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The Curse of Judas by Cynthia Brandel

The Curse of Judas by Cynthia BrandelThe Curse of Judas by Cynthia D. Brandel
Published by Amazon Digital Services on October 31, 2018
Pages: 112
Source: the author
Goodreads
four-stars

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Synopsis

After generations of advancement, the human race had thought they were invincible. That was until the revenant made their presence known. The humans that survived the culling must pay to survive.

The cost......their blood. The source of life for all living things.

The Covenant (a pact between the humans and the revenant) was made at the end of the war. In order to maintain power and to ensure the continuation of the human race (the food source of the revenant), the Consulate (a group of higher class humans living in the upper city) was formed. Their main job was to maintain order and to work as a go-between for the humans and the revenant.

Persephone Black (Phoebe) lost her mother when she was born and she had never known her father. She and her Pappy made a living on the outskirts of the revenant city where the poor and desolate are numerous. Every month, Pappy would give blood in place of Phoebe (his way of silently rebelling against the revenant). Persephone had kept her head low and remained unnoticed for her entire life. She was content working as a junior gardner at the nursery as long as it meant her and Pappy's continued survival within the city walls.

"As long as Pappy has a roof over his head and food in his belly, then I couldn't complain."---Persephone Black

As fate would have it, Phoebe wouldn't be able to go unnoticed for much longer. She caught the attention of Cassius, a revenant (one of the sons of Judas) and was summoned by him (through the use of the Consulate) to the tower.

Phoebe would learn more about the revenant than most other humans. Cast into a world that she was not yet ready for, Phoebe would do anything to survive.

But she would soon learn that sometimes the cost of survival is more than a person could bear.

The Curse of Judas is a post-apocalyptic adventure interlaced with biblical prophecy and religious innuendo centered around the story of Judas Iscariot.

Judas's betrayal of Jesus was preordained, but his death (his suicide) was of his choosing. When he ascended he was rejected by Peter at the gates of heaven, but when he descended into hell, he was rejected there too. Being rejected from both the higher and the lower kingdoms, Judas was forced to roam the middle kingdom (the kingdom of man). Neither alive nor dead, his spirit was forever cursed.

Judas was the first revenant, a being that lives off the blood of humans. Although he was neither alive nor dead, Judas still maintained a likeness of his humanity. His betrayal of Jesus led to him being cursed and a shift in the divine plan for humanity's future.

Persephone Black would be cast into the fray when she meets a son of Judas. Her existence is both a blessing and a curse for the revenant. If the secret of her birth ever came to light, the world of the revenants would turn on end.

I received this book for free from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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My Thoughts on The Curse of Judas:

This was a book I “knew” from the description, I was either going to love it or hate it.

When the story opens, you quickly find out vampires are real-ish. The legends we all grew up with had their basis in facts. The creatures the vampire legends were based upon, the Revenant, are done hiding. They want to rule – and a truce has been established between the humans and the revenant.

Similar Premise to…

If you’ve read the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, or watched True Blood, this will sound familiar to you. I’m doing the buddy read with Shelbi at What’s My Page Again?, so I really couldn’t help noticing the similarities in how the revenants thought and behaved, as well as how they felt about being “out” in the world.

In Charlaine Harris’ world, vampires “came out of the coffin” and wanted to mainstream (live among the humans), so they drink synthetic blood and only drink from “willing” humans. (Yes, I know that’s not a great explanation, but it gets my point across.

But in the world of The Curse of Judas, they want to feed off of humans, and, in order to be allowed to survive, every human must “donate” a pint of blood every month.

So the similarties pretty much end between the two series once you get past the fact they’re both pretty gothic in nature and both involve vampire type creatures coming out of hiding after centuries.

What I enjoyed/hated about The Curse of Judas…

The world is gritty and the characters are living in survival mode, which brings out the best and worst in people. I loved it! I pictured this super dark city where Phoebe really stands out like a light, at home, and at work. Phoebe is an amazing person who takes care of her adopted father and stands up for her friends, even when she’s terrified.

When Phoebe’s best friend, Val, is hurt, Phoebe does everything she can to ensure Val and her little brother aren’t killed or kicked out of the city. Unfortunately, this has disastrous consequences for Phoebe and her Pappy – but she never regrets her decision. She stands by it and doesn’t back down from it.

Too often in this type of story, I’ve seen where the heroine is whiny and complains about the consequences for their actions. But Phoebe owns up to everything she does. Her only regrets seem to come from when others get hurt because of her. She owns up to it though and I really felt connected to Phoebe throughout the story. Her fear, pain, worry (both for herself and others) was real for me and made me cry at times.

While I really enjoyed reading this book, I wish it was longer. There were pieces I wish would have been explored further. For instance, how and why the revenants first made their appearance and about the war that took place afterward. Something that would’ve made it longer automatically would be the times where it just stated a character felt something, instead of describing it (like they were unsettled, but there was no description of what that looked like).

Side rant:

The thing I loved the most about the story… it’s BELIEVABLE! I love fantasy, so I’m all about dragons, mages, wizards, dwarves, elves, etc. But I need to be able to believe those things are actually possible and that the world they’re happening in could exist. The stakes need to feel real!!! (Sorry, I just finished a book that took place in the “real” world and I found it completely unbelievable… but you’ll hear about that later in the week, so I’m gonna shut up about it now…)

This is a quote from Phoebe in the book, where she’s kind of re-examining the world she’s been raised in, a world where many families couldn’t eat a meal together:

Pappy once told me that there was a time when families stuck together, weathered every storm and every trial together as a unit, but that was a long time ago. That was before the revenant–a time when humans were favored by God. We were his children and we had misbehaved. I’d guessed the revenant were God’s way of punishing humans for their sins.

Phoebe, The Curse of Judas

This is a world in which I can see the revenant existing. It’s not so different from our own world and I could picture it all clearly.

To Wrap it all up…

I really liked The Curse of Judas and I can’t wait for the next book to come out!!! I recommend it for anyone that enjoys a good vampire story (where the vamps don’t glitter).

Have you read The Curse of Judas? Any thoughts on my thoughts?? Leave me a comment below! Thanks for visiting

Thanks for visiting and happy reading! 🙂

four-stars

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