Brothers of Blood follows Belle Whynecrow in her final year of highschool. Her best friends Josue, Xavier, and Jesus the hobo welcome the new kid, Chris, with welcome arms. The only catch? To quell their boredom, Belle tells them to create a kill list, marking off the names as they complete their goal before senior year ends. While struggling to pass their classes with flying colors, this band of merry murderers seems to be on a delightfully bloody roll until Belle's long imprisoned older brother, Beau, arrives at her doorstep. Now a devout man of God, the brotherhood schemes for his return to his original, and highly exaggerated, bloodlust. That is, if Chris's jealousy doesn't destroy Belle's ranking in the gang first. Not everyone will survive, but those who do will certainly have a year to remember because those that kill together live forever.
Brothers of Blood has an interesting idea and some creative language. It belongs to the transgressive mode and the horror tradition as you might have guessed from the title.
The idea behind Brothers of Blood is one of its best components. The story focuses on a brother and sister over two periods of time. The first part sees Beau, the older brother, going into a murderous rage that he drags his sister, Belle, into. The second Beau comes back from prison a reformed man to find Belle has taken up the work he started. (This is all revealed in the product description/ book jacket, which varies according to the site).
The set-up is ripe for tension and human drama. Our actions affect others, but they also affect us. What is the price of change? And what happens when it’s the price of another life? This dynamic kept me reading, though it took a little too long to establish some of its strengths in my opinion. Like a good horror drama, it strives for some shock and entertainment value, while maintaining more subdued themes.
TDR does an excellent job using uncommon phrases. Sprinkled through these pages are unexpected descriptions, comparisons, and subversions of common language. While many of the great descriptions are surrounded by some fluff or detail-heavy set-pieces, I think fans of cinematic writing will appreciate the attention to the small things.
Some of the side characters feel like people I could meet in the hallways of a high school. Yet I did not always sympathize with the main characters. I would have liked to see their motivations expanded in some places. This is not to say they do not function as they should and convince the reader to follow down their paths. If you find the idea of a brother and sister expressing their emotions through a killing spree too much to take, this isn't the book for you. But if you are not bothered by extreme behavior, you can relish this as a trip through over-the-top territory.
In the end, it is an unblinking look at the psychotic nature of some humans. There are some unabashed triggers, but when Norman Mailer wrote his heart out I remember passages I disagreed with but which still worked for the narrative. There is a style to excess and a flair to Tarantino aesthetics that many people, myself included, appreciate from time to time.
The characters are a slow burn but the plot and descriptions make for a visceral read.
Perchance the precocious antiheroes were more parsimonious in their incessant utilization of polysyllabic enunciations, and the scribe not so fond of extemporaneous bouts of inordinate description, this literary endeavor may be more palatable. Rogers writes as if somebody bet him that he (Rogers) couldn't use every word in Roget's Thesaurus in a single book. I personally also have an extensive vocabulary, but I don't use it in every sentence. The storyline itself was interesting, but the overwhelming amount of unconventional verbiage was distracting, to say the least.
Brothers of Blood begins with a confused narrative voice that is somewhat cleared up by the middle of the book but not soon enough for the reader to enjoy the story, if this is a story one can be said to 'enjoy'. Characters seem to face little consequences or conflict to do with the vile acts they commit and the novel feels more like a fever dream than a glimpse into the life of Belle and her brothers. Read with caution, perseverance is needed to wade through the thesaurus heavy writing, and don't expect a satisfying ending.
I'm not sure how any of the reviewers didn't finish this book. I was interested from beginning to end. It isnt the typical coming of age tale and I felt that even when there are unrealist moments, the realism is that even the bad guys have lives and go about their days in between evil acts. I loved it. Very unconventional and oddly beautiful.
DNF. I thought the relationship between Beau and Belle is interesting enough in the beginning but when other characters come into the picture, I struggled to keep my interest. I gave it until 25% in my Kindle copy but could not connect to the storyline.
I received this book as part of a free ebook promotion and honestly, I don't know what made me actually take the time to read it before hand. However, it is a far more intelligent book than I expected and even though it is indeed graphic, it wears its literary influences on its shoulders. He quotes Edgar Allen Poe in a pretty good show of the main character's brain power. Her slick handling of her friendships to better manipulate them into murders is just as impressive.
Not ever character is redeemable, but every single character has an arc and that is rare AF.
I loved it. It was surprising and far more than a rollercoaster, it was so good that I may just try championing this book until my death.