An Interesting Mash up of Biblical and Urban Fantasy
This novel is an interesting mash up of religious imagery, urban fantasy, Biblical warfare, and intriguing storytelling. The story centers around an intriguing young woman named Lilith St. Cloud who has drawn the attention of the immortal hierarchy that exist in the world of this book. Lilith is something of a mystery as she exhibits ancient powers although nobody seems to know exactly who she is. As the novel progresses, Lilith’s identity is revealed and the stakes are raised in a way the reader will find delightful.
The initial setting of the novel is a Starbucks in Scotland, and it takes quite a while for the book to get rolling. Lilith is sitting at the Starbucks and various characters of consequence are observing or stalking her. Many of these characters are given scenes which sometimes are told in the past perfect tense—this is an interesting choice on the part of the author since the past perfect (“had visited” etc.) tends to distance the reader from the action. However, I suppose in a novel like this where events are separated by millennia, it would be difficult to write the scenes chronologically. Flashbacks are jarring as well since that undermines the significance of the past episode in relationship to the unfolding action. B.L. Marsh does effectively set up the action with the approach she uses here, and I found examining her approach to be quite interesting.
The world building of “The Lilith Scroll” is noteworthy as well. Fairly early we are told that we can expect to meet werewolves and vampires as well as angels and demons. The fact that modern things such as iphones and Starbucks are also mentioned can provide a jarring sensation. There’s a brief scene where an immortal uses a iphone to make a very important call, and the fact that the iPhone was mentioned struck me as kind of comical. It’s almost as if the author is saying, “yes...even God has to use iPhones, and even he can’t escape the iTunes licensing agreement.”
This book reminded me quite a bit of “Tears of Heaven” by RA McCandless. “Tears” also features Nephilim set in a mostly modern world. I don’t know if it’s correct to call these novels “Christian Urban Fantasy” (For short...I don’t know...maybe “CurFs” or something?) but there’s getting to be a lot of them (the Paul Bettany movie “Legion” probably fits into this category).
I enjoyed the world building of “Lilith Scroll” very much. The writing is very solid, although I’m on the fence about the present perfect scenes (though I can’t really blame the writer as I mentioned). There are some sequences that really get some rhythm going, and the characters are interesting, well-rounded, and appealing. If you’re the type of reader who is into Curf, this is a great book for you.
Please like my review on Amazon (and pick up your copy of "The Lilith Scroll") here.