Sunday Book Review – Son of the Serpent by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Well, I’m finally home! Of course I have lots to write about in coming posts, but I’m going to start off March with one of my favorite reads this past month – Vashti Q. Vega’s, Son of the Serpent. This book was so engrossing and touched me on so many levels that I can only add that I kept turning the pages as Dracul’s adventures continued in his quest to find the evil mother Lilith who abandoned him as a child. I think this book could be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading Book 1 – The Fall of Lilith to get a good scope of the characters, and to get a good feel of the emotion that poor Dracul exudes because of who birthed him. A great read!!!

 

 

Blurb:

 

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

 

My 5 Star Review:

 

This book was just as engrossing, if not, more than Book 1 – The Fall of Lilith.

Son of the Serpent begins with Dracul, son of Satan and Lilith, awakening where he was initially left to die by his evil mother, the fallen angel, Lilith. Dracul begins to piece his past life together and sets out on his mission to find his evil mother to seek revenge with plenty of twists along the way.

In his quest to find Lilith, Dracul encounters some of the other fallen angels from his past who were kind to him, forging new relationships and experiencing real life emotions such as love and hurt. Written in first person, the story is told through both Lilith and Dracul. Author Vashti Vega did a fabulous job of fleshing out all characters, taking us right into the emotions of each character through this dark, yet, heartfelt journey. We feel empathy for Dracul for his loneliness being left as an outcast and the love he is capable of despite the evil parents he was born from. We feel contempt for the evil Lilith for her greed to dominate all in her quest to conquer divine supremacy, doing evil deeds to anyone in her path. Some of the punishments she inflicts on others for self-gratification will have you shuddering in disgust – sign of some great writing!

The author did a magnificent job of tying in biblical characters and stories with these fallen angels in this dark fictional telling. An engrossing tale of good versus evil. I recommend reading Book 1 – The Fall of Lilith, to learn how Lilith came to be such an evil, power hungry entity, and how the fallen angels came to be, to gain a better understanding of how their personalities and evil traits evolved once God had evicted them from heaven. I was sorry when this book ended, but very satisfied with the ending. If I could give it more stars I would!

 

Sunday Book Review – The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Sunday Book Review

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

 

Today’s Sunday Book Review is on a very short book – a short story titled The Lottery, written by Shirley Jackson. It was first published in 1948 in the June edition of the New Yorker Magazine, which made her famous.

 

I don’t even know how I came across this book while I was visiting Amazon, but I began reading reviews about this book and how it became a literary favorite and part of the reading curriculum in middle and high schools back in the 1950s and 60s, yet people seem to be re-reading it now. As a person who is always interested in ‘what’s all the buzz about?’ I bought the book and read it in less than 45 minutes. Personally speaking, I really don’t get what the buzz is all about, but I share my review below.

 

Biography

Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco in 1916. She first received wide critical acclaim for her short story “The Lottery,” which was published in 1948. Her novels–which include The Sundial, The Bird’s Nest, Hangsaman, The Road through the Wall, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House–are characterized by her use of realistic settings for tales that often involve elements of horror and the occult. Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages are her two works of nonfiction. Come Along With Me is a collection of stories, lectures, and part of the novel she was working on when she died in 1965. All are currently in print (Penguin). Two posthumous volumes of her short fiction are Just An Ordinary Day (Bantam) and Let Me Tell You (Random House). A graphic novel adaptation of “The Lottery” by Miles Hyman, her grandson, was published in 2016 (Farrar-Straus-Giroux). Also in 2016: Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson (Penguin Classics) and an authorized biography by Ruth Franklin: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Norton).

 

 

Blurb:

In a small American town, the local residents are abuzz with excitement and nervousness when they wake on the morning of the twenty-seventh of June. Everything has been prepared for the town’s annual tradition—a lottery in which every family must participate, and no one wants to win.

“The Lottery” stands out as one of the most famous short stories in American literary history. Originally published in The New Yorker, the author immediately began receiving letters from readers who demanded an explanation of the story’s meaning. “The Lottery” has been adapted for stage, television, radio and film.

 

My 4 Star Review:

This book is touted as one of the most famous short stories in American literature written by Shirley Jackson. It’s a dark tale about a small town of people who are made to participate in the annual town lottery event.

Jackson undoubtedly has a wonderful writing style, able to draw readers in with tight prose and well fleshed out characters and she takes us into a story about a seemingly average event where everyone is preparing to head to the town’s center to pick out their lottery paper – only one winner? loser? will be chosen.

The story haunts us by the actions of the people and how desperate they are with hope not to be chosen, to the point of selling out their own family members. It leaves us feeling uncomfortable about thinking how and why society should accept this grim event as the norm.

I wasn’t bowled over about this book as many readers were, despite good writing. It left me thinking about the human condition and society. It was creepy and most of all left me wondering – why the lottery at all? Can older days become modern times?

I’d classify this story as early American Gothic Fiction – let’s hope it stays that way.