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This is Stephen King’s Danse Macabre, a scholarly yet accessible study of the horror genre published some thirty years ago. King knows his stuff, and it shows. The scope of his book is vast, encompassing nearly all things horror from the the last (at the time) thirty years–books, films, etc.

In his introduction, King calls the book his Final Statement on the genre. It is indeed a book length paean to a genre he so obviously loves. In the book, he contends that “horror appeals to us because it says, in a symbolic way, things we would be afraid to say right out straight with the bark still on; it offers us a chance to exercise (that’s right; not exorcise but exercise) emotions which society demands we keep closely in hand.”

Which brings me to Clay Morgan.

Like Stephen King before him, he has written a great book about the undead. Also like King’s it’s scholarly (Morgan is a professor and historian), yet accessible–and chock full of zombies, vampires, and other things that gives us frights, and go bump in the night. Also like him, Morgan views the undead allegorically: they are us (or were us), and represent many things:

Unrestrained id

Rampant consumerism

The unredeemed life.

It is this last with which, as he looks at six tales of the undead from the New Testament, Morgan deals the most.

But it is no dry, dusty tome full of dead men’s bones; rather, like Stephen King, Clay is clearly a pop culture aficionado. He knows his Zombieland, Night of the Living Dead, and the Walking Dead.

But he also knows his Bible, and his purpose in writing this book–along with providing an entertaining ride though history–is simply to point out that the same Jesus who brought the dead to life in New Testament times still raises the living dead today.

Do you know him?

Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, Reborn is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

Have you read Undead? Do you watch zombie shows/movies?

You can find Clay on the Internet on his blog, ClayWrites. Information about his book is available at Undead. You can follow him on Twitter @UndeadClay

>Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker

     Immanuel’s Veins is the latest thriller from the prolific Ted Dekker. It is the story of Toma Nicolescu, a warrior in the service of Catherine the Great, and his mission to protect the Cantemir family in Moldavia. Complications arise in the form a duke, one Vlad van Valerik, and his entourage. With this conflict, Dekker explores the heights and depths to which love can take us. We, along with Toma, learn the high cost of love. In fact, is the central theme of the book is a question: What is sacrificial love? And is it a price we are willing to pay?
     I found Immanuel’s Veins to be a fun, quick read. Dekker’s talent for creating a fast-paced, suspenseful narrative is in full force. It was romantic—sensual, even—without being tawdry. The trappings of 18th century Moldavia are pitch-perfect, but as the story steamrolls ahead to its conclusion, I felt that some of the supporting characters suffered in their depictions. I would have liked a little more depth, a little more time to get to know Toma’s compatriot, Alek, better. Other than this, the only real narrative weakness for me was Dekker’s attempt to tie the story in with his Books of History Chronicles, as this felt a little forced, a little tacked-on. It would have been better as a stand-alone narrative. All-in-all a compelling story, with central characters you care about, and a satisfying conclusion. I would recommend it.
     (My answer to the question–what is sacrificial love?–is simply doing what it takes to convince people that we love them. This may play out in a thousand myriad ways, but always comes back to: what will we give up for love? Will we, like Christ, give our all?)
      For a chance to win a Spread the Love t-shirt from Thomas Nelson, please comment below. Thanks for reading!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Immanuel’s Veins book trailer>

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