Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hand of Miriam (A Bayla and the Golem Novel) by Eva Gordon

   Steampunk, Victorian, with a little mix in of Goth, Hand of Miriam is a mixture of novel I am personally not familiar with, but very much enjoyed reading.  And it even added some supernatural with werewolves, vampires, wraiths, with the main points of interest being angels and demons.

   Bayla Gideon is on an archaeological expedition when her husband dies and she is the only survivor to the freak storm that happens.  During this time Bayla is branded with the Hand of Miriam, an all seeing eye that can sense evil and allows her to know the thoughts of others when left uncovered.  Desperate to keep herself alive while creatures ranging from rogue werewolves to demons try to attack her, she awakens the Golem in the archives at her home and frees him from his curse.
      In Jewish legend a golem is a clay figure brought to life by magic. 
The Golem is named Gesher.  He was a fallen angel that was made into a Golem to serve whoever awakened him.  Because Bayla allows Gesher to destroy the very thing that awakened him, he is now able to change from the scary and imposing clay man into a more normal looking man, although he still has the hardened body of a warrior and has scars where his wings used to be.  Because he fought the angel of death to keep a child from dying in a family that had already lost so much, he was stripped of his wings and sent to Earth as the Golem.  However,  there was the possibility of his returning to Heaven one day should he redeem himself.  That was all good until he went and fell in love with the beautiful, independent, and head strong Bayla Gideon.  Now he must make the decision to either stay on Earth with her or return to Heaven.  Before it had been an easy choice.  Now he found himself thinking he didn't want to live without her.
   The Hand of Miriam had not only given her the power to discern evil where it was present, but also the gift of immortality, if she could keep herself alive.  She was not immune to illness or accident.  That is why she needs Gesher, but her feelings for the tall and crazy handsome fallen angel are causing her to want him to stay permanently on Earth.  But she refuses to be the one that keeps an angel on Earth.  Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose killing prostitutes within the city and someone is killing female vampires as well.  The killer has been named Jack the Ripper and Bayla starts suspecting that perhaps even one of the Grigori, a secret society which even involves Queen Victoria and all things supernatural, might be the culprit.  She has no idea just how deep it will go and just how in danger she is.  Gesher has his work cut out for him keeping Bayla safe from those that would do her harm.

   As I said before, this novel is a very different read from my norm.  But if you like all things paranormal/supernatural, angels and demons type thing, then you should try this book out.  With a hint of spooky and a hot fallen angel, it is sure to keep your attention.  I do find it a very strange element to the story that Bayla has to keep her hand uncovered for the marking to work.  And the fact that it can be fooled as well, it is just very difficult to do so.  But the dirigibles, strange machines, and unconventionality of the story really work for it!

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