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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
First Born: The Vampire Genesis by L.C. McIntyre is a fantasy short story that tells the origin of folklore's most well-known creatures, moving it from the traditional Eastern European setting to one that delves further back into Africa and biblical Egypt. Pashera, an Egyptian mother who hears the call of Moses while shopping in the Hebrew marketplace, heeds the advice of the prophet of the Hebrew God when he tells his people, the Israelites, to mark their doors with the blood of lambs that evening. As the firstborn children of Egypt are slaughtered during the night, Pashera believes her son Barsa may be spared, until a cloaked figure emerges and tells her what the punishment will be for the crime of trying to trick the Lord in order to spare her only child...
First Born: The Vampire Genesis is an interesting and wholly original twist on the inauguration of the undead, with L.C. McIntyre creatively merging together the Passover story and the origin of vampires. The 10th and final plague sweeps through Egypt and, having overheard a way to save baby Barsa, Pashera does what any parent would: she tries to cheat fate. The opening scene, which is deeply engrossing, dives straight into the story, building its tension and strengthening its direction as Barsa begins to be strengthened himself. What I loved the most here is that this is truly a story about Pashera and the lengths a mother is willing to go to save her child, even after her first attempt is thwarted, and her second—an act of mercy that brings the story of salvation full circle—is done at a cost that will resonate for centuries. Recommended to all who enjoy short, fulfilling reads and wonderful new additions to the fantasy and folklore genre.