"Amazing Serial Revolving around the Vampire World"
Book One: REVELATIONS is a collection of four short
stories, written in serial form. I read the initial two
stories individually as they were released originally by
Dreams Unlimited. I still tend to view them as separate but
connected stories. **Therefore be warned** that
reading this review beyond the first novella,
inevitably reveal a few SPOILERS for the section
it. Proceed at your own risk.
Julian Cavanaugh hasn't experienced the taste of human
blood in nearly three centuries. The eight hundred year old
vampire suppresses his "natural" urges with the aid of
unique herbs given to him by an Indian Shaman. Rolled into
cigarettes and inhaled, the herbs boost his resistance. In
spite of this, Julian tests his resolve annually by hanging
around outside the vampire colony's Halloween blood bash.
He knows that if he can abstain even with this strong scent
of blood in his nostrils, he can hold out one more year.
Lorelei Fletcher has hazy memories of a visit by a
mysterious cloaked figure when she'd been a child of six.
The man had come to her at night, suppressed her fears, and
under his compulsion she'd allowed him access to her
throat. She'd been marked, and had been fascinated by
vampires ever since. Perhaps for that reason, she finds
herself in the company of her friend, Dina, in the seamiest
part of town on Halloween night. She is dressed as a
vampiress, the costume giving her a feeling of
invincibility. That is until she notices that everyone else
at the party is dressed similarly, and that she is
practically the only one not under the delusion that she is
the real thing. She has yet to realize that a few of them
Uneasy, Lorelei had just decided to make her departure when
she hears a scream she recognizes as her friend's.
Apparently Dina's boyfriend is not a "pretend" vampire for
the man is mounting a vicious attack on her. Lorelei is too
late to save her friend and nearly becomes a victim herself.
In his usual spot, Julian hears the commotion. He is
reluctant to interfere with others of his kind, but when he
hears a second and different scream, he feels the compelled
to act. He is too late to help the first young victim but
manages to rescue the second, the fledgling vampire being
no match for his great age. While subduing him he learns
that a Call has been put out on him.
Julian has discovered that the herbs he inhales are
changing him. In addition to suppressed blood-lust, he is
able to tolerate sunlight and remain awake in daylight for
longer periods. This is apparently threatening to the
Senior vampire who now wants Julian - dead.
Julian is visited by the cloaked figure who urges him to
ponder what it is he is becoming. Julian's meeting with
Lorelei seems to have been fated. Through a vicious
attempt on his life by vampire assassins she remains by his
side, witnessing unspeakable horrors.
As a result of the attack Julian breaks a vampire taboo,
though he could just as easily have victimized Lorelei in
his senseless state. He feels himself changing, and when
he later repeats the act, the pain is agonizing. He doesn't
know what he is becoming, but he does know that it is
The cloaked figure returns to Lorelei and informs her that
a rare genetic marker in her blood is the last factor
necessary for Julian to complete his vital transformation.
Does she love him enough to do what needs to be done? Will
he let her?
Comments: At this point the pair have been waging a battle
to an uncertain conclusion. They are unsure of their role
in the grand scheme of things, but are compelled to play
their parts. Many key events occur in "Julian". The reader
is left with the impression that Julian will be important
to the future of his people. The identity and purpose of
the cloaked figure has not yet been revealed. We do not
know why Julian's fate is important, nor do we know he has
become. It is clear however that this figure is pulling all
of the strings. The story is intriguing, I am well and
In spite of witnesses to the contrary, Dina is not dead. We
return to the Vampire bloodbash for a new perspective on
the events that transpired that night. This is the third
Halloween that Nicholas Carrington has attended the event.
He'd arrived as a mortal the first year, but thanks to
Vivian he'd left as something else. This year he'd brought
a mortal date to the party. He had no plans for converting
her, but he liked her, perhaps even had deeper feelings.
Now he is sure he'd been mistaken in bringing her here.
