A Drop of Red
Chris Marie Green
Ace, Mar 2009, $15.00
Limpet and Associates have traveled to England to wipe out another vampire underground. Many centuries ago, Costin exchanged blood with a man who made a deal with the devil; like a bloody Ponzi scheme, he turned his closest advisors into master vampires who go out and create armies. So when he wakes up from a centuries-long sleep, he has soldiers around the world waiting to do his bidding. Cortin hated what he has become and merged his consciousness with the body o f Jonah Limpet to destroy these underground pockets; praying his soul will be returned to him.
Muscular Hollywood stuntwoman Dawn Madison is believed to be the “key” to Costin regaining paradise lost by destroying the underground vampire units as he did in Los Angeles (see the first Vampire Babylon trilogy). The Romanian psychic Natalia who hears the dead joins the Limpet group and, Dawn finally accepts her. The group learns about young teens attending the Queenshill School in St. Alban’s. They were turned by a master who is training them to take their places in the underground’s main hive. The new vamps love night stalking searching for bodies to drink from and mutilate. They are confident that no one can defeat them, but Dawn and her crew are going to test that premise.
This is the start of the second Vampire Babylon trilogy saga and it is radically different from its excellent predecessor though as superb. The key is the California and England undergrounds are dramatically dissimilar from one another as are the creatures of the night. Dawn remains somewhat uncomfortable in her role, but has adapted mentally; she was already strong before her new task so physically her adjustment was easier. A DROP OF RED is urban fantasy at its best; filled with interesting characters and a fast-paced story line in which death has several outcomes but is always a bite away.