Is there truly some good in all of us?  Does even the darkest, coldest and most vile human being have some sort of saving quality?  Does their black soul have any chance at true redemption?  Can the sins of the past really be forgiven and rectified?  Or maybe those dark souls will be cast into a cavernous pit to suffer in solitude for their past evil deeds.  All chances at redemption virtually non-existent.  This is a well- known debate which has been fiercely waged amongst people for eons.  Now let’s add a peculiar twist to this question.  What if the person we are talking about is actually a vampire?  Would you still feel the same way?  If you are a fan of the fantasy genre, but like it with a strong dash of metaphysics, then Michael’s Blood by S.S. Bazinet could absolutely be what you seek!

I must admit, this book totally caught me by surprise.  I was expecting a vampire story which was accompanied by the quintessential horror and fear which usually characterize them.  In truth, I am a great fan of the vampire genre and appreciate it greatly when the inherent elements are tied together in a brilliant tale.  While that may be the case, Michael’s Blood is certainly not your typical vampire story.  In fact, it is much more the type of novel which is concerned with metaphysics and the path to redemption and self-discovery.  If the reader approaches the story with this in mind, they are going to greatly appreciate this tale and the beautiful writing it contains.

The plot of the novel is essentially about a vampire named Arel who is seeking redemption for his past.  Interestingly, he has a friend by the name of Michael who seeks to help him in this quest.  Even more peculiar is the fact that Michael is his guardian angel.  Friendships between vampires and angels is just not something which you see everyday!  Arel is full of self-loathing for his past deeds and believes that by drinking some of Michael’s angelic blood this will allow him to find his way out of the tortuous darkness which envelops his soul.  Against his better judgement, Michael allows the deed to take place.  What follows is a journey through the incredible ups and downs of Arel’s past and present.  Will the angelic blood be too much for Arel however and lead to his ultimate demise?  Can the horrible acts of his past truly ever be forgiven?  Or is Arel doomed to eternal darkness, forever being denied the light he truly seeks?

In regards to character development, there are a number of very interesting characters throughout the story.  The primary players in the tale however are Arel and Michael.  The others are brought into the action as a result of Arel’s struggles and while they are certainly developed well, they are entirely tied to him and his ongoing growth.  In truth, the relationship between Michael and Arel is quite poignant and intriguing.  While the reader becomes more familiar and intimate with Michael as the story progresses, it is his interactions and bond with Arel which reveal the most about them both.  There is no doubt that Arel is a self-loathing, pitiful and downright despicable character at the outset of the novel.  However, he grows into something much different as the story proceeds.  That key connection which is needed between the reader and the main character is established as the former finds themselves becoming entranced with Arel’s development and rooting for him and his spirit.  That is true reader engagement!

Overall, I found this story to be a fantastic read.  It is captivating and engrossing as the author brings her audience along for a journey of self-discovery and meaningful connections.  Her writing is beautiful and is full of literary devices which enhance the actual story and are not simply present for their own sake.  The reader will find themselves questioning and reflecting upon their own life throughout the tale.  That is a very meaningful connection and true reader engagement at its best!

Due to the thoughtful content of the story I would recommend it to an adult audience.  However, fans of connecting with the spiritual journey of the human experience at a deep level (which is sprinkled with a vampire twist) will love this novel!

5 out of 5 Metaphysical Stars for this one!