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Chosen (The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy) by…

Chosen (The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy)

by Barbara Ellen Brink

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My first book by this author, and the first book in this series.

This was both something of a random pick-up and random decision to read. At some point in October I noticed the book, and that it was free. No, I don’t normally pick up every free book I spot. This one just caught my eye. A Buffy the Slayer type book (not that I've actually ever read a Buffy prose novel, though I've read a bunch of graphic novels). Took me about two months, but I finally got around to reading.

Jael Shetler has spent her life moving around with her very paranoid family. Living mostly in deserts and the like. She’s been trained by her father, tossing stakes at scarecrows, training in martial arts, etc. She was never exactly told why.

Book opens with the mother, Miriam, knitting on a porch. The father, whose name escapes me at the moment (Jacob? I know it’s not Seth, because that’s the uncle; wait, no, Jacob's the mother's brother), comes out and asks why Miriam is out there, in the heat. They talk. Before they get too far in their conversation, daughter Jael wanders up and demands to know if she is an alien. She’s not allowed to do anything – go to after school events, have people come over to spend the night, etc. Father responds, to the alien question, with a yes.

I’m not sure why he said yes. Maybe I need to know more about the Amish to figure that one out. But, whatever, Father says that yes, they are aliens. Amish aliens. And she, Jael, is the chosen one. There’s some back and forth and it takes some time, and book pages, and days, before the story gets told about what exactly Jael is, and what that means.

Jael is named after Jael from the bible. The woman in the Book of Judges who killed Sisera. With a tent peg.

Judges 4:20:
20: He said to her, "Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, 'Is there anyone here?' that you shall say, 'No.'"
21: But Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died.
22: And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple.

I distracted myself with a quote. From the bible not from the Chosen. Right, so, Jael is the chosen one, who will lead her people (or free her people) from the demons (vampires) currently holding them hostage. Her people being those of the Minnesota Loon Lake Amish Community.

There are some similarities and differences between Buffy and Jael. Jael’s parents raise and train her (Buffy's parents are separated); she’s under strict rules – which include not being able to do any after school activities, or much away from home beyond going to school (Buffy's always wandering around, going to bars and the like, despite being basically the same age, that always confused me, hanging out at a bar, at around 16-18). There’s a ‘council’ like in Buffy, but they are dead before the start of this book. Um. Buffy lives in California, and Jael lives in Nevada. By ‘chosen one’, they mean ‘by God’. Religion plays a part in this book (though not a heavy handed part). I do not recall religion playing much of a part in Buffy’s stories (except occasionally). ‘Pain/cramps’ play a part, but not the same type of pain as it did in Buffy. I forget now how menstruation played its part in Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (vampire detector?), but it was vaguely gross – and gladly dropped from the tv series (or not continued/followed up/whatever). Personally, I’d prefer a few light references to God to whatever that menstruation stuff was about.

This was an interesting enough diverting read. Not the best thing I’ve ever read. Not the worst. It’s the first in a trilogy, and while I liked this one well enough, I’ll probably not . . . at least not immediately, read the rest of the books. The book ends with her having more stuff to do, but it isn’t a cliff-hanger per se – this is a solid book in and of itself.

This is somewhere around a 3.5 star book. Well, something between 3.35 and 3.65.

Dec 10 2015 ( )
  Lexxi | Dec 11, 2015 |
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