock ticking, Jean must find time where there is none to reconcile his sordid past with the promise of new love.
Author Richard Ankers had me with “His bite takes the life of Princess Chantelle…”. Though not entirely sure about reading my first vampyre novel since Bram Stoker enticed me, I dove into the pages of The Eternals with nearly as much abandon as the main character, Jean, loses himself to his ultimate intoxication: sweet, unadulterated, human blood. Neither grotesque vampire nor human, Jean is a breed apart, from a race of Eternal beings who find themselves facing the end of time in a far distant future that holds all the marvels of Steampunk superfluity in a maudlin dystopian landscape.
The story is told in a first person voice, as Jean takes a commanding center stage to relate his tale through an unnerving combination of alluring sarcasm and caustic mirth. His charm is undeniable and inescapable, (as any vampyre’s should be!) even in spite of the fact that he is a generally disagreeable soul who is prone to violent fits of temper that would send even “He who must not be named” running in the opposite direction; yet he is an anti-hero I connected with and found myself rooting for despite his shortcomings.
As the plot unfolded, I found myself turning the pages backward, so I might immerse myself in Danker’s mystical imagery again and again. Intriguing characters and familiar, yet uniquely new landscapes permeate Jean’s story, such as movable cities and gothic castles of olde; masquerades and waltzes held beside the River Danube, died red simply for the sake of morbid hilarity. Throughout, Jean compelled me to travel with him as he set about discovering the mysteries of his fate; sometimes dancing, sometimes dragging me along behind him, but once he grabbed me he never let go and I, like an innocent beguiled by the gaze of a beautiful monster, was utterly enthralled.
5-Stars out of 5 without a second thought! Bravo, Richard :)
Review by Cynthia A. Morgan for Escapology Reviews. com
Though the characters are vampires for the most part and have the expected vampiric characteristics and capabilities, this isn’t your typical vampire tale. I’d say it’s more a story about a man who happens to be a vampire. Jean is an antihero in some respects, violent and sarcastic, yet I rooted from him from the start. Ankers does a wonderful job with characterization and dialog. Jean has a distinct voice, and the entire book is poetic and beautifully composed.
The world building also grabbed me at the start, part steampunk, part post-apocalyptic fantasy. The Earth is clearly fetid and dying, the few last humans are clones, the horses are cyborgs, the landscape is manipulated, and rivers run blood red. Human know-how has been lost but their technology persists, most clearly in the presence of flying machines. The descriptions are gripping - imagine a man dragging his coffin through a dead wilderness, terrified of the sun.
The end came together a little too easily for me with the introduction of new characters that save the day, but I have a feeling that they will play a role in the sequel that Ankers mentions at the book’s close. I will definitely be picking it up, as the villains will surely seek their revenge. Jean and his love, Linka, are only safe for the moment, and I can’t wait to see what happens.
Imagine my surprise picking up The Eternals and finding something that took the whole "immortal child of the night" concept and actually tried something new with it.
Richard Ankers' novel asks a question that most stories about immortal beings fail to ask: exactly how long is forever? In The Eternals, humans have been supplanted as the dominant species on Earth by the titular eternals, who have spent untold years pissing their time away doing pretty much anything they want. When they discovered that the sun is set to explode before long, the eternals devolve into an aristocracy based around meaningless stature and nightly parties to debauch the last moments of eternity away, before everyone is inevitably disintegrated.
The story follows Jean, an eternal who sees the rampant hedonism for what it is, and is dead set on rocking the establishment by, ironically, being far more hedonistic than his peers. Known as a loose cannon amongst the other eternals, Jean attends their social gatherings only because there's literally nothing else to do and to see how many people he can offend. After taking things a bit too far and murdering a well known princess, however, Jean sets off a chain of events that show him just how far the eternals have fallen, and makes him reconsider everything he's known in his countless years.
As someone who's been burnt out on vampires for quite some time, I heartily recommend giving The Eternals a chance. Jean's sarcastic and indifferent attitude lends an air of dark humor over the often violent premise, and the premise is interesting enough that it made me want to see where it leads. 5 stars.
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