Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Book Review: 'Forever' by Natalie J. Case

California author Natalie J. Case both writes and practices photography in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has also lived in upstate New York and west Texas at one point in her life. Natalie refuses to be confined to a single genre - her current works in progress span, and sometimes combine, horror, fantasy, sci-fi and more. FOREVER is her debut novel, her other book is a collection of her poetry - SENSUALLY SACRED.

Natalie’s choice of cover signals the theme of this intriguing novel – a graveyard shrouded in the mystery of moonlight. Her prose style matches this visual overture as she opens a story of the undead, vampires, and history as it is revealed in the never-ending life of vampires.Without introductory preparation she allows her character’s thoughts to set the stage – ‘I am comfortable in the dark, when the moon slumbers and clouds dim the stars and the smell of the earth rises in the still air. Perhaps that still moment is the only place I am comfortable. My years have been long and have seen me travel nearly all of this world, often alone. I have given life and dealt death, but I offer no regrets. Regret is a waste of effort when justice brings the guilty no peace. I will see justice in the end, I am certain of that, for all that I have done, and all I have not. So much has gone now and I am ill at ease with the time, the waiting, here at the end of my life. The ancient game is played out and three souls, born together in the lost pages of time are as they were meant to be … but to tell that story, my story, I must go back to the beginning, before I came to be, before any of us had come to be. It begins near to the birth of time, or man's keeping of it, when three brothers entered into an unholy bond, bound by blood to the night, trading the daylight for eternal life. The stories tell of their calling, the slaughter of their mortal families, and the beginning of what would be called The Family.’

The story is summarized for us: ‘Born in the dawn of man's history, with forever laid out before her, Amara is neither human nor vampire and yet fully both: a killer, a child, a lover, a monster. She wanders the world seeking redemption and vengeance in equal measure, discovering love in its many forms and loss in its deepest agony, as her life circles around two others who return to her again and again until their fates are set right. The ancient game is played out as three souls, born together in the lost pages of time, are as they were meant to be. But to tell that story, my story, I must go back to the beginning. To the time before I came to be. Before any of us had come to be.’

A history tale that begins before time we all know and continues to the present. As is not always the case with vampire novels, Natalie paints her characters clearly, making them all the more convincing that just ‘creatures of the undead’. Her prose is poetic: her ability to capture our imagination magical. For those who love the vampire genre this book will most assuredly satisfy. For those approaching this book as an introduction to the genre, this is one fine example of the best. Grady Harp, October 16
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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