THIRSTY by M.T. Anderson


Age Range: 12 & up


 In a first novel for which the word offbeat could have been coined, a modern Massachusetts teenager is swept into a plot of cosmic proportions as adolescence dishes up an unpleasant personal revelation--he's on the cusp of becoming a vampire. In Chris's familiar world of high school, bickering parents, and secret crushes, the vampires have always been an acknowledged but distant reality, on the nightly news when their victims are found or when they are summarily executed by police. They are collectively weak; their god, Tch'muchgar, has long been banished from this plane of existence, kept away by regular rites. As the peaceful town of Clayton is preparing for one of its annual picnic-cum-ritual-blood-sacrifices (only goats, unlike in Boston, where virgins are required), Chris notices disquieting changes in himself: violent mood swings, sleeplessness, relentless thirst, and a tendency, when agitated, to fade out of mirrors and other reflections. Enter Chet, an alleged avatar of the Forces of Light, to confirm Chris's fears about his own nature and to reveal that a local group of vampires is plotting to derail the rites, thus bringing Tch'muchgar back into the world. At Chet's behest, Chris infiltrates the group to place a magic token where it will do the most good--but then he begins to wonder: Which side is Chet actually on? Anderson leaves this desperate, naive protagonist in doubt until the end, then finishes with a breathtaking twist. An eerie jacket painting enhances this startling, savagely funny debut. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-7636-0048-2
Page count: 249pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1997


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