Review: Accursed by Amber Benson and Christopher Golden

AccursedThis book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The World Wide Web has become a talent showcase. The BBC recently premiered a Web-based animated series titled Legacy, which averaged more than 100,000 hits per week. After working on a second Web series, the creators debuted their first full-length novel, Accursed, which tells of the Protectors of Albion, and their struggle against evil.

William and Tamara Swift have inherited a special legacy: They’re the keepers of the mystical powers that protect England. Sadly, their ascension to power was fraught with tragedy. Their father, the former Protector, has been possessed by a demonic presence. The siblings are burdened with trying to learn more about their power, even as they wield it in their country’s defense.

They’re aided by the ghosts of Lord Byron, Admiral Nelson and many others.

Nor do our protagonists have much time to settle into their new roles. London’s streets are being stalked by an evil that transforms men to monsters, and rapes women, causing them to die while giving birth to foul creatures. This curse is spreading from the lower class to nobility’s halls.

Happily, readers needn’t spend time with the Web-based material before diving into this book; it serves quite well as its own introduction. The story is well-crafted and will make readers want to explore the history behind this intriguing concept.

The book contains some dark fantasy elements; the authors don’t skimp on the violence and sex, nor on the creeping, filthy feeling inspired by the demons. But the results aren’t too blatant, and shouldn’t put off readers through sheer brutality. Golden and Benson–quite the Renaissance woman, and well remembered for her role as Tara on television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer–allow readers’ imaginations to fill in some of the gaps.

Those wishing to find the original material can visit for the animated serials, along with the print tales. All in all, Benson and Golden have created a darkly enthralling story.