VALENTINE by S.P. Somtow


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 Sequel to Somtow's 1985 paperback Vampire Junction: more lurid, appalling, spectacular bloodsucking from the splatterpunk author of The Shattered Horse (1986) and Moon Dance (1990). Timmy Valentine, the eunuch boy-vampire more than two thousand years old, disappeared at the fiery conclusion to Vampire Junction. Now trapped, crucified, inside a looking-glass world, desperately tired of being undead yet not alive, Timmy searches for someone with whom to change places. Young, alienated, confused, abused look-alike Angel Todd suits Timmy's purpose; moreover, Angel is eager to make the exchange. However, the evil witch Simone Arleta is plotting to steal Timmy's immense powers. And while Simone performs her horrid rituals, young half-Shoshone shaman PJ, prompted by the timeless forces of Nature, prepares to oppose her. Once the action starts, people get pulled in and out of mirrors, sometimes only halfway; bodies become possessed, explode from within, are hacked to death, or find other gory, violent ways to perish; heads roam around, seeking excrement as food; vampires pop up, feed, pass on the contagion, and expire unpleasantly; so it goes. Somtow can write effectively when he chooses, but too often prefers to swamp everything in ghastly and intimate detail. The shameless padding doesn't help. At its best, a glutinously horrible experience that feels like it's never going to end. Okay for existing vamps, but won't win many new fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-312-85145-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1992


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