A sequel to Farren’s debut vampire novel, The Time of Feasting (1996), about suave, thousand-year-old Victor Renquist
(Master of the Nosferatu in Manhattan) and his problems with the police when his followers get out of hand.
Victor’s vampires get by on plastic packs of donor hemoglobin, an only partially satisfying source of livelihood. Such
sustenance, in fact, is against the vampires" nature, which turns on bloodlust and the urge to kill. Periods come about when the
vampires fall into a frenzy and go on killing sprees that are hard to disguise—a condition known as Feasting. This kind of
wilding, with bloodless bodies left everywhere, threatens to destroy Victor’s colony. So he leaves behind the chic attention he
gets in New York’s celebrity press and moves his colony’s survivors to L.A., where the undead are fed by blood packs stolen
by a larcenous Salvadoran orderly at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. The vampires" deepest urges are filled by ex-sanguinating
the influx of unknown and undocumented aliens from the South—victims with brief or nonexistent histories. Power-hungry Julia,
intent on pair-bonding with Victor back in Manhattan, has followed him to L.A. even though he still mourns Cynara, murdered
by the hammer strokes of a whiskey priest. Victor also finds himself facing a problem with Elaine Dance, an inconsolably
depressed dominatrix whose bouts of raging hysteria cannot be tamed by therapy—as neither can her longing to join the undead.
She was taken halfway to immortality by Cynara but then left among the Darklost by Cynara’s death. Now, a rival cult named
the Apogee, ruled by the Council of Nine, wants to bring forth Cthulhu, the squidlike, betentacled Lovecraftian monster of the
underworld; if loosed onto this plane of existence, Cthulhu can destroy, enslave, or otherwise change the colony.
Despite rich plotting and colorfully embossed characterizations, much remains unresolved at novel’s end; clearly a third
volume is forthcoming.