Saturday, 7 April 2012
The Eyes of the Dead (The Vetala Cycle Book 1) - G.R. Yeates
Title: The Eyes of the Dead (The Vetala Cycle Book 1)
Author: G.R. Yeates
"The Eyes of the Dead" by Gregory Yeates is a rather visceral horror tale that mixes some graphic imagery with a rather surreal plotline. It is set during World War I and initially follows three soldiers who have to leave the trenches and advance in an attempt to take some territory. When one of them is injured they take refuge in a crypt where they discover something more horrifying and evil than the war itself. One of the soldiers manages to escape the crypt, however that was just the beginning of a journey through terror and madness as he tries to understand what is real and what isn't.
The first thing I wish to highlight is that the author obviously has an outstanding ability to use the English language. The imagery he conjures up was simply sublime and I could really feel myself being drawn into the muddy, depressing and gruesome trenches of World War I. In addition, the way in which he describes and portrays the vampires in the novel was quite refreshing to witness. There was none of the irritating gloomy vampires we see in many YA novels here; these were creatures of pure evil and horror without any remorse or morality.
The storyline itself was incredibly dark with the feeling of evil seeming to flow out from every page. In addition, the book was full of some quite confusing and surreal moments during which I wasn't sure if it was reality or dream, something which really added to the feeling of foreboding within the novel. However, an issue I did have with the book which turned out to be quite major for me is that I never felt any moment of real understanding as I read the book. There didn't really seem to be anything pulling together all the strands of reality and hallucinations into a final result that would leave me feeling satisfied.
Overall, I have to say that Yeates has a superb writing style and the atmosphere he has created in this book was brilliantly dark and evil. Personally though, I just felt a little bit disappointed that there was no ending to really bring all the surrealism and horror together in an enjoyable manner for myself. I am freely willing to admit that maybe I just missed it or didn't grasp something, but it stopped me really loving the book which was a shame as from what I saw here I think Yeates has great ability. Either way, I do think that if you enjoy horror books then you should give this a try, even if it is just to witness the imagery that Yeates can create which some readers I am sure will find satisfying in itself.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (The Eclectic Bookshelf)
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge