Haunt of Jackals: CSFF Blog Tour

Kudos to Eric Wilson: he is a brave man.

Since I put Worlds Unseen into the world, I’ve learned that reviews are a mixed bag. You’ll get good ones. You’ll get bad ones. Often you’ll get mixed reviews, because very few people will share the exact vision you had for your story or will feel that you should have written the message you did. And my book isn’t really controversial!

Haunt of Jackals, on the other hand, is.

The second book in the Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy, Haunt of Jackals is a Christian vampire novel. Enter controversy! It’s violent, it’s gory, it’s definitely not rated PG, and it brings all kinds of speculative supernatural elements to bear on the real world. (Read “Fantasy in the Real World” for how I felt about this when Tom Pawlik did it in Vanish.)

May I be frank? I didn’t like Haunt. The premise didn’t work for me, nor did I like the characters or even the writing much, and so this month’s review (for the first time) is going to be almost purely negative.

But that’s exactly why I say kudos to Eric Wilson. It takes courage to write a book. It takes more courage to publish it, to let other people see it. To write a story that you know will spark controversy and negative reactions takes a huge amount of chutzpah and willingness to let your ideas take on lives of their own and stir up discussion, conviction, and reexamination.

Despite the fact that Haunt of Jackals was not my cup of tea, I am really looking forward to this month’s tour. I think Eric Wilson has given us a lot to discuss, and since I’m sure we won’t all agree, it should be a fantastic ride. I’ll post a review tomorrow and an essay on portraying God in fiction on Wednesday. In the meantime, check out the other bloggers and see what they have to say. You might also visit Eric’s jerusalemsundead.com, where you can see a better-than-average trailer for Field of Blood, the first book in the trilogy.

The rest of the tour:

Brandon Barr
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Amy Browning
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson
KM Wilsher






6 responses to “Haunt of Jackals: CSFF Blog Tour”

  1. Phyllis Wheeler Avatar

    You’re right, Rachel. It’s really good for the Christian readers to consider something that at first seems out of bounds. It’s good for us to take a second look! This book isn’t out of bounds, because the vampires are the bad guys. It has a solid Christian worldview.

  2. Elisabeth Avatar

    I see. Thanks, Rachel.

  3. Rachel Avatar

    Thanks, KM — and Keanan, I agree completely. I’d love to see more controversial work in the CBA marketplace especially, because I think it’s good for us all to read things that get us thinking and talking.

    Elisabeth, the book isn’t about Christian vampires, but about Christians fighting vampires, which are (in Wilson’s vampire mythology) demonic spirits possessing host bodies. Tomorrow’s review will have a lot more plot detail. You can also check out the reviews of others in the tour.

  4. Keanan Brand Avatar

    Though not as engrossed by either of the two current books in the Jerusalem’s Undead series as I’d hoped to be, I do agree that Mr. Wilson has talent and imagination, and he probably knew he was creating a story that would enter the world sideways, catching some folks off-guard, stirring up some controversy.

    Whether or not I found the story engaging, I’m glad he wrote it and put it out there, and I wish more writers of the Christian variety would do the same with their own stories. After all, Christ Himself was a controversial figure when He walked the earth, and He continues to be so. Though I prefer quiet to controversy, I believe we Christians should not be afraid to stir things up a bit.

  5. Elisabeth Avatar

    I can’t imagine a christian vampire novel very well. Aren’t vampires supposed to be of the dead? I should think the living Christ would not want us to focus on things of the dead (unless we are simply admitting the truth that someday will will all die). Please correct me if I have the wrong impression of the book.

  6. KM Wilsher Avatar

    I can see that Rachel. I agree. Kudos to Eric Wilson for writing it! Look forward to the rest of your posts 😉

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