The Blood of the Lamb

Thomas F. Monteleone
The Blood of the Lamb Cover

The Blood of the Lamb


Blood of the Lamb by Thomas Monteleone was the 1992 winner of the Horror Writer's Association Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement. The first thing to note is that this story continues in The Reckoning which I have not yet read. It is quite clear from the ending of Blood of The Lamb that the story would be continuing in another volume.

"The End Times." That is what this story is about. And not just end times, but Christian biblical end times. A person does not have to be educated in biblical studies or have a strong foundation in Christian study to enjoy this book, but it would help. Most people, even non-Christians have a basic understanding of the Christian end of the world mythos.

Mr. Monteleone has a background in Catholic Jesuit studies, and this is reflected very heavily in the novel. The Jesuit order, or the Society of Jesus is known as a sect that embraces science. It is not inconceivable that they would use this pursuit of knowledge to try and bring about the second coming of Jesus.

Obviously, there is a strong religious element to this book, but do not mistake it for The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. (Please note that I HAVE NOT linked this book series or these authors. I refuse to give them even a little free publicity for the abomination of the genre of literature that is this series!) There is a lot of questioning of religions and Christianity in Blood of the Lamb without the sanctimonious claptrap found in Left Behind.

But beyond the surface supernatural apocalyptic aspects, this book makes commentary on organized religion, the cult of personality, The press and the 24-hour news cycle, and the idea of power corrupting. Peter was a good person before he started manifesting his power. Although I think it is important to note that the first manifestation we are introduced to is when he kills a man trying to mug him. So even this first bit of power was used to destroy not create. I can't help but think this leans into the idea of original sin of man. Although it could always be that only an event of extreme stress would have caused his power to manifest, thus defending oneself from being murdered would be justified and not really an act of evil in spite of it being violent.

I have always been interested in religious study and attended a religious college, where we were required to take a religious study course each semester as well as the integration of religious spirituality in each course we took. So combining two topics I enjoy, religious study and horror, makes for an easy book to enjoy. I like the questioning nature of the story. I like that characters do terrible things in the pursuit of the truth and right as they see it. I like it when bad people make good decisions. There is just so much grey in this novel in both action and motivation. I believe The Reckoning will be in my future.

And as a plus, I get to mark another Bram Stoker winner off my list!

Remember, Lazarus was the first zombie!