Friday, June 25, 2010
Valley of Bones, by Eric Wilson--my review
Happy. Satisfied. Excited. Thoughtful. These are some of the emotions I felt after finishing the last of the Jerusalem's Undead series. Though I'm sad that the saga is over, reluctant to let the characters in these three books (as well as from other Wilson novels) go, and eager for whatever is next, I can say that the conclusion did exactly what it should have. It was all I hoped for, if a little less traumatic than I had originally expected.
And so the battle between the evil, undead Collectors and the good, doubly-alive Nistarim continues with losses on both sides. Gina Lazarescu has had to fake her own death and go into hiding, separated from her son Jacob, who she previously thought was dead. But her hope for his future, along with Those Who Resist, keep her strong and on task. Along with Cal, Jed, Josee, and Sarge, Gina trains and waits for the time when they can finally rid the earth of the evil that is literally sucking the life out of humans. From Oregon to Israel, our beloved characters push the drama to its ultimate end, with every story line melding into a finale worth the wait.
Nowhere is the struggle between good and evil written so originally, yet so understandably like our own real-life conflict. Wilson makes sure the reader is disgusted by the methods of the enemies by picturing them in all of their grotesqueness. He also shows downfalls as well as triumphs of the heroes who are so much like you and me. Over and over the story shows Nazarene blood prevailing no matter the failings of its followers or the obstacles they face.
I really don't know how Eric will top this, although, considering how far he has come in his writing, I have no doubt that he will continue to surprise and amaze us with something truer, deeper, and more breathtaking. I can't recommend reading only one of these three books in the series, because a reader really needs to start from the beginning and go all the way to the end—which is a great thing for those just discovering Wilson, since all of the books are released now and there will be no waiting in between!