First published in 1999, This Is My Blood is David Niall Wilson’s first and most important novel. It is a retelling of the gospel from a very different perspective. When Jesus goes into the desert and is tempted by the devil, there is one temptation added. One of the fallen is raised as a woman to tempt him with the flesh. Instead, the woman, named Mary, falls in love with Jesus and his promise of returning her to Heaven. Cursed to follow him and drink the blood of his followers, Mary walks a fine line between her desire to love and support the Christ and her burning need to return to Heaven.
This novel takes the world of faith, which was the world of men,and of the apostles, and shows it through the eyes of a fallen angel – one who has, in her own words, walked the roads of both Heaven and Hell. She doesn’t believe there is a God… she knows. Faithful to the storyline of the original gospels, only weaving in new things when there are gaps in the old, this is a novel of faith, redemption, and ultimate sacrifice.
©1999 David Niall Wilson (P)2011 CrossRoad Press
"Religious ecstasy and vampiric bloodlust blend to potent effect in this horror-oriented alternate history of early Christianity.... Wilson's prose is smooth and powerful, carrying its allegorical weight with grace. His first novel is one of the most unique vampire stories to appear in recent years, balancing themes of damnation and prophesy against those of faith and redemption." (Publishers Weekly)
Many years ago, Howard Jacobson wrote a brave retelling of Genesis called "The Very Model of a Man". This book is in the same spirit, if leaning a little more towards the paranormal. This is unique and compelling reinterpretation of the story of Christ takes place through the eyes of Mary Magdalen, who is decidedly not what she seems.
It helps if you're fairly well versed in the New Testament - especially the Gospels - because it's only then you truly appreciate how clever the author has been with his retelling. But you certainly don't need to be a biblical scholar or religious to appreciate this lateral take on the story.
Although a little short for my taste in audiobooks, it is the right length for the story and the narration is excellent.
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