Posted on February 8, 2005 by Flames
Available at DriveThruHorror.com
Gehenna: The Final Night
Written by Ari Marmell
Vampire: Gehenna, the Final Night is the first act of the Time of Judgment, telling the story of a wide-ranging Armageddon among the supernatural entities of the World of Darkness.
The end of the line for Vampire: the Masquerade and the Kindred characters of that part of the World of Darkness. Several signature characters, such as Lucita and Theo Bell and make a final appearance in this book. As Ari Marmell’s first novel, this is quite an undertaking. How do you sum up all those years of books, characters and events in the plot of Vampire: the Masquerade? Quite simply, you can’t. There is simply too much. So many characters and plots have been introduced over the years that it would take volumes to cover them all. What Ari Marmell does with this book is tell a great story of a select few of the characters we’ve known over the years. Several of the ongoing plots from both the fiction and sourcebooks for Vampire: the Masquerade are touched upon, if not given some sort of resolution within this book. I really enjoyed the way Mr. Marmell included references to previous works. Lucita’s experiences in the Lasombra Trilogy are one great example of this. Even though Ari Marmell did not write Lucita’s adventures in that series, he givesl depth to the character, picking up where Bruce Baugh left off with her.
Another huge challenge when writing “The End” of Vampire: the Masquerade is giving “life” to those characters which have only been hinted at before. How do you write the motivations and actions of the Ancients? What are the thought processes of a creature thousands of years old? Simpley, you don’t. Mr. Marmell wrote about these beings as if they were a force of nature, primal entities beyond human limitation. Only a few of the ancients were touched upon in this book, just enough to enhance the tension and horror of the rapid approach of the Final Night.
The main character of this novel is a familiar one to many readers of Vampire: the Masquerade. Beckett, a mysterious Noddist mentioned in several fiction novels and RPG sourcebooks, continues his quest to unlock the secrets of Cainite history throughout this story. Beckett travels throughout the book, trying desperately to uncover some piece of lost lore that will show him the answer. His discoveries along the way are both shocking and personal as, as he discovers more about the lost history of the race of Caine he also learns who and what he truly is. He is tested by friend and foe alike. I personally enjoyed the brief battle against Theo Bell, both characters held true to their core personalities.
Those looking for a resolution of Vampire: the Masquerade will not find one in Gehenna. This book does not wrap up all the tales of Vampire: the Masquerade. It does not reveal all of the hidden secrets and final fates of all those characters you may have read about over the years. However, it does offer one possible tale of the Final Nights. A tale worth
Reviewer: Matt M McElroy
Look for Vampire: the Masquerade books at Noble Knight Games.