I assume most readers would call Julian Coleman’s Cesar a horror novel, but in reality, it is much more than that. On one level, it’s a story about two sisters, Rachel and Angelina, who are dealing with a family tragedy from a decade ago. On another level, it’s a love story about Angelina and Allen, the young man who wants to marry her. On yet another level, it’s a coming of age story about Angelina trying to discover who she is and who she wants to be. In other words, there are universal themes at work here. But then you throw in the whole vampire thing, and suddenly you have a decidedly different take on all those plot lines.
I’m not usually a fan of horror stories (nothing wrong with them, just not my thing), but Coleman quickly drew me into the world she so expertly crafted, with so many interesting and vibrant characters, people (well, most of them are people) whom I found myself curious about and even caring about. Coleman does an especially good job of portraying Angelina’s ongoing struggle to control the monster that lies simmering just below the surface of her life.
I finished this book in record time, because I just had to know “what happens next.” The award-wining Coleman’s descriptions of people and places are colorful and, at times, even elegant, and her plotting is spot on. If you’re looking for a good horror story, then this is an easy selection. But it’s also an easy pick if you simply want a good read by someone who knows how to grab your attention from the get-go and never let up.
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Robert Germaux