Indy Van Helsing? Not Quite

The presser says “Indiana Jones meets Van Helsing”.  Uhm.

During the colonization of the United States, Jeremiah Fall was attacked by a vampire, and now walks the earth looking for the beast that transformed him, so he can exact revenge and finally find peace. His journey takes him around the world, finally putting him in the midst of the dig that uncovered the Rosetta Stone.

Turns out, the stone could hold the key to his humanity, but it could also release the “forgotten man”, the half-formed being that God set aside when He decided to create man instead. In a unique twist on the creation story, Petrucha puts forth the notion that the “forgotten man” was the source of temptation in the Garden of Eden, responsible for the fall of man, and is trapped inside the Rosetta Stone. And his release from the Stone would unravel the fabric of creation.

So: vampire, Rosetta Stone, Biblical creation story with a twist, end of the universe.

Stefan Petrucha, award-winning graphic novelist, spins a well-told tale here. His visual experience serves him in good stead, as his prose is very descriptive and vivid. Fall’s fight within himself is especially effective, and Petrucha easily works the audience to sympathize with this man who wishes only to be a man once again.

When I first got the book, I thought “Oh, great. Another vampire story.” But this is different. This is more Jekyll and Hyde, or “The Incredible Hulk”, with Fall being tortured within over the monster he’s become. Fall’s life is one of heavy responsibility, as he fights his new nature, learns everything he can, and searches the world to find an answer to his dilemma. The inner turmoil is handled with sensitivity without dipping down into the more common tween angst that’s so prevalent in the genre these days. Ick.

This is a good read. It’s not an incredible book. But it’s not predictable. It’s not trite. It flows easily, and I found myself wanting to know what’s next. Petrucha has delivered the most important thing any author needs to have in the story: he has a lead character I can care about. Even if he’s a vampire.

And there’s not a shiny, sparkly, glittery vampire anywhere in the book. +12 for that.

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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