I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Create Space on November 16th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Source: ARC from publisher
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SAMSARA: "The cycle of birth, death and rebirth within the realms of existence ..." The plague of 1918 A.D. The mortal world is in a state of devastation. A woman wakes up in an abandoned temple of Kali, the goddess of darkness, in the ancient city of Gaya. She does not know where she is. She does not remember the events leading to this. She only hears the familiar voice of a tormented man who has haunted in her dreams. He tells her a story - of a time of souls and suffering, of immortality and gods, of life and death. This, he says, is Mesopotamia. The SAMSARIC is a fast-paced fantasy-horror novel full of history, horror and vampirism from an ancient era.
This book was interesting! The synopsis really tells you nothing. It is about Mesopotamia and religion, highly fantasized. It is realistic and well-researched. Basically, it is about two immortal beings—Samsarics—trying to safely bring the goddess Innana in her mortal form to Akkad to become an immortal again. The problem is that they are being hunted down by dark creatures that gain power and longevity by drinking blood.
The characters are interesting in that they do seem to be developed, but we don’t see too much of it. The main character, Shuri, is an annoying spoiled girl for the beginning at least and she and her adopted brother Druaga make the most stupid decisions at times. Also Shuri has a penchant for disobeying orders. There are many times when she could have been killed because of her own stubbornness. But she becomes a little wiser as time goes on. One of her protectors, Eden, can be a little annoyingly stubborn too towards the end, but for the most part he and Sumur, the other protector, are enigmas. Or at least their feelings do not appear to work as mortals’ do. And Druaga—as good as his intentions were, he was just dead weight, and became dangerously so towards the end.
The plot and history is very detailed. It is incredibly complex. I believe this was definitely a plot-driven book. There is always more to learn, but it isn’t an info-dump, which is nice. Of course, Shuri’s lack of information made her make silly decisions, but ah well. It was very interesting to learn about the religion and how it worked. There were definite parallels to Greek mythology, which I am familiar with. And I have always been fascinated with the earliest history, the Mesopotamian culture, finding that we have sort of glossed over it in school. So this was quite informative, if I am to take all of it as accurate. The religious/vampiristic stuff got a little deep and confusing at times, but not so that it really affected my understanding of the plot.
I must say, the ending was super confusing and not very satisfying. I don’t really know what to make of it. I feel like there should be more. A lot more. I think there will be a book 2. But up to that point, it was entertaining. There were also a lot of emotions going on and a few loud laughs. I did not expect to care for the characters, but I grew to.
Also this book did not spare cruel details. There were vampires, although not in the sense we tend to think of them (neither Dracula nor Twilight—more like demons), and their brutal actions were described in detail. I was lucky that I have a strong stomach for such things but bear that in mind. There were numerous acts of cruelty and many massacres. But the writing in general was very good.
All in all this was an entertaining, historically rich read. It was complex and plot-driven with interesting characters. It was brutal with a confusing ending. I enjoyed it all the same.
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