2 out of 4 stars
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Malik and Sheena have been happily married, and they have a 16-year-old son named Shane. Things were going smoothly for the family until Sheena started having a weird dream that she couldn't understand. In this recurring dream, a strange woman who looks like Sheena but is darker in complexion and dresses like an African princess keeps asking Sheena to hug her. Unbeknownst to Sheena, the African princess is the wife of a wicked immortal named the Blood Priest (BP).
After centuries of separation, BP seeks to bring his wife back to life by conjuring her spirit into Sheena's body. But for the transition to be complete, Sheena's offspring, Shane, must be eliminated. Hence, the 'Good Forces' must train Malik and Shane as quickly as possible because BP already has Sheena as his captive. Will Malik be able to protect his son and get his wife back? Is it even possible to defeat the Blood Priest? Please read The Blood Marriage by Julian Walton to find out.
This book looks more like a screenplay than a novel. There are instructions on how to pan the camera and arrangement details for the scenes. I think it's best to call the book a play due to the predominant dialogues in it. Though I didn't expect the book to be in that form, I still enjoyed reading it. What I like most about the book is that the dialogues are believable. They are also distinct for each character. For example, Shane's style correctly depicts how a teenager would speak.
Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was how the author managed to make the characters relatable in only 79 pages. I didn't expect backstories for any of the characters due to how concise the book is. Surprisingly, the author provided substantial background stories for some of the characters through dialogues between them and the narrations between the conversations. I empathized with Malik and wondered how he must have felt to have his wife at the mercy of the Blood Priest.
Furthermore, I like how the story ended. I especially enjoyed the closing scenes that set the stage for the next book in the series since this title is the first installment in the African Fantasy Trilogy. I appreciate that the book is a short read, but this aspect also works against it. Being a fantasy book, I expected the worldbuilding to tickle my imagination, but it didn't, unfortunately. And the descriptions of the surroundings leave something to be desired. I must also reiterate that I wasn't expecting a play when I got this book, so it would be nice of the author to inform prospective readers of what to expect.
What I dislike most about the book is that it contains many errors. Having only 79 pages, I didn't expect the book to be this poorly edited. It got to a point where the errors just became annoying. In conclusion, I am rating The Blood Marriage two out of four stars because of the cons I noted. I think the author should decide on what the book should be and also edit it properly. The storyline is intriguing, and I enjoyed reading the book. Nevertheless, it falls short of getting three stars but certainly doesn't deserve a lower rating. Therefore, I still recommend the book to readers who love fantasy stories about the age-long battle between good and evil, especially those who don't mind the issues I noted above.
The Blood Marriage
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