Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden
JournalStone, 2016 (reprint edition)
Available: Hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition
JournalStone has been a treasure trove of new authors and stories, and rarely disappoints. For years now, each release has drawn strong attention from readers of horror, dark fantasy, and other speculative fiction. This time, they made a smart decision, in reprinting Christopher Golden’s Shadow Saga series.
This is not a typical or cliched vampire series: it’s a very different, strongly written and smartly plotted tale. From the amazing Strangewood to the forthcoming Ararat, Golden has never failed to entertain his readers. Writing across multiple genres, including thrillers, horror, and urban fantasy. he has created outstanding stories and characters that connect with his readers.
The first novel in the Shadow Saga series, Of Saints and Shadows, introduces readers to vampire sleuth Peter Octavian, a figure who lives in the shadows between his own kind and those who hunt him. Octavian makes his living as a private detective, and has refused to partake in the “blood song”, the drinking of humans’ lifeblood. Golden tackles several myths about vampires, and turns them upside down. It appears that most of the myths are only that, and find their power in the belief of the suggestions, such as not being able to walk in daylight. He discovers that a secret sect of the Catholic Church is hell bent on recovering the book, The Gospel of Shadows, which has the key to destroying all of the vampires. As different groups race to retrieve the tome, each with its own agenda, Peter races to Vatican City to help his brethren.
Golden has updated all of the books in the series with introductions and additional material, and hopefully Shadow Saga will find the audience it should have had the first time. Look for Angel Souls and Devil Hearts, Of Masques and Martyrs, The Gathering Dark, and Waking Nightmares. Recommended for fans of the vampire tale but more importantly, for anyone who loves a good, strong story.
Reviewed by David Simms