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Review: The Last Vampire: Red Dice and Phantom by Christopher Pike

The Last Vampire: Red Dice and Phantom by Christopher Pike (The Last Vampire #3-4)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Surviving through countless centuries, Alisa is beautiful, strong and deadly. The US government is in pursuit of Alisa and her partner, intent on obtaining their vampire DNA. Alisa has no choice but to go on the run. She cannot allow her blood to seep into the public domain. It is way too deadly and dangerous. Alisa then makes a discovery that both delights and terrifies her. If all plays out as she hopes she will finally know happiness, if not she faces untold tragedy and danger. And all the time a powerful force is watching over Alisa. Someone who knows all that ever was, and all that will be ...

Amazon  US/UK  | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond
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  I reckon there is so much rage and confusion towards this series because it is marketed by the publisher mostly with the help of the latest covers and descriptions as young adult fiction.


I bought this book on library sale and took it with me on holidays. I blame it for getting me burned while I was reading it under Portuguese sun couple of weeks ago *grinning*

A thriller/horror/urban fantasy in the spirit of late nineties. I thought of Jeanne C. Stein, Tanya Huff and Vicki Pettersson while reading this book. It had that sense of unmitigated violence, exploration of the unknown genre and interesting mythology to it.

Sita is a five thousand years old vampire with her own peculiar ethics and spirituality. She is Indian and Hindu, she thinks of Krishna all the time and have philosophical conversations with him, which I found fascinating. However the fact that she is white skinned and blond is confusing to a boot. Is it a case of white-washing again like they recently did it with the cover of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa?

If that is the case it's a damn shame. I would be far more interested reading about an Indian vampire with Indian features, rather than someone as baffling as Sita/Alisa in her Caucasian appearance.

The plot of both books is compelling, fast and brutal. The descriptions and trail of thought (Sita is the main narrator) are very simplistic and slightly melancholic, there are plenty of holes in the plot, but nevertheless the books provide a mindless, entertaining read,  which all of us sometimes crave. Phantom's plot with the baby vampire made me snicker towards Breaking Dawn. 

Here's this idealised to the extreme perfect daughter of Edward and Bella, and here is a very scary alternative by Christopher Pike. A young woman who is an uncontrollable monster.

Anyway, I wouldn't read the rest of the series, but I wouldn't dish its entertaining value either especially for those of us who started exploring paranormal genre when it was still a toddler.  

* * *
Я бы не сказала, что продолжу читать Кристофера Пайка, если у меня будет выбор, но книгу эту я взяла с собой в отпуск, где на безрыбье и рак рыба, и прочитала с удовольствием.

Написано просто, в духе конца 90-х, когда сам жанр паранормала только начал развиваться, и книги напомнили творчество Жан С.Стайн, Вики Петтерссон и Тани Хафф.

Сита, она же Ализа, пятитысячелетний вампир, рождённая в индуизме. Веру она свою не меняет и на протяжении двух книг основывает свои этику и мораль на обещаниях Кришне и философских разговоров с ним в её подсознании.

Сам сюжет книг прямолинеен, читается как жёсткий и кровавый боевик, триллер, ужастик, городское фэнтэзи.

Много интересных линий, меланхоличный, даже фаталистичный голос Ситы, несмотря на большие дыр в сюжете, мне пришлись по вкусу. Однако я понимаю почему многим людям эта книга не понравилась. Издатель предпочёл разрекламировать серию как young adult fiction, хотя она никаким боком в эту категорию не вписывается, плюс обложки конечно об этом же и кричат.

И последнее, я разочарована, что автор предпочёл Ситу - индианку, отбелить и превратить по внешности в голубоглазую блондинистую арийку. Странно и дико.

В общем, сами решайте читать или нет.


Mel said...

I think you got it right when you described this series as entertaining. The books aren't long enough to really get worked up over the plot of characters but it moves quickly enough. I just finished the fifth and sixth books in this series and thought that was enough!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

I don't think I'll pick up any other books by this author, but when there is nothing else to read, he is very entertaining! :) Mel, I commend you for reading the whole series :)

Arianne said...

I read book 1 & 2 of this series. They're called Thirst for me though, oh well. The second book was way too weird so it's not my priority to get the rest of the books.

Blodeuedd said...

Now I am just annoyed that the girl is so white..whitewashing is just so wrong

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

sounds kind of similar to immortal rules. i never read this series, but i read some of his other books. is this intended to be an adult book?

Sveta said...

I'm planning on reading the Last Vampire series soon, but I think her being blond and blue eyed is part of the Aryan heritage, if I'm not mistaken? The author describes that Aryans conquered India 5000 years ago. Hope that clears things up.

PS. Kara-Karina, thanks for liking and reading my blog :)

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Sveta, I know that it's explained that she is of Aryan origin, however I think the series would have been more interesting if she had modern Indian features. Blond, blue-eyed girl sounds like an easy way out, a way conform. Do you know what I mean? I think I just generally ranted about the lack of racial diversity in YA/UF/PNR genre. Don't pay me too much mind :) Hope you like this series.

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