Official Review: Malice of the Cross by Jeremy Croston

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Official Review: Malice of the Cross by Jeremy Croston

Post by hsimone » 01 Mar 2018, 08:15

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Malice of the Cross" by Jeremy Croston.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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It is always curious how authors mix multiple genres and come out with something unique. In Malice of the Cross by Jeremy Croston, the author brings faith, fantasy, and horror/thriller to create quite an exciting tale following a daemon fighter, a vampyre, and a blind seer.

Determined and strong Maximus Brinza has always fought off daemons attacking his hometown of Stefania. One day, he meets the vicious vampyre Radu Dracul and an odd bond joins the two. Not only did Radu know Max’s father and grandfather, but he is determined to kill his evil vampyre brother, Vlad Dracul, to finally put a halt in the numerous murders throughout the years caused by his sibling. As the strange pair join forces, they meet the talented and strong-willed Abigail. Though unable to see, her presence fulfills an old prophecy and her talent in taking action when recognizing danger cannot be measured. Will the trio be able to get rid of, once and for all, The Impaler, Vlad, and his minions of witches, vampyres, and werewolves?

Told in the first-person point-of-view, I would say this story is more plot-driven than character-driven. The reader does get to know a bit of each character's background, but only just enough to somewhat understand each characters’ motives to go against Vlad. This, in turn, makes it challenging to feel much emotion toward the characters. There were times when the perspective changed, still being first-person, but another character’s voice. It didn’t happen very often, but when it did, I had to read a bit to figure out who was speaking, which caused me to backtrack a few times.

The plot is filled with much action sequence and was easy to follow, but did include several gory scenes. There always seemed to have been someone that the protagonists were killing or fighting off. It was personally a bit much for me, but I can see others not being fazed by the amount of murders and blood that fill the book’s pages. I do feel compelled to mention that several years pass in various European locations to show the progression of the story. However, it was simple to follow and was done logically.

Much of the text references God and Bible verses. Due to being a believer, this did not bother me, but I can see how the amount included could be off-putting to some readers. However, it is interesting to point out that those practicing the faith also were the ones who killed a lot of people and/or creatures.

With its themes of history repeats itself, faith, friendship, good versus evil, and revenge, Malice of the Cross, does make for an intriguing read. With no real dull moment, it was easy to read multiple chapters in one sitting without getting bored.

When considering everything, I give this book a 3 out of 4 stars. I could have done with less gory scenes and more character development, but it was still enjoyable. I would recommend Malice of the Cross to those who enjoy Christian Fantasies and don’t mind gore in your text.

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Post by cristinaro » 02 Mar 2018, 06:14

The story is inspired by the real historical figure of Vlad Tepes who ruled in Romania in the 15th century. He had 5 children; one of them was a boy called Radu. The legend of Vlad Dracula comes from this ruler in history who was not a vampire, but who was known for his ruthless punishment of his enemies. If you remember, the legend was first exploited by Bram Stoker at the end of the 19th century. I am always curious to see the legend reinterpreted and used in fiction. Thank you for your review!
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Post by hsimone » 02 Mar 2018, 06:27

Huh...that is really interesting actually. For some weird reason I did and did not make the connection, if that makes sense, lol. I was thinking of Dracula and Bram Stoker's work, but didn't think of Vlad Dracula and his ruling. Thank you for pointing that out and sharing, cristinaro!
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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Mar 2018, 09:08

Interesting. A Christian fantasy that mixes different genres! I love when authors are able to do so successfully. Gore doesn't usually bother me, so I'm thinking I'll definitely have to look into this one. Sounds really intriguing. Thanks for a great review as always hsimone!
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Post by hsimone » 02 Mar 2018, 09:24

It was definitely an interesting take on a Christian fantasy. I was quite shocked at first about the amount of bloody scenes, but it was more a darker book, in general, and enjoyable either way. Thank you, kandscreeley!
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Post by prettysmart » 02 Mar 2018, 13:04

Wow this definitely wont be disturbing for my liking as these mixed genres are endowed with optimum excitement and adventure. Commendable review!

