Writ In Blood Mass Market Paperback – May 31 2005
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is not true in the first Serenity novel. James A. Moore takes the threads of multiple stories and timelines and weaves a fast pasted, easily read tale of murder, revenge and the supernatural that spans centuries. His key good guy is believable and interesting. The "monsters" are also well thought out and believable. The addition of evil or supernatural powers does not suddenly make the bad guys brilliant or give them the skills of golden gloves boxers or black belt martial artists.
Over all Mr. Moore has woven a beautiful tapestry of earthy, very human characters that I am very interested in following. I will be snapping up "the pack" as soon as possible!
The basic premise deals with the small rural New York town of Serenity Falls. While Serenity Falls may seem like your prototypical small town, it has a history of violence and death that far exceeds most small towns.
Book #1: Writ in Blood
Book one intermingles three tales together to set the framework for the rest of the series. Part gothic horror, part paranormal thriller Writ in Blood tells the tale of Simon McGruder, local eccentric, who decides that a complete history of the town is needed. As he starts to dig into the towns past we learn about Serenity Falls horrible past. The first tale told starts during the colonial period when the town first was founded as a supply station for England and it's new world colonies. Albert Miles, a local man, is sent away to England on the mayor's orders. While he was gone he wife is left alone to fend for herself. An uncommonly beautiful women, stories began to swirl, first of visits by local gentlemen, later the stories expand to that of evil and witchcraft. Eventually, Sarah Miles is put on trial for witchcraft and tortured raped and eventually killed by the town's mayor. When he husband returns, he is obviously enraged. While the stories of witchcraft were unfounded in his wife, Albert Miles himself has a working knowledge of the dark arts. In his rage, he places a curse upon the town, written in rage and blood, that the town will never rest in peace, in life or death and that eventually, every soul will scream.
We then see how the curse has played out through the history of Serenity Falls. We see tragedies on small and large levels. We see husbands driven crazy, killing their whole family, women abducted and killed, never to be seen again, and one intriguing tale of a carnival and a few missing children. As with all tales in this book, it's ends in death and tragedy on a grand scale.
Intertwined with the history of Serenity Falls, we follow the tales anti-hero, the other than human demon hunter Jonathon Crowley, who we first saw in Moore other book, Under the Overtree, as he is being stalked by a demon that is leading him to Serenity Falls. Crowley is your basic sarcastic, yet harsh hero. Even serving as humanities protector, he seems to have contempt for humanity and it's vices. At times, it serves him well in this book, at other times, it's just annoying. It seems he is more interested in passing judgment of people than doing his job. Yet, when his job comes up, and he needs to physically take on one of the many ghosts, demons and such in the book, the story just takes off. One intriguing aspect of Crowley's character is that he is bound by certain rules that he must adhere too when dealing with both humanity and those beyond humanity. It adds an intriguing ethical subplot to the story.
All in all, Writ in Blood is a solid horror tale, full of intriguing characters. At times, the book reminds you of parts of It, especially the when King handles the history of Derry. In some levels, this first book is just an extended prologue to the tale that is to come, but it teases your interest just enough to pick up that next book.
You'l recognize it immediately if you've ever been to one of those small towns that seem somehow stranded in time. They are places that seem to define the word "quaint" in their very existence.
Of course, anybody who has ever read a book in this genre knows that once one scratches beneath the surface, Serenity Falls will no doubt reveal it's nightmarish secrets.
This is an interesting book which takes a most unusual approach in that one of our main characters is researching his hometown in order to write a book about past events. So every few chapters, we get a chapter from this character's book. And oh, the secrets he reveals! (Never mind that this book-within-the-book seems to write about things that there's no way its author could know.) For you see, Serenity Falls is no ordinary town, and the secrets that it holds are of the very, very nasty sort.
By the time one gets to the conclusion, in which a most shocking secret is revealed about a character whom we've come to know and... well, love might not be the right word, although we care about him and his fate... I suspect most readers will be thrilled that this is the first in a series.
Do not read this book expecting all of your questions to be answered. Do, however, expect that you will be glad you went on the ride. Save yourself a trip to the bookstore: Buy the entire series at once. You'll thank me later.
Along comes a man called John Crowley. Who is he and what does he do we are not sure. From what we can gather he fixes situations dealing with the supernatural and people who get involved in things that they should not delve in.He is called into the events of Serenity Falls by a phone call from a old student of his.A series of problems come up along the way and delay his arriving.
Let me say the character development is excellent and you generally have characters that you care about. Also John Crowley is one the best chracters ever in horror fiction. The anti-hero that you can't help but love. I reccommend this book to anyone out there regardless of what you read. You will not regret it. I can't wait for book's2 and 3.
Also for more John Crowley pick up Under the Overtree another great book by a wonderful author James A. Moore
The scenes with Crowley were as unlikely and fantastical as they were sarcastic, the characters shallow caricatures. Moore has some cleverness, and as a wry parody of horror, this might have worked, except that the little bit of wit was bogged down by confusion; Is this a creepy, subtle tale of small town evil or outlandish Buffy the Vampire Slayer? If the answer was intended to be "both," Moore doesn't pull it off. The chapters' three styles don't mesh well, his ideas are clever, but not orginal, and the characters, some interesting and some wooden, remain distant and impersonal. His writing style is short and sweet, but lacks feeling and intrigue, leaving me wondering if the rest of the series will be equally as dry. And well, this first installment is just not scary. And for me, that's an automatic disqualification from being termed good "horror."