Verdict: Author Aeryn Dougan’s narrative is dynamic and sleek, conveying complex emotions and sensuality, action and a sense of pervading darkness that holds the readers’ attention from the very beginning.
– Benajah’s Keeper
In a world where vampires purge the human world of their societal dregs, Evanna is chosen by Keeper, the leader of the vampire entities to eradicate a vampire killer, Rian.
In order to carry out this mission, Evanna must impersonate and live like a human. Evanna assumes the identity of the human Wrenna, the sister of Zak, another vampire who already roams among the humans. But living like a human begins to change Wrenna, who finds herself filling with human emotions such as trust and in a strangled dynamic as she develops a conflicted desire for Messiah, a human whose sister, Noelle is Rian’s love interest.
The prologue of BENAJAH’S KEEPER is written in the style of the Bible’s Genesis and provides a fresh and intriguing origin of vampires, as entities who rid the human race of the dregs of society in order to protect the world and the human race from itself.
The compelling story centers around themes of: love and hate; humanity and malevolence; right and wrong; life and death; the savior and the slaughterer; revealing the grey area between the opposing themes. Evanna is a credible and sympathetic protagonist who struggles against her growing uncertainty about her own strengths and purpose, and her attraction to Messiah. Equally complex in their imperfections are Evanna’s vampire cohorts – Keeper’s mysterious past, Zak’s wonton drives and Solanda’s envy of Evanna. Sensual descriptions capture the paradoxical emotions of Evanna’s attraction to Messiah that ride the line between life and love: “I released my fingers from his hair and followed the curve of his neck until they rested at the hollow of his throat. Through his thick shirt and tie, I could feel his pulse beneath my hands. My mouth began to water.”
The plot is intricate and well executed to keep reader guessing about the characters’ loyalties to one another, and their mysterious origins. Author Aeryn Dougan’s narrative is dynamic and sleek, conveying complex emotions and sensuality, action and a sense of pervading darkness that holds the readers’ attention from the very beginning:
“An inky black stretched over the peaks of formless mountains and sank in to the deep caverns and canyons of oceans-to-be.”
In addition to the contemplative handling of the themes, BENAJAH’S KEEPER offers some profound observations that are eerily truthful:
“When you separate yourself so far from those you protect, you forget who you’re protecting. It helps knowing how they live, what kind of crazy things they invent, the art they make. It makes you love them more.”
BENAJAH’S KEEPER is a hypnotic and powerful story that questions many of life’s central themes and offers an enticing and controversial view on the origin and purpose of vampires.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader