Book Review: Forbidden: Brethren of Erebus
Title: Forbidden: The Brethren of Erebus
Author: L.M. David
The European vampire brood is in decline and the Vampiric council’s rule is shaken amid rumors of an uprising. Their only hope comes from an Oracles’ verse and a name “Julianna.” Moros, as a member of a warrior clan, the Brethren of Erebus, must obey the orders of the Heir Elder, who is convinced finding this young woman is the only hope to save them from extinction. Sent to America, a land forbidden by decree of the European rulers, he arrives only to learn he is exiled and his family honor in ruins. Angered by this betrayal, he continues the search for Julianna. However, the more he learns, the less Moros believes the mission he is on will clear his name. Moros is soon entangled in lies, rivalry, deception, the threat of war, and the wrath of a Pan Celtic God — and in the midst of this treachery, he finds something unexpected . . . love.
Reviewed by: Katheryn J. Avila
Rating: 3.5 stars
Forbidden: The Brethren of Erebus was a fun, though sometimes frustrating, read. Once the story pulls you in, you’re in for good. For me, though, it wasn’t until around chapter seven that I was fully pulled into the book. I’ll usually put a book down if the first three or four chapters don’t do the trick, but I gave Forbidden a chance because I absolutely love vampires, and I was sympathetic to Moros’ annoyance and disdain towards his master, Aramis. The first few chapters of the book threw me, mainly because we saw much more of Aramis and his family than we did of Moros, and the former isn’t really pleasant. Once the story began to center around Moros, though, I was able to really get into it. It was a lot of fun watching him struggle to reconcile what he knew with everything he didn’t. His mannerisms are ancient with respect to modern America, and he has a really hard time adjusting to the people around him and their quirks – mainly Cole.
Another aspect of the book that kept me going was brevity – the author doesn’t unnecessarily linger on any one thing for too long, and, if you read my previous review, you know I’m a fan of brevity. Some of my favorite parts of the book were the descriptions of fight scenes – short but elegant. She has a gift for writing them, making you feel as if you’re right there watching, rooting for the good guys to kick some ass. The quick pacing was able to pull me out of the parts of the book I enjoyed less than the rest, and kept me scrolling. Despite the brevity in descriptions, it wasn’t difficult at all to envision the world Moros walked in. Without going into too much detail, the author paints a picture of two worlds in one – the human world we all know, and the world of the supernatural seemingly just around the corner. She also manages to weave several different mythologies into her book, sometimes at the risk of juggling too much, but it all works. We get to see demons, Oracles, nephilims, and an array of other mythological entities. Although I love brevity, I sometimes wished she would take a little more time on these other mythologies, rather than making them minor plot devices.
The cast of characters was a wonderful group to follow around – I loved all of them (even the despicable Aramis). They were the ones that really pulled and kept me interested. Moros is a wonderful protagonist, strong and proud, yet sympathetic to those who could be considered beneath him. Although supremely skilled, he is by no means perfect, and that is highlighted in the way he struggles to adapt to the new surroundings, and how he handles his romantic feelings. His confusion was enjoyable, and I found myself wanting to pick on him the way Cole did. Cole was another gem – very human despite his half-vampire nature, and I loved it! A classic screw-up, he gets the most sympathy from me, as I love an underdog story. Every character had his or her own personality, and that’s difficult to accomplish with such a relatively large cast to juggle. Every character was developed to the point where I could relate to them and wanted to see (most of them anyway) succeed. My only issue, which I hope is addressed in the next book, is that some of the characters’ stories felt unfinished – mainly Cole, who quickly became my favorite. I’m hoping the author focuses on him in the next installment. Julianna is another character we didn’t get enough of as far as development goes – I’m hoping that gets taken care of in book two, as well.
The plot was an adventure, and I was more than happy to go along for the ride. Between investigating the Oracles’ riddle and carrying out his quest, Moros never had a dull moment. While his story felt somewhat complete by the end of the book, I hope to see more of him in the future, too.
Conclusion: If you like vampires, adventure, and a splash of romance, Forbidden: The Brethren of Erebus is for you. Once I got into it, I had a ton of fun reading it and couldn’t put it down. A couple of editing mistakes sprinkled throughout made me stutter once in a while, but it wasn’t anything my affection for the characters couldn’t get me through. I’m looking forward to the next book.