by C. David Belt
(Apr 2013, paperback $15.95 ISBN: 978-1-4276-9619-9; ebook $2.99 ISBN: 978-1-3016-8555-4 )
For 6,000 years, Lilith and her Children have walked the earth, ruling from the shadows...until now. An ancient prophecy, spoken by Adam, Lilith’s grandfather, foretells her doom. She will do anything, corrupt any innocent, murder countless mortals to save herself. To survive, she knows she must destroy Carl and Moira Morgan. The war has begun. And Carl and Moira know, win or lose, it all ends here.
The final installment of The Children of Lilith is a fitting conclusion to the story of Carl and Moira Morgan. The story doesn't waste time getting to the action. All the characters know what is coming and they have accepted it. The beauty of this story isn't in its ending, but in the courage and faith shown by the main characters as they approach their final doom. In spite of the knowledge that they will all die whether or not they succeed in their efforts to kill Lilith, they all move forward resolutely. Mistakes are made, judgment is clouded, human frailties muddy up the process, but they press forward with assurance they are doing their best to do the right thing. This is the heart of this story. David Belt explores the issues of human fallibility with the thoughtfulness of one who has experienced the impact of his own weaknesses. Carl, the leader of the vampire resistance, wrestles with his conscience concerning the power he holds over the others in his team. He is committed to allowing them the freedom of choice Lilith uncaringly denies them. Even knowing that by so doing, he is at the mercy of their fallibility, he remains steadfast in his support of agency. Tony Lupescu faces the unintended consequences of his past choices and the devastating effects they have on him and his family. The newly penitent vampire Sergei, struggles with the difficulty of overcoming the deeply engrained habits his long years of deliberate sin has created within him. Through all of this, the heroes of the story must face their greatest enemy and defeat her in spite of their past and their weakness. The only way to succeed is to completely place their lives in the mercies of their Father in Heaven and trust Him. This story is an adventurous allegory for the path we all follow in our effort to combat our own ultimate enemy. It's a great end to a great story and a good lesson for each one of us as we fight our own Liliths. Eventually, none of us can succeed without the Lord's guidance and help. With it, we can't fail no matter how powerless we may feel. - Trevor O'Donnal, Springville, UT
It had been awhile since I'd read The Penitent but there were enough references in The Prophecy to the main events in The Penitent to get me back in the story. The Prophecy picks up right where The Penitent left off so if you haven't read the previous book, you are going to be totally lost.
So now it's war. And war is ugly. And painful. And you lose people you care about. And it seems unfair. And hopeless. And because of the prophecy, Carl and Moira know that if they lose, they die and if they win, they die because all Lilith's children will die with her.
C. David Belt doesn't hold much back as he shows how evil Lilith is. I really like the part where Tony breaks the rules and is in contact with the enemy even though Carl tells his followers, "I cannot stress this enough, people: please watch what you say on cell phones, text messages, and emails. If you're posting on a blog or Facebook or some other website, please stop. Even little details can be assembled into a larger picture like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle."
But the rules don't apply to Tony, he's too smart. However, while we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences and sometimes it isn't us who ends up paying the price. And of course there are consequences to Tony's actions. It was hard reading about the consequences, but Belt managed to find the perfect balance of horror without going over the line with graphic details.
That said, there will be readers who will disagree with me and think Belt did cross the line and think it was too horrible for words. But that was the point, Lilith is capable of acts too horrible for words just like Satan. We all know people who think they are smarter than Satan and the rules don't apply to them; Belt is illustrating the consequences of this attitude in his story. Belt just takes the consequences to the worst extreme.
Belt adds two new groups of players in the war against Lilith -- the Marines and The People of Esther. Both play an integral part in the conclusion of the story. And while in one way the story ended the way I expected, I was surprised with how Belt handled The People of Esther and the future of life in this world without Lilith.
Overall, the three books were well written and it was a really good story with a satisfying ending. - Deborah Carl
Just when you thought you had read enough about vampires, Mr. C. David Belt pens a tale about vampires that really isn't about vampires at all. How? Well this story is about characters, a man and a woman, who happen to be LDS, vampires, in love and fighting the evil within; all the while trying to save the world by ridding the world of evil, one exciting page at a time. I could not put this book down. We resume the story of Carl, the "unwilling" vampire and his wife Moira. This time from the mind and perspective of Moira. Her Scottish lilting voice is still in my mind's ear, and her strong love and commitment to Christ and her husband is unwavering throughout the tome. A great read! Principles and culture decidedly LDS. Powerful and fun! Good wins, but not easily! Great Job, David. You Rock! - Dr. Jeff Jamison, Spokane, WA
This book will rip your heart out, throw it on the floor, then stomp on it. In spite of that, you will keep reading. This was an excellent finale to a very engaging series. It didn't end exactly the way I expected, which was refreshing. I like not being able to predict the end of a story. I love the overriding message in these books that is displayed most prominently in this one - the last: You always have a choice and it is never too late to do the right thing. This story will reel you in, then hold on to you up to the last word. The ride is at times horrific and devastating, but the continual thread of hope makes it all bearable and indeed helps you to continue until the rewarding end of the story. This book actually strengthened my faith. For that, Mr. C. David Belt, I am eternally grateful. - Jerusha Welborn, West Valley City, UT