With all that was going on around them, his only focus was
on her blood.
He hadn't meant to hurt her. He'd been well trained. Using
Vivian's techniques he'd learned to control his bloodlust,
and was able to choose his victims. He had scruples, only
going after the dregs of society, not even killing them,
hoping that perhaps they'd learn a lesson from the
He should never have allowed Dina to draw him into the tiny
restroom cubicle. He really shouldn't have let her touch
him, hold him, kiss him. He'd experienced this lack of
control only a few times before. Not now! Not her! But the
red haze claimed him and her. He'd even attacked the friend
who tried to rescue her. Julian had stopped him from
killing the other, but it was too late for Dina. He came to
with the terrible memory of her death, but by some horrible
twist of fate she still lived. Her fate would be far worse
than if he'd killed her outright. He knew Dina would
recover, thrive for a time, but then she'd fade, and die in
great agony. He'd seen it all before.
He cannot even finish the job. He'd tried that once, and it
had nearly killed him. Now he'd have to face Dina, tell her
what he was, and what he'd done. Tell her that she was
dying. She'd hate him.
Dina is not surprised to hear that she's dying. She'd known
that for years, and steeled herself for the rejection she'd
experienced when people found out. But Nicholas refuses to
Vivian and Nicholas are summoned by Julian, who has risen
to power. Nicholas fears his wrath, especially when he
finds his near victim, Lorelei, by Julian's side. Lorelei
has no sympathy for Nicholas, but it clear Julian loves
her. He prays that Julian will find a way to save her
friend. As the vampires delve into the mystery of what
triggers Nick's occasional episodes, the cloaked figure
appears once more. Again he holds the key. Again the cure
may have a grave price. If they can save her, will Nick
lose his heart, or his life?
Comments: What Julian has become remains a mystery. Nor do
we know what Lorelei or Dina might now be. They have chosen
to call the cloaked figure by his current name Lucien. He
has revealed several interesting bit and pieces, but at
this point we still don't know what his role is in the
larger scheme of things. We also know very little regarding
Vivian beyond her creation of Nicholas, and their rare
ability to control their feeding. I have a feeling we still
have quite a way to go, and can't wait to read on. The next
story is Lucien and Vivian's. I like these vampires. In
many ways they have retained their humanity. Those who
were decent prior to the change remain so, conducting
business, etc. Those who are able to even have scruples
with regard to their feeding. Naturally there will be dark
ones as well, but that has been put on the back burner in
Julian has summoned all the players, who have congregated
in his office with the exception of Dina who is recovering
from her recent ordeal. Dina is absent from the rest of
REVELATIONS, however it is plain to Vivian, through their
blood connection, that her "child" (Nicky) is deeply in
love with her. He's changed in other ways as well. It makes
her wistful and stirs up old memories she'd tried hard to
forget. In her heart she knows it is time to let him go.
Julian has called them all together to finally hear
They are all aware that Lucien is quite ancient and
powerful. The tale of his birth, twelve thousand years
prior, is quite revealing. Somewhere, in what he now
assumes was Eastern Europe, Lucien's people had been
suffering from a terrible drought. Four young virgins were
to be sacrificed to the gods to appease them. Their blood
was not shed outright, instead the four women were mated
with the gods, and brought forth their sons. The births had
been several months premature, but the children had been
large and robust. Too large, in fact, for their mothers,
two of whom died immediately in the violent process. It was
plain that the other two would follow shortly. One of these
two had wished to see the face of her child before she
passed, but it had been forbidden. With the last of her
strength, she'd made her way to the room where the four
babies lay. They'd been asleep, all but one. He'd
recognized her and she him. He'd grasped her hand. Of the
four babes, Lucien alone had grown up knowing his mother.
These four half gods had been the first demons. They were
fertile, and bred. The children of their bodies carried a
genetic marker, that which Lucien had activated in Lorelei
to create whatever Julian now was. The demons created other
children as well. These children of their blood were
sterile and shunned the daylight, they thrived on the blood
of the living.
