March 20, 2018
In South Dakota, a couple throw a child with a bomb off the top of Mount Rushmore and destroys the monument. In the middle east, a secret military unit is exploring a tip that might link to the planned destruction of the monument and find signs of a secret group that may be the original source for the legends of vampires.
In a nutshell, this is the idea behind Blood Demons by Richard Jeffries. It is an intriguing one and I was really looking forward to it. The basic plot is inspired and the combination of military adventure and horror is a nice touch. I really wished it took off but it didn't. I think there is a lot of blame to be spread around for this. But if I picked one it would be characterization. No one character ever become real and this is especially true for the main protagonist /unit leader Major Josiah Green. At least one character should stand out for the reader and it just doesn't happen. Add on some stiff and forced dialogue that doesn't always fit the situation and the desire to root for the characters disappears. Jeffries' demons, The Vetala, fares slightly better mainly due to attention regarding their origins and rituals and a link to vampire legends, but it just doesn't meld well especially when the Mount Rushmore attack, one of the best written scenes in the book, is largely forgotten as rather muddled action scenes in Afghanistan takes center stage.
So all in all I found it to be a choppy book. There wasn't really enough to keep my attention even though I struggled through it. I really cant give it more than two stars which I admit are mainly for what the book could have been rather than what it is.