Absolom Rex by K.L. Coones
Genre: Horror/Historical Fiction
Overall: I was completely prepared for this story to get a mediocre rating up until about 70% read. The middle of this book really suffers from an identity crisis as the book shifts from a historical fiction to a paranormal novel. The ending, however, was nothing short of awesome. I’m so thrilled that I pushed through and finished this novel, because it ended up being very entertaining and dark. But, was it really necessary to hurt the poor kitty cats? PETA does not approve of this novel!
Characters: Pontius didn’t begin as an evil man and I liked how complex he was. Even as he committed the most inhumane acts, you couldn’t help but pity him and his predicament. He has a very human reaction to his encounter with Jesus and though it might appear blasphemous to Christians, I think the author’s creative freedom with the historical events involving Jesus was done respectfully. I believe that all the words Jesus spoke were taken directly from the bible. Pontius’s relationship with his wife is very touching and genuine. He is so devoted to her and its very Romeo and Juliet at times. Not what you’d expect from a monster. Surprisingly, Claudia was Pontius’s complete opposite in personality and if anyone had morals in this novel, it would be her. I also liked Anticus, who had more common sense than anyone else.
Plot: It begins as a retelling involving the crucifixion of Jesus from Pontius Pilate’s POV. After Jesus dies, Pontius ends up losing everything of value to him. This is where the novel really lags and as a reader I’m really confused to what the plot is. The characters feel in limbo for couple chapters. There are a few characters that do things that don’t make much sense at the time. Pontius is on a downward spiral and everything he does only makes his situation worse.
I wish that the first part of the novel was shorter or at least had more hint of the paranormal. By the time Jesus died (spoiler?), I was bored. It took pages for the story to get my attention again. The novel becomes pretty amazing after the word “Absolom” makes an appearance. Lots of dead bodies. I liked the romantic twist at the end. I haven’t been this in love with an evil vampire since Lestat.
Ending: If you love dark vampires and Romeo and Juliet romances, then you will love this ending. I only wish the entire story was this captivating. This is a 3 1/2 star book, but for sites that don’t allow half stars I’ll give it a 4.
Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate, is sent on an unwilling errand for Caesar; subdue the Judean province and establish undisputed roman rule. But dangers from religious zealots and political scheming are nothing. A nightmare being; only whispered of in the ancient tales of the Greeks, reveals itself. As the world he once knew shatters, Pontius must decide; do battle with the malevolence, or flee.
Absolom Rex is a unique work in the world of the horror genre. When most books depend on the shock value of a beheading or use of insanity as a primary character trait, Absolom Rex, draws inspiration from the roots of the genre, where the environment sets the mood of a story, dialogue drives the characters and their development forward, and proper description puts the reader into the scene for maximum emotional impact.
Absolom Rex also draws inspiration from actual historical accounts, providing a believable setting for otherwise supernatural occurrences and characters. What makes Absolom Rex truly unique is the subtle warping of historical fact into riveting and entertaining fiction.
Absolom Rex will entrance and entertain both history buff and casual reader alike. Preview available at Smashwords.com.
If you’ve ever wanted to combine vampires with Jesus, this is the novel for you.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
(Picture and bio information borrowed from Goodreads.)
“Horror used to terrify me. Some of that Asian stuff still does. I’ll never watch The Ring again…”
Ever the non conformist…his first book, Absolom Rex , he decided to publish as an e-book and see if he could market it himself. So on top of being a writer, he is also an entrepreneur and marketing professional. It makes for a confusing description when people ask him what he does. In addition to his horror novels, K.L. also writes the Darkwater Adventures Guild series for young readers.
Some of his favorite authors from growing up are John Bellairs, Mark Twain, Washington Irving and R.A. Salvatore.
“The first book I ever read cover to cover was Spell of the Sorcerers Skull by John Bellairs in JR High.”
From a small Texas town, K.L. spent some time living in Los Angeles. His welcome, a white knuckle 19 hour ride through deserted deserts and twisting mountain roads ending in a 4 am slash and burn through traffic on the 10 with cars everywhere.
While in L.A. he braved the Devil’s Punchbowl with stalwarts mates, drove out to the middle of nowhere to watch the stars fall from the sky, relearned to drive stick (yeah, in the middle of L.A., so now you know he is insane…) and resumed training in the martial arts. A surfer, he has felt the zen that comes from hanging ten all day and he has played the part of the pesky reporter when he wrote for a local Halloween haunt blog called, CreepyLA.com. He currently contributes short stories for Darkmediacity.com’s #Fridayfrights and flashfriday.org’s #fridayflash.
“I really missed the old gothic story telling and I want to bring it back. I would describe my writing style as a cross between Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe…”
He has since moved back to Texas with his dog Sid (at least for the time being). He’s an 80′s movie and music lover and the thing that he likes most about a woman is her voice… When not banging away on a keyboard he’s scheming of ways to get himself to a new campsite for the weekend, hiking with friends and his dog, contributing to darkmediacity.com,or getting thrown around in a dojo by people in black suits.
Oh, and a large telescope just arrived in the mail, bigger is better…