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On the Soul of a Vampire (On the Soul series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I was very much engrossed in the reading of this story. From a personal preference, there were points in the novel that seemed to stretch indefinitely, making certain passages longwinded or thoughts rehashed. The end, also, wasn’t what I had hoped as a standalone novel. A reader must continue in the series, I’m sure, to discover the resolution that I had sought at the end of this first installment. However, I had to give On the Soul of a Vampire five stars for the author’s most beautiful and graceful, eloquent manner of writing. In the heart of such an original and lovely literary voice, compassion and divine love are not only felt but run deeply. A poignant novel, this is one I won’t forget.
The uncanny knowledge that Angelina has of Valery clearly points to something larger. As they go to France to visit his ancient home, where he lived before he was "turned," the mystery deepens. Their dialogues from the time of their meeting to book's end are circular and elliptical, enraging Valery at time, troubling him at other times, and enchanting him on other occasions. And her intimate knowledge of his life baffles him. As their relationship grows, she begins referring more deeply to theological issues and arguments as she tries to make him understand. Understand what? One has to wait until near the very end to see the picture.
Valery's character is developed nicely over the course of this book. He is intelligent, energetic, has a temper, and has some sensitivity as well. He is willing, as a vampire, to kill (there are some examples in the book), sometimes with little provocation or need. He is a complex character. Just so, Angelina. We wonder who she is, why she has such dreams related to Valery, and why she is so fixated on Valery. The strange language on her "birth certificate" adds to the mystery. There is a dreamy nature to the conversations between Valery and Angelina, sometimes almost hypnotic. I'm not sure that the technique always works, but its cumulative effect is powerful. There are other characters as well, including other vampires, people from Valery's past, and so on.
The ending stuns the reader, but the ending also points to more adventures in the future. After the last line of the shocking ending, we read (Page 393) "Definitely not The End."
The novel itself was very well written, but unfortunately, as often happens to me, I was somewhat disappointed with the finale. I have the primitive tendency to root for those striving for (something), and am dissatisfied when they fail to meet my particular expectations. Other readers would not necessarily have this problem, preferring the artsy drama over the Disneyesque resolution.
My primary frustration grew out of the main character's duality. The sophisticated manner in which he expressed himself juxtaposed to his childish and reckless mannerisms became more and more pronounced as the story progressed. It was likely intentional and certainly provided depth, but the two were just a little too pronounced for my taste.
All in all, I still felt it was a good read, a refreshing relief to the immature alternatives in its genre.