I was contacted by Paul Jesep, the author of The Vampire Benning Wentworth and the End of Times, asking me to read and review his newly released book. Since I love reading anything about vampires, whether fiction or lore, I agreed to read the book. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into or what to expect, but I’m always up for an adventure.
One of Satan’s children, Benning Wentworth, becomes a vampire. As a half-breed, he has upset the balance of power in the universe making war between devils and vampires unavoidable. The End of Times has begun. The story is set in London and the seaport city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1898, and loosely borrows from New England’s rich history and folklore.
When I start a new book, I like to jump into the action, but Jesep starts with Benning contemplating suicide,. So, it was a slow start for me.
He goes into great lengths to tell the readers every minute detail about the room Benning is in, but he doesn’t really show. Jesep tells the trivial details about papers on a desk and the books and busts on the bookshelves, which I found boring and useless information.
Throughout the story, Jesep tells but doesn’t show. I couldn’t create a connection with the characters because I couldn’t feel what he was telling me they were feeling. For example, “Benning gently ran his fingertips along the peach damask wallpaper sensing the feelings of guilt, shame, and the occasional joy that filled the house as he stepped up.” Is the the room, the house, the wallpaper, what causes him to feel this way and what does it remind him of that causes the emotions?
I believe that Jesep uses flies as symbolism for impurity and the divergence from righteousness – they’re a constant recurrence in the story surrounding Benning. But, they’re annoying and overly blatant.
Jesep does a great job with the dialogue throughout the story, which is definitely a hard task for any author. But, there are a few times throughout the story that he lost me, changing mindsets or incorrectly using quotations.
There were also two instances where it seemed Jesep couldn’t decide what he wanted his characters to say, so he wrote it all in.
I wasn’t really sure what the main plot was or how it was going to unfold. When I figured it out, it was over.
I waited for more interaction between Ariel and Benning, but it never really happened – the same with Nicholas and Ariel or Nicholas and Benning. I didn’t feel like Jesep really developed the relationships with the main characters between each other. Sophie and Ariel had the closet relationship, but a lot was left out in regards to Sophie. Just when he brings in enough details to make a character or plot good, it’s over. Nothing ever really happened with the conflict between the Mayor, John and Ariel; and the building relationship between Ariel and Benning started and stopped within a few chapters of each other.
I thought the twists with Nicholas being Benning’s offspring and that Henry being a Luciferian were great, but I would have liked more from both plots. I would like to have a better understanding as to how Benning became a vampire; even if Benning felt it would make his father like him more- why would it because Luciferians hate vampires?
I think overall, there was a lot of time taken to describe the details around the scenes, but not enough time developing the plots and characters. But, after the first half, I was able to get into it more. The book was worth the read, but had a few major flaws. It’s definitely an easy read. I wish that I had more detailed positives to review, but the positives are just best read in the book.
I’ll admit, my favorite line in the book was, “It’s better to be medicated with it, than fully conscious without it.” Although, Benning is thinking about power, the line speaks volumes about many aspects of my daily life.