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Post by hsimone » 02 Mar 2018, 13:14

It was a pretty exciting ride! Thank you, prettysmart!
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Post by NL Hartje » 03 Mar 2018, 19:51

Am I the only one that's a sucker for a blind seer character!? You had me at that sentence!
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 03 Mar 2018, 21:24

It is really great when the development of the story turns out to be something that you don't expect. The plot seem very rich. Ideology is something new but it is great when you can turn a urban legend to a great fantasy read. Thank you for sharing!
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Post by Kat Berg » 03 Mar 2018, 23:52

This sounds extremely intriguing at first, and knowing more than a little history about Vlad the Impaler if it covers even a little bit of what he did (I know it is fiction, but...) then I am not at all surprised that it was on the gory side. (oh my goodness, he was horrible!) I'm not sure that this would be enough for me though. I really want to connect with the characters. If I don't care what happens to them, then I am just slogging through the book, and I have other things to read. However, I am certainly glad you got enjoyment from it! Thanks for the review.

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Post by hsimone » 04 Mar 2018, 05:37

NL Hartje wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 19:51
Am I the only one that's a sucker for a blind seer character!? You had me at that sentence!
Abigail is a pretty awesome character! I love how the author was able to give her the abilitiy to still spot danger and do something about it, by using her other senses, even though she was blind.
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Post by hsimone » 04 Mar 2018, 05:41

Sahani Nimandra wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 21:24
It is really great when the development of the story turns out to be something that you don't expect. The plot seem very rich. Ideology is something new but it is great when you can turn a urban legend to a great fantasy read. Thank you for sharing!
There was definitely a lot going on in the plot, and I thought it was a clever take on a legend. There wasn't too much focus on Vlad Dracul, though. He was more in the background for most of the book, but it seemed to have worked for this plot-driven book. Thank you for reading and commenting!
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Post by hsimone » 04 Mar 2018, 05:50

Kat Berg wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 23:52
This sounds extremely intriguing at first, and knowing more than a little history about Vlad the Impaler if it covers even a little bit of what he did (I know it is fiction, but...) then I am not at all surprised that it was on the gory side. (oh my goodness, he was horrible!) I'm not sure that this would be enough for me though. I really want to connect with the characters. If I don't care what happens to them, then I am just slogging through the book, and I have other things to read. However, I am certainly glad you got enjoyment from it! Thanks for the review.
I would say a lot of the gore happened along the way leading up to Vlad, and not really him performing most of the killing. I also need to connect with the characters. Either way, it was still an enjoyable read. :)
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

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Post by literarycat » 07 Mar 2018, 09:51

cristinaro wrote:
02 Mar 2018, 06:14
The story is inspired by the real historical figure of Vlad Tepes who ruled in Romania in the 15th century. He had 5 children; one of them was a boy called Radu. The legend of Vlad Dracula comes from this ruler in history who was not a vampire, but who was known for his ruthless punishment of his enemies. If you remember, the legend was first exploited by Bram Stoker at the end of the 19th century. I am always curious to see the legend reinterpreted and used in fiction. Thank you for your review!
I agree I am always interested in seeing how the legends get interpreted and used through literature especially something so well versed as the vampyre lore. I am interested to see what this author has come up with, i will be adding it to my list. Thank you!
The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken points ~ Ernest Hemingway.

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Post by hsimone » 07 Mar 2018, 15:58

literarycat wrote:
07 Mar 2018, 09:51
cristinaro wrote:
02 Mar 2018, 06:14
The story is inspired by the real historical figure of Vlad Tepes who ruled in Romania in the 15th century. He had 5 children; one of them was a boy called Radu. The legend of Vlad Dracula comes from this ruler in history who was not a vampire, but who was known for his ruthless punishment of his enemies. If you remember, the legend was first exploited by Bram Stoker at the end of the 19th century. I am always curious to see the legend reinterpreted and used in fiction. Thank you for your review!
I agree I am always interested in seeing how the legends get interpreted and used through literature especially something so well versed as the vampyre lore. I am interested to see what this author has come up with, i will be adding it to my list. Thank you!
Nice! If you do get the chance to read it, I hope you enjoy! :)
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

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