Two of the brothers had dreamt of a way to change their
nature. They had written these dreams down in what became
known as the Book of Changing Blood. One of the brothers
had been Lucien. The other pair thought that this was an
abomination. They were the sons of gods, their nature
preordained. They reveled in their nature and destroyed the
book, its contents lost for millennia. Even now Lucien was
unable to remember most of what those dreams contained.
The world had changed considerably in twelve thousand
years. Technology had enabled the former Senior to amass a
great deal of the book's ancient text provide by vampires
located all over the world, through the auspices of the
internet and email. It had been Vivian and Nicholas' job to
catalogue these finds.
Lucien's story had taken the entire night. Nicholas and
Vivian needed to rest. Vivian is surprised by her feelings
of animosity toward Lucien. He makes her angry and
irritable. She's sure they've never met before and yet ...
daylight claims her and she dreams. Her dreams are of long
suppressed memories, the days leading up to her conversion.
Vivian had become a vampire six hundred years ago. At that
time, the horrible black death was taking its own toll on
her people. Vivian had watched her mother and sibling die
as she nursed them. When she herself had succumbed, her
father left her for dead. But Vivian had not been ready to
die. Near death, she had made her way to a cloister which
had a reputation for curing the afflicted. It is there that
she meets the healer. He is deeply immersed in the robe and
cowl of the order, yet he is not a monk. The robes hide his
disfigurement, hideous scars that cover his body, and
horrified those who looked upon them. They are symbols of
former pain and current isolation. For some reason they
touch Vivian's heart.
She is soon cured, but she is a woman and cannot stay
here. Before long she is asked to leave. This saddens both
Vivian and her healer. They share a tender moment before
she moves on. He promises to find her again and he does.
Vivian returns home and, now immune, and chooses to tend
the dying. One Sunday she follows a compulsion to walk to
the cloister. Although she never enters, this walk becomes
a ritual. Soon she becomes aware of being followed, and
becomes wary when this continues for several weeks. She
begins to carry protection but finds it useless when she is
set upon by a group of men bent on rape, robbery, and
murder. The arrival of her healer is timely, but this time
her life force is too weak to save in the previous manner.
Vivian is born again, but she is irrevocably changed. She
comes to, only to find her maker gone. She is left alone to
learn what she had become, to deal with her new
requirements. For six hundred years her life had been
shaped by that abandonment. She'd held her emotions at bay.
She'd tried to forget why she was so lonely.
Vivian's nature had perhaps not changed as much as she'd
thought. After her early days of frenzied feeding, she'd
learned control. Her children also possessed this rare
ability. Nicholas had fed only on the dregs of society, but
Vivian had chosen another route. The death she brought were
acts of mercy to those with terminal cancer who were ready
to end their pain. Each time she offered another option, to
become what she had become. Few had accepted. Nicholas had
been one of them. He'd been young and vital before his
illness. He had not been ready to die. He'd been company
for Vivian for the past three years, but he was in love
now. Her memories went no farther that day.
Lucien alone knows that her rare ability stems from the
unique nature of her maker, and that her way of using it is
what made Nicky what he is, a healer in his own right. He
enlists Vivian's aid in organizing the computer files in
order to recreate The Book of Changing Blood. They are
aware that time is short. Julian's change would draw the
Dark Children, those who followed the beliefs of Lucien's
two evil brothers. It is tedious work and when Vivian
tires, Lucien's method of relaxing her muscles shocks her,
and reveals to her more than she'd wanted to know about
him. It releases more of her memories as well and brings
forth and unexpected reaction -- desire.
He is there when she gets one of her calls to release the
soul of a dying old woman, and he is there for her in the
aftermath. She is in greatly need of comfort, but is it his
to give? He will complete her memory and then they will
know. Will this be the end to their loneliness? Or will she
hate him for the rest of eternity?
