Review by Angella Graff
Be Not Afraid, By K. R. Morrison
Be Not Afraid combines Christian spirituality with a traditional "Dracula" style vampire. The heroine, Lydia, a very spiritual family woman, starts the book in a mundane nine-to-five job. She's working late, and as she's ready to call it a night, she's suddenly being stalked by a strange man.
The story progresses quickly from there, Lydia being kidnapped by the aptly named Vlad, and turned into a vampire. Lydia struggles to reconcile her faith in God with her blood-lust, and desire to succumb to her new nature as a vampire.
There's a twist, early on, and with the help of a priest, Lydia is able to overcome the curse and become cured. She heads home, desperate to forget her ordeal and move forward with her life and her family. However, her daughter Trudy, starts displaying odd behavior. A fascination with blood, mysterious mosquito bites on her neck, and a new boyfriend.
During this time, Lydia's husband also falls off the grid, keeping everyone worried, and when Trudy brings her new boyfriend home, Lydia is horrified to be faced with none other than Vlad himself. The pieces begin to fall into place, Trudy's odd behavior, her husband's disappearance, and Lydia has to figure out how to save her family from Vlad before anyone is killed.
I won't give away the end, but I will say that the spiritual side is very prevalent, and there is a decent Meta-plot in the book that I'm sure will continue in any books K. R. Morrison writes in the future.
Personally, this genre is not my usual cup of tea. I almost never read Christian fiction, however I will say this book is a page-turner, especially if you enjoy this type of fiction. It's obvious that Morrison is well-read in the traditional vampire lore, and I have to say it's nice to see the traditionalist brought out in Vampirism rather than putting a contemporary twist on the legend. It's been quite some time since I've seen anything traditional involving Vlad the Impaler, so props to the author for that.
The cons regarding the book are few, and shouldn't detract from buying this book, especially if it's the type of genre you enjoy. In my opinion, I wouldn't have minded a little bit more back-story with Lydia. The story starts out and goes straight into the action, so there's little time to connect with her as a character. Same for the family, and you're only really introduced to them the moment the action starts, so it's hard to feel empathy towards anyone. I only list that here because I prefer to have a deep connection to characters, but if it's action you like, this book definitely delivers.
Towards the end (without giving away any spoilers) the connection to the spirituality of the character's religion is very up front and definitely ties the events together well, so if you were to read it a second time, it all makes even more sense.
I did spot a few typo's in the book, which I don't deduct points for, because as a first book, and self-published one at that, small mistakes can and will escape the editing process. None of them take anything away from the story, however, and they're easy to overlook.
All in all, I'm giving the book four stars, and really look forward to seeing what this author brings in the future. I see a bright writing career for Morrison, and hope she continues to write what she loves!