‘No Moon to Pray To,’ by Jerry Guern

Everyone talks to me with Your voice, Enik thought. Everyone but You. Every time I’ve ever set out to serve You, it’s all turned out wrong. All my life I’ve begged You to tell me, to show me what You want. Nothing else. Why did You make me Your knight and then refuse to command me?

It’s a rare pleasure to discover a Christian fantasy I can really recommend. It’s even rarer (unprecedented, I’m pretty sure) to find a vampire story I can recommend. No Moon to Pray To, by Jerry Guern, impressed me very much.

Father Michael is a member of an ancient Church order, a secret fighting order devoted to hunting vampires. The order is led by a strange old bishop who has a secret – a secret Michael shares, though he doesn’t know it yet.

Enik is an old French knight, a former crusader. Once a hero, he went home disgraced. Now he lives in self-imposed poverty in his castle, devoted to one thing only, the protection of the peasants in his care. Right now he has to protect them from an attack by a nest of vampires.

Fate, or the hand of God, will throw them together. But that will only make things more complicated.

One of my chief problems with run of the mill Christian fiction is a lack of ambiguity. Good and evil tend to be pretty obvious, making choices easy for the characters, and making the stories irrelevant to actual human experience. It also makes them boring. Author Guern is not guilty of this sin. No Moon to Pray To is chock full of ambiguity. The best of his characters are always in doubt about God’s will, and his worst characters (even some of the vampires) have their admirable moments. Sometimes you wonder whom to root for.

The characters were well-drawn. The dialogue was generally good. The prose was good, with a few slips. I think there may have been some factual errors (Guern doesn’t seem to know how a mail shirt is taken off), but overall I’ve got no real complaints.

I can heartily recommend No Moon to Pray To. In fact, I’ll go so far (if this actually constitutes praise) as to say that if you enjoy my novels, you’ll probably enjoy this one too.

Cautions for adult themes, violence, and gore.

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