Horror fans and history buffs alike will find much to love in Mark Bradley 's new vampire novel "The Offering." A blood-soaked tale of righteous vengeance, the novel spans the centuries between ancient Maya civilization in El Salvador and contemporary Washington, D.C. The historically accurate elements of the novel, along with the modern environments, are what set "The Offering" apart from other vampire fiction.
The protagonist of the novel, Luisa Santiago , is the prima ballerina of the Capital Ballet. When her aunt becomes an inadvertent casualty in a Salvadoran youth gang shooting, revenge fills Santiago's mind. One of the ballet's wealthy patrons, Miguel Maldonado , reveals that he may be able to help bring the killers to justice. However, there is a catch - Maldonado is a vampire, and he wishes to turn the young ballerina into his companion.
Santiago has a metaphysical connection to a long-perished civilization. She is the reincarnation of an important figure in Maya history. Her memories of that previous life are on a subconscious level, influencing her emotions and providing some visceral, but mysterious mental imagery. On the other hand, the vampires of the novel - Maldonado, as well as the leadership of the Mara Camazotza youth gang - have a direct connection to ancient history: they are all descendents of the Maya people.
Gang violence provides the modern setting for the novel, while also informing its historical elements. The blood sacrifices of the Maya and the senseless, rampant youth violence of the inner cities share many similarities. Tito Vazquez , leader of one of the most powerful gangs, and his lieutenants were powerful members of Maya society, and they've brought their affinity for bloody doings with them into modern-day Washington, D.C.
A historian by trade, Bradley has conducted painstaking research to ensure that important names, places and events retain a ring of truth. Although vampires are certainly fantastical, the believable settings and individuals in the novel add a compelling dimension to what is already a bona-fide page-turner. The novel offers a vast and detailed sweep of history, while the individual revenge drama plays out in the here-and-now.
About Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley is a historian by day and novelist by night. His recent studies of Maya civilization, especially the aspect of human sacrifice, are what inspired him to develop a contemporary vampire novel. "The Offering" is his first novel.
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