“The Last Vampire”“I am a vampire, and that is the truth. But the modern meaning of the word vampire, the stories that have been told about creatures such as I, are not precisely true. I do not turn to ash in the sun, nor do I cringe when I see a crucifix. I wear a tiny gold cross now around my neck, but only because I like it. As to blood–ah, blood, the whole subject fascinates me.” I just finished reading “The Last Vampire” again after having read it about 17 years ago. I without a doubt enjoyed it even more this time as I was too young to appreciate it before. What I love most about the book is that Pike tells the story through the eyes of the vampire herself. Throughout the narration, Sita debunks many of the myths and stereotypes associated with vampires and reveals the true nature of this extraordinary being. And because she is as old as history itself, Sita recounts major historical events and points out some inaccuracies in the written tradition.Yaksha, the very first vampire and the embodiment of all that is evil, changed Sita and hundreds of others into vampires in India 5,000 years ago. But Krishna, who embodies all that is good, outwits Yaksha in combat (almost killing him) and makes Yaksha vow that all the vampires will be destroyed and no more will ever be created. Yaksha hunts down and kills all the other vampires as he vowed to do, and later is killed and burned in the witch trials of the Middle Ages. This leaves Sita as the sole remaining vampire.Now Sita is living in Mayfair, Oregon, calling herself Alisa Perne, secure in the knowledge that she is the last vampire. Yet, someone is hunting her…and only another vampire would be capable of hunting a creature as powerful, fast, and ruthless as Alisa. But there are no other vampires, so Alisa must find out who or what is after her.Sita/Alisa is a creature who has managed to witness firsthand 5,000 years of humanity’s history, and has a lot to say about it. We understand what we always have: what it feels like to love, to lose, to fear, to hate. Sita/Alisa is delightfully human, in her capacity for all these things. Her pain is real, and her dilemma is an arduous one. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best literary examples of the origin of vampires being explained in a fashion both comprehensible and believable.
Pike’s story flows like water–you can easily visualize what is happening–marvelously violent, and quite bloody. Not only does it manage to give you a compelling and gripping story with characters that are both real and complex–it’s actually refreshing.
“The Last Vampire 2: Black Blood”
“Then you should never have been born.”
Sita had thought that she and her companion, Ray, were the last vampires on Earth. However, a murderer who favors dismembering and draining the blood of his victims is stalking Los Angeles, and Sita realizes that her assumption is incorrect. Only she has the power to stop this creature from his evil path but he’s much stronger than she expected, and she finds herself in a life-and-death struggle.
Occasionally the narrative digresses to discuss Sita’s dreams and visions of her original life in India eons ago in an effort to lend spiritual purpose to her actions; this comes across as a somewhat obvious attempt to link the tale to legitimate mythology. I loved it with or without the digressions. The story is seen through not only her eyes, but her thoughts, her dream, and even her imagination.
What I liked most about the sequel is of course Sita’s slyly appealing humor. It never fails, whether she’s dealing with the new characters introduced in this sequel or engaging in playful yet edgy banter with Ray or Simon.
“The Last Vampire 3: Red Dice”
Sita/Alisa and her male partner are vampires; but the FBI is on their trail, seeking their blood in order to study and duplicate it. One is captured, and it’s up to the survivor to keep the FBI from learning their secret and turning the world into vampires.
She attempts to keep her DNA from the hands of someone who would test it and use the results to gain immortality. Indeed she runs into an old “friend” who’s involved in the series is more ways than you can imagine.
Unfortunately, the reader does get the nagging thought that Sita throws away lovers like paper. It was sad how Joel wanted to die in peace but Sita made him into a vampire against his express wishes. She tried to make him take Ray’s place.
Like his other books, Pike goes into great depth, throws in romance, lots of violence, and some blow-’em-up scenes.