Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Last Vampire, by Whitley Strieber

(pb; 2001: second book in the Vampire Life series)

From the back cover:

"Miriam Blaylock knows the secrets of civilization, the mysteries of life -- and the agony of undeath. For centuries, she has traveled the world undetected. Until now. Interpol agent Paul Ward has cleansed continents of vampires, orchestrated the extermination of an ancient lair, and obtained their sacred Book of Names. He knows where they hide. He knows where they feast. And he knows their weaknesses. But he has a weakness of his own: Miriam. Cunning and elusive, she has escaped his complex network of hunters for years. Toxic and seductive, she has become his obsession. Now, predator is about to become prey. Killer to become lover. Good and evil will become inexorably entwined as the endgame begins. . ."

Review:

Set more than twenty years after the events of The Hunger, Miriam is still with Sarah Roberts, whose willful brush with undeath has scarred her, and who continues her thus-far-failing experiments to avoid that fate again.

That the world situation has changed becomes brutally clear to Miriam, a Keeper -- one of the original vampires -- when she finds herself hunted by the ruthless Paul Ward, who's tortured by memories of atrocities inflicted on, and committed by, him.

Miriam sets a clever trap for the intrepid Interpol agent, one that may also ensnare her and her entourage.

The melancholic mood that suffused The Hunger is evident in The Last Vampire, but in this latter novel it's been supplanted by more overt violence, international implications, and a fascinating, expansive backstory (regarding Miriam, the Keepers, and how the Keepers bred and shaped the human world).

The Last Vampire is an excellent example of how a worthwhile sequel builds on source-novel moods and premises, characters (whose ambivalences fuel natural plot twists) and other story-series elements.

Impressive follow-up to a memorable work, this.

Check it out.

Followed by Lilith's Dream.

The Last Hunger is scheduled to become a theatrical film, titled The Hunger 2, sometime in 2012.

As more information becomes available, I'll update the film information on this link.

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