I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Eleisha, a vampire, is far older than she looks and makes men yearn to care for her. Then she usually kills them, since self-preservation comes first. So when an old vampire friend kills himself, Eleisha is shocked. And what she finds in his home shows how world-weary he had become; hoarding corpses and keeping records of vampires actual names and addresses. Now the police know who Eleisha is, and more alarmingly, what she is. But she soon realizes that being known may have its uses, even if it puts her and her kind at risk.
A pretty good vampire yarn. Great for those looking for just vampires. No annoying werewolves, faeries, or other supernatural creatures. The vamps are after blood, not sexy times, and have limited abilities. The main character has been made a vampire (against her will) to do a specific task and left without instruction or assistance from her maker.
It would seem that there are only half a dozen vampires in her world and that number is shrinking, as Eleisha’s current companion commits suicide. Chances to learn from another are limited and her abilities are changing in ways that startle her.
Reminiscent of Anne Rice’s vampires, as there is a fair bit of angst about the need to kill to survive. There are also hints that vampire history may become a focus, as it does for the Vampire Lestat. However, without the same powers as Rice’s vamps, these characters must learn human skills like driving, managing money, and renting hotel rooms.
Eleisha is in many ways an abused woman who is learning to own her power and to run her own life. I wasn’t crazy about her at first, as she starts out timid and overly dependent on others, but she gains momentum during the course of the book, eventually leaving her in a much more independent place.
An interesting exploration of the concept of immortality—what will keep an immortal being engaged & interested in life? What interests or skills will keep them anchored in their society and in sanity? So many speculative fiction books deal with enormously long human lives, but don’t really consider this problem.
It looks like I will have to request book 2 by interlibrary loan if I am to continue the series.