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Recent Reviews for B. E. Scully


Verland: The Transformation (Book) - 6/6/2011 8:29:53 AM
I’ve been a fan of horror for as long as I can remember. I started on reruns of Buffy and moved into the blood, splatter and gore as I got older. But last October, after a terrible accident, my life changed radically; suddenly the blood and guts didn’t have quite the same appeal. I had to relearn everything about my life, and I started going to dark, intense places that I had never been before. As I battled to get my life back, books filled the hours. Most of them came and went, but one reached deep inside my shattered emotional and psychological place—Verland: The Transformation. I was never a big vampire fan. I’ve read my share of vampire novels, but few really captured the complex, monstrous essence of the original myths. Many modern vampires are boyfriends, serial killers, or party dudes—in other words, rock stars with a taste for blood rather than epic gothic outsiders. When I came across Verland: The Transformation, I expected something similar, but the more I looked at the cover, the more it drew me in. What was through the crumbling gateway? Where did the path lead? Was the figure in the doorway the vampire entering our world, or were we following him into his? I was on a new journey anyway, and so decided that I might as well find out. The protagonist, Elle Bramasol, is a true-crime writer struggling with the darkness that still haunts her from her mother’s murder twenty years ago. She’s content, and yet the bright, happy sunshine of Los Angeles doesn’t feel completely real. When she gets the break of her career writing about Hollywood director Eliot Kingman’s conviction for murder, her darkness collides with something far more intense. Kingman’s bizarre obsession with death proves a dangerous match for Elle’s own hidden desires, and he pulls her deeper and deeper into a nightmare of vampires, necromancers, and murder. Verland isn’t like any vampire book I’ve ever read. He doesn’t sparkle and he doesn’t rip people apart. He’s a killer and the description of his transformation will make you squirm; he conducts experiments with razor blades and pins that will make a grown man break down in tears! The cast of characters supporting Verland will also haunt your nightmares. They are ferocious, frightening, and kill to survive; for traditional horror fans, there’s no lack of bloodshed or macabre action. But the book goes far beyond killing and bloodshed—from exploring ancient practices such as cannibalism and cremation to challenging our basic beliefs about death and the afterlife, Verland: The Transformation makes you think. Verland is an outsider destined to be alone even among his own kind. We want to be a part of his world, maybe even kill for it, but we know that it cannot be. He lures us in, but we’re never really with him. He’s alone, immortal, and deadly. But like Elle, Verland carries a deep sadness within him. Verland may not appeal to fans of intense gore and splatter action; like the vampire himself, the book draws you in slowly, subtly. The more philosophical passages may lose some readers’ attention, although the payoff is well worth it. Immortality isn’t the gift mortals think it is, and the book builds to an intense and powerful moment of realization for both Verland and readers alike. By the time I reached the book’s conclusion, those dark, intense places in my head and heart had new light. I didn’t feel quite as shattered. This book made me think about the struggles I was going through, and challenged so much of what I thought I knew. I finished the last pages and sat watching the endless Seattle rain, and my injuries, my mortality, and my soul felt different. Elle faces her darkness, and although I didn’t realize it as I was reading, so did I. We made the strange and terrible journey through Kingman and Verland’s world together. Verland: The Transformation is more than just a story about a vampire or a horror book. It made me believe. It transformed me.

Maybe What We Need Are More Trolls Under the Bridge (Short Story) - 6/7/2011 10:03:45 AM
certinely a short story, eh? jch

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