The Horror Zine Review
The Left Hand
by Serenity J. Banks
|Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dark Continents (April 28, 2011)
The Left Hand
by Serenity J. Banks
Review by Matthew Munson
Eddie Kane is a drop-out. He’s an ex-drug addict and currently trailing behind the mysterious Calif Cryste as his clueless sidekick. A mystery he might be, but there’s more to Calif than meets the eye – and Eddie’s slowly finding out what.
A clever concept, The Left Hand is an intriguing take on a vampire hunter – but with a twist. I’m not giving away any last-page surprises when I say that Calif is called the second-born, which in itself weaves a heavy dose of mythology towards the end of the book.
Eddie is the focus of The Left Hand, and he veers between likable and loathable; he’s clearly disconnected from the world around him and has been for quite some time. When he meets – or rather, is rescued by – Cliff, his life takes a rather....unexpected turn.
Serenity J. Banks is clearly a very clever writer; she weaves Eddie’s destructive back-story in with his current....adventures (that doesn’t seem like quite the right word), but he is certainly caught up with Calif’s vampire-hunting focus, even if he doesn’t particularly like it. Ms. Bank’s writing style is flowing and strong; on a couple of occasions, I had to look back a couple of lines to make sure I know which time frame I was reading about, but that’s a minor comment – the juxtaposition of the two timeframes is interesting and works well.
Calif is an extremely fascinating character. In all honesty, I found myself preferring him throughout a lot of the book rather than Eddie; perhaps that was due to his mysterious nature. I’m not sure, but his mysterious origins and the esteem and fascination that Eddie has for Calif permeates the book. Calif has a laser-focus on his goal, and the air of mystery around him remains strong even after you learn more of his back story; he’s a complex, layered character and he is a strong pull throughout the book.
Although we learn more about Calif throughout the book – and more so with the climactic ending – there’s still a lot more that could be written about with him, and I wonder if Ms. Banks has more books in mind? It would certainly make sense – although The Left Hand finished with a very solid ending, there’s still so much more about the mythology of the world she’s created – plus the personal mythologies of Eddie and Cliff – that she could easily write more, I’m sure.
A smaller character, Doug Degulchi, is a suspended FBI agent pursuing Eddie and Cliff across the States, an unbeliever in their cause and viewing them as common murderers. His reactions to their cause – and his own personal journey – is an exciting one.
All in all, The Left Hand a very clever book; well-written, well-researched and a lot of passion has clearly been invested into it. It is definitely worth the read – and I’m excited about seeing more of Eddie and Cliff (and Calif!) in the future.
I like The Left Hand; it is a strong book, with an incredibly intriguing ending that makes you wonder where it’s going to go. Come on, Ms. Banks, bring us a sequel!
You can buy The Left Hand HERE.
About the Author
Serenity J. Banks
A veritable jill of all trades, Serenity J. Banks currently works most notably as a professional editor by day and a kickass bartender by night. She’s the owner and chief media strategist of Redheaded Stepchild Author Liaisons and a founding member of Dark Continents Publishing. Find Serenity on Facebook, visit her at serenityjbanks.wordpress.com, or drop her a line at:
About the Reviewer
Matthew Munson has lived in Kent all his life and is a natural-born Englishman with strains of Irish blood somewhere in his ancestry. Despite writing his first story at the tender age of ten, he only began aiming for a professional career almost two decade later.