Confundo et Transfiguro
Confundo et Transfiguro is a very unusual book. The blurb refers to two young vampires, Volod and Aurel, who decide to turn their backs on their bloodthirsty, amoral kin and seek a new way of life, or perhaps undeath. This suggests that the story will follow a paranormal romance and journey of self-discovery direction; however, there’s an awful lot more going on in the book than that.
The book begins with an introduction to the Theogony of Amma, the Many Breasted Goddess, as told to the Prophetess Jane Doe following a shooting incident at a Buddhist retreat. This introduction describes the creation of the universe and everything in it, including the Moroli, better known as vampires, and humans. The humans, generally hairless and weak as they are, were favored by Amma, but they fell from grace due to the machinations of Hybris during a decidedly R-rated reimagining of the fall of man. Meanwhile, as a result of numerous shenanigans involveing gods, demigods, and even Amma herself, the Moroli eventually began to prosper under the leadership of Gilgaham.
A lot of thought has gone into the world building and backstory to Confundo et Transfiguro. Using alternative versions of Bible stories and mythology from various cultures of the ancient world, a vivid and interesting history is established. The information here is set out in “Testaments” that have been unearthed in different ways, and their discovery forms something of a story within a story. The series of episodes that explain the mythology of the Confundo et Transfiguro world are related in a traditional way, although the events depicted and the language used are colloquial and contemporary. While certainly not outright mocked, established religious norms and ideas are not really treated with reverence, which is something that prospective readers should probably bear in mind.
During the grand tour through time, Volod and Aurel eventually appear among the Moroli, possibly as new versions of Gilgaham and Tasm, possibly as entirely new characters – this section of the mythology is not particularly clear. They are young compared to the rest of the immortals, and they still have to perform the series of quests and rituals that will mark their full commitment to the Moroli way of life. Before doing so, however, they realize that they want something more and so embark on a journey to become more human.
Volod and Aurel’s search for enlightenment takes them to many strange places, and they encounter many strange folk along the way, including a plucky American girl named Britney, who is pretty into the whole vampire thing. In many ways, Confundo et Transfiguro is a story about stories as the two vampire lads hear many tales on their travels, each of which has some bearing on their desire for humanity. It’s all very peculiar, and the meanings behind events are often highly opaque, but taken together the story is so unusual that it is quite compelling. It’s never really clear where everything is going and how the various threads will come together, which prompts the reader to continue with the story. This book isn’t for everyone. The explicit sexual content makes it definitely unsuitable for under readers younger than eighteen years old. But for readers who are looking for something different from the regular paranormal romance and are willing to venture deep into the peculiar, it might just be a winner.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||312 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|