No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Friday, June 23, 1995

Paint it Black -- Nancy A. Collins

Paint it Black is the third novel to feature Sonja Blue, schizoid punk vampire extraordinaire. Sonja hasn’t given up hope of destroying Morgan, the aristocratic vampire who made her what she is. The hunt, however, doesn’t stop her amusing herself by hunting down other vampires who prey on unsuspecting humans - and by seducing her own prey. But the Other, the violent and bloodthirsty creature that lurks in her back-brain, keeps getting out. And the Other isn’t nearly as well-mannered as Sonja; the survivors could tell of that, although there aren’t many of them.

In a secluded house in Yucatan, the vampire-child Lethe is growing up fast. Palmer, looking after her and waiting patiently for Sonja’s return, doesn’t know what Lethe will become; it’s evident, though, that soon she’ll be ready to go out into the world, and fulfill her mysterious destiny. Meanwhile, through the sultry nights of New Orleans and the sleazy private sex clubs of New York, Sonja walks among the Pretending Races - werewolves, vampires, demns and seraphim - seeking Morgan, and a solution to her own divided nature.

Collins’ nocturnal world is richly detailed, contemporary and all too credible. There’s a depth to the characterisation - both human and Pretender - that fascinates and seduces the reader. The climax of the novel reveals Pretender plotting on an almost Biblical scale - and the key to Sonja’s own nature. There’s one problem, though; how can Collins follow this?

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