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Radiant Shadows

Blood of the Revenant

Blood of the Revenant - N.R. Allen Promising a completely original spin on the classic vampire tale, I was excited to dive into Blood of the Revenant. One-dimensional characters, overly repetitive dialogue, a stagnant plot and a lack of world-building has left me quite disappointed.Right out of the gate, Allen presents concepts and terminology that demand explanation - the not-family or "others", the darkness and what it means to take it, how each family is divided into roles with every person being successful in only one of the roles, the difference between the Youngers and the Olders, why the city was shrouded in perpetual darkness, what role the Priests had to play and the list goes on. My interest was immediately piqued, but as time went on, my questions only accumulated. How did Gabriel (and his "red") go unnoticed for so long? How long is a cycle? What happened to "Exile"? How much time has passed between when Gabriel leaves Returning City and when he returns? Why are the revenants all getting bloodthirsty now? What changed? What's the machine? Why is it called Dominion? What's a Corinthian? How do they get their powers? Again, I could go on. The only reason I continued to read Blood of the Revenant was to get some answers to my numerous questions, so you can imagine my frustration when most were left untouched.The characters lacked depth or realism - I wasn't able to relate to any of them, but especially Gabriel because of his repetitive manner of speaking.But he couldn't risk going back. If he was Exile...What if his family was like Ryvall [...]And a few paragraphs later:Would he ever hurt his family? The thought jolted him. No, he wouldn't. And they wouldn't hurt hum. But if they were like Ryvall...It was almost as if every thought he had had to be repeated a few lines later, as if to emphasize that he was conflicted over his emotions. The effect was monotonous, and I found myself flipping back and forth, wondering if I had accidentally gone back a page by accident. It didn't help that a lot of his thoughts were disjointed and conflicting.Gabriel had to stop the machine. He wanted to just go to sleep. He wanted to give up. Not when he was so close.It made for a very irritating read and only added to my frustrations over Gabriel's indecisiveness. He was completely incapable of making a decision - he kept being led by his gut feelings, and then chastising those same feelings when they didn't immediately provide him with results. A passive protagonist, Gabriel was content to be given the answers and told what to do instead of working to solve things for himself.The repetitive and disjointed dialogue seeped into the plot, making an already slowly paced story even slower. Gabriel spends a lot of time wandering around aimlessly, questioning everything. Even when he's being chased by the revenants, it was hard to think of the plot as moving quickly, as the revenants were almost lazy in their pursuit, confident in their kill. Not much happens in terms of plot development until the last few chapters, where we finally uncover some of Blood of the Revenant's secrets, but at that point, it was too little too late. It definitely didn't help that the ending was glazed over during an epilogue.With a promising concept, Blood of the Revenant had a lot of potential that, for me, it failed to reach.