Comments: This part of the story is very enlightening. The
telling of the two tales frequently reduced me to
sympathetic tears, it is so deeply touching. It is tempered
with occasional dry humor courtesy of Julian, who is
frequently frustrated by Lucien's cryptic revelations, and
Lorelei's inexplicable moodiness. This sets the stage for
the next segment which is quite eventful.
Lorelei is unhappy, a fact which greatly troubles Julian.
Her life had changed dramatically over a short period of
time. She's begun to complain about his smoking, is moody
and unwell. Lorelei had found him very remote lately. She
loves him and knows her loves her, but it isn't enough.
She's lonely. Perhaps she misses her old life, or maybe it
is the fact that she feels just dreadful. Her choice to
save Julian had changed her. What had these changes done to
her? She consults the colony's hematologist.
Her ailment is not an unusual one after all, except for the
fact that the father of the child she carries is a vampire!
No one had thought it was possible, particularly not Julian
who tactlessly asks who the father is. This is hurtful to
Lorelei who has no doubt whatsoever. The truth knocks
Julian for a loop. He is stunned but not joyous as Lorelei
had hoped Currently he is bearing the weight of the future
of his kind, and perhaps the whole world, on his shoulders
and is unsure he can add the care of a child to his
burdens. He is preparing for war. His doubts add injury to
insult as far as Lorelei is concerned.
Julian doesn't really need a kick in the pants he gets from
Lucien. He already regrets the pain he's caused his love.
Julian finds her packing to leave and realizes what he is
about to lose. He begs her to stay, but she needs time to
think. She promises to return to let him know her decision.
It is only after she is gone that Lucien becomes aware of
the approach of the dark forces. He tries to keep Julian
focused, but is frustrated by the fact that his
preoccupation with his wife and child distract him from his
what his other major responsibility. This will have serious
ramifications. Julian misses Lorelei and decides to
approach her on her own turf, bearing a peace offering he
hopes will please her and make her return. He arrives a
shade too late.
Out in the world, it doesn't take her Lorelei long to
decide what is really important in her life. She is
gathering keepsakes and tying up the ends of the human
chapter of it, when she is kidnapped by Lilith, a minion of
Ialdaboth, one of Lucien's two dark brothers . Julian and
Lucien can watch in frustration as she disappears beyond
Her kidnappers are surprised to find that she carry's
Julian's child. They are even more surprised by her fearful
power. She's a bit surprised herself. She is not
susceptible to even the demon's compulsion. She can see
their power as colors, and hear their thoughts in her mind.
She uses her newfound skills to battle their will.
Ialdaboth fears what he does not understand, and orders
Lilith to destroy Lorelei. When Lilith defies him, he turns
on her. Lorelei interferes, but when he decides to kill her
himself, Lilith returns the favor at a deadly cost. It is
then that Lucien and Julian finally arrive at last. If they
escape will Lorelei stick to her decision to live in
Julian's world after all that has happened? Who and what
will their child become? Lilith is a name long associated
with shapeshifters, what role will she play in their
future? What of Lucien's other two brothers, one good and
one evil? Which side will make the next move?
Comments: Well the die has been cast. War has been
declared. The story it not at and end, but will continue
with BOOK TWO: APOTHEOSIS. Nicholas and Dina play no real
role in the second half of REVELATIONS, but it should be
clear by now that Ms. Knights does not create characters
frivolously. Dina has been cured of both her vampire
induced, and her human ailments. No doubt, like Lorelei,
she has changed in some useful way. Nicholas has discovered
his potential as a healer, which will undoubtedly be useful
at some point in the future. The author does a marvelous
job of building suspense, parceling out just enough answers
to keep the reader craving more.
If you enjoy J. C. Wilder's THE SHADOW DWELLERS serial, you
will love the look into the world of vampires provided by
THE VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE series by Katriena Knights.
It is going to be hard to wait for the second book.
Copyright © 2002
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted April 9, 2002