I spent an unusual time between the covers of The Descendant. Kelley Grealis drew me into her story from the first page and, from there, I couldn't have anticipated the outcome of this book. By the time I realized the type of story I was reading, it was too late to set it aside and move onto something else.
Considered a vampire tale of Biblical proportions - which I hadn't previously noticed - I was taken on a journey beyond anything I expected. In her fictional tale dealing primarily with the origin of the vampire, Grealis took me to the Garden of Eden.
This was the pivotal point for me in this story; whether I would continue reading hinged upon the words the author had written in subsequent paragraphs. Had Grealis painted a portrait contrary to what I've read in the Bible, I'm sure I would have cast the book aside. However, she surprised me: instead of taking me to see Eve eat the fruit of the tree as I had done since I was a child, Grealis introduced me to a different picture.
This time it was Cain in the Garden - a condemned man after murdering his brother, Abel - who found himself in the Garden of Eden tempted by the fruit of the tree. However, an eternally damning surprise was in store for Cain as the serpent approached and enticed him, transforming Cain into the living dead. Because I had never known details of what happened to Cain, I let my mind go along for the imaginary journey.
Cain went on to fall in love with a married mortal who conceived his child but she passed their child off as belonging to her husband. In The Descendant, Cain never learned he had sired a child and the vampire population didn't know it was possible for a human and vampire to pro-create, with the exception of the family/coven which had been watching over Cain.
As each generation passed, this family continued to watch over Cain's descendants, watching to see if any future child would be born with traits of a vampire. At long last, after numerous generations, a child was born - a little girl with golden flecks in her eyes.
The Descendant carries us on a journey of that little girl, touching briefly on her childhood and introducing us to her life as an adult. It was an entertaining story to read but there were parts I had to distance myself from - not being a fan of vampire fiction. After all, I've never read or watched anything pertaining to vampires in the past regardless of the success and popularity of an actor or movie production. Even so, the story was as tastefully written for a vampire tale as (I feel) it could have been.
I look forward to other stories Grealis may pen in a non-vampire setting because, in all honesty, she has a vision and way of telling a story few authors possess. After all, if she could get a die-hard anti-vampire reader like me interested in her characters enough to want to read the sequel, The Search, I'd say she did a commendable job indeed.
In case you're a vampire fiction fan who would like to read this story, or if you're someone like me who is willing to take a chance on something new, please visit The Descendant's page on Amazon.
A side note: Kelley Grealis enjoyed my book, An Affair to Remember, so much she wrote a blog post sharing her thoughts with me. Feel free to check out what she has to say about An Affair to Remember here.