Review: The Witch of Endor: Vampires by R.K. Wheeler

FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

I still recall reading R.K. Wheeler’s fantasy novel Scions of Azazyel, a book in which Christian mythology is blended with several other myths. In that book, I read about the character Lilith too. The name Lilith is often associated with a female demon. In Book 1 of The Witch of Endor: Vampires, we find that Wheeler’s Lilith is something different. Lamech, a character whose name can also be found in the Bible, had turned Lilith, the Witch of Endor (or the “familiar spirit at En-dor” of the Bible’s 1 Samuel Chapter 28), into a vampire. One fateful night aboard a ship destined for Greece, their paths separate after a battle with the ship’s crew ends with the ship catching fire. And so it happens that we begin with Lilith and her infant child.

Burned and now transformed into a thing akin to a monster, Lilith has no idea how she and her infant child ended up in an old house. The daughter she has given birth to is Medusa, a child with yellow reptilian eyes, a head with snakes embedded in it, and a serpentine-tail. Such as a vampire trance to cause others to fall asleep, Lilith is a witch-turned-vampire who possesses many abilities. She has ended up in Greece, and it is here that, as the years go by, she starts turning other people into vampires. Separated from her, Lamech learns of a vampire that he created that can walk in the sun. A vampire that kills other vampires. A vampire whose sole intent is to rule as a god.

Lilith is a truly terrifying creature to imagine and it didn’t even take me two chapters to dread being trapped in a nightmare with her. “What are you, why won’t you die!?” Lilith is asked this during an attempt to feed, and in response she answers with: “I am the Maid of Shadows, the Lover of the Night.” The third chapter offers a better understanding of who Lilith really is. She had fled Endor after summoning the dead prophet Samuel for Saul and hearing Samuel’s prophesy. In Mount Moreh, a retreat for magic practitioners, she would meet Lamech, a man who inherited a much more severe form of Cain’s curse after killing him accidentally. She would fall in love with Lamech. He would give her what her own magical abilities could not: immortality. They would have a child. A child Lamech would not want. And set out for Greece.

But as terrifying as Lilith is, there is also another side to her for readers to take into consideration. One being the side that Lamech loves. Lamech, when it comes to Lilith, has many fine qualities to think about. She has a laugh that cheers the spirit he’s not even sure he has, eyes that can stare right through him, and a kiss from her could take away all traces of doubt, concern, and anxiety. Then there is Lilith, the mother. Medusa, her daughter, would have sisters later on, but before that happened, we just need to go back to the burning ship in the beginning to see how much she loved her despite what she was. A mother’s love is truly something else, and what Lilith did could be viewed as a fine example of what that kind of love is all about.

While we meet Lilith as a monster, we know that once she drinks blood, she gets enough strength to use her magic to make herself look beautiful again. She could also, however, let slip of her comely mirage and reveal her true self to humans if she is not careful. That is what I liked about the book. That the powerful Lilith, the only vampire capable of using magic and communicating with the dead, had a flaw. But while there are several scenes containing vampires fighting to enjoy, nothing will prepare readers when Medusa, too, gets a shot at kicking some behind. “The hybrid-teen bore a grim determination on her face that was both beautiful and terrifying.”

The main antagonist – a man named Maldivar – puts an all new twist to Lilith and Lamech’s world. He is not just some day walking vampire with a genius plan to become a god, but he commands werewolves. Of course, vampires going at it against these full moon loving beasts is not that original idea nowadays, but the book is still enjoyable because of it. Medusa, too, has a side-plot going that kept my interest. She is in love with someone, but her stone-turning gaze poses a problem.

There is a fault with Lamech’s character: how he feels about Medusa. Him not wanting anything to do with his monster child in the beginning is understandable and serves as a good plot point for the author to build on, but I’ve always been a big fan of characters’ opinions changing about certain things somewhere later in a book. I was hoping that Lamech would start wanting to be a father to Medusa eventually. Considering that he is separated from Lilith after the ship explosion, there is room that the author could’ve used to explore this idea. Perhaps Lamech, being a vampire and thirsty for blood, could’ve stalked a potential male victim to his house and discovered that the man was the father of a deformed child. And seeing this father loving this deformed child, he could’ve been persuaded and motivated to become a father to Medusa.

Most authors don’t really explore what being a vampire truly entails anymore. Robert Wheeler finds a way to excel at it in his own way, providing a believable origin story for those popular creatures we’ve come to know from mythology and folklore. Reading this book had me coming to the realization that love is such a profound force that not even having an immortal curse or being a monster should justify being immune to it. It’s a definite treat for vampire fans and those of us that sometimes feel like monsters unworthy of being loved ourselves.

Paperback Edition:

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Date Published: January 1, 2018
Genre: Paranormal
Pages: 376
View on Amazon
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