"Horror at its' best"
In the 1970s, Alex Rossiter was a rock and roll icon on
a par with Hendrix and Joplin. Thanks to drugs, Alex
crashed and burned, fading into oblivion unable to get a
gig or a recording contract anywhere. He recently
resurfaced in New Orleans where he has developed an
interest in voodoo and is initiated into a local hanfou by
Papa Belovded. Not long afterward, Alex obtains a gig at
the Gris-Gris Club.
Alex meets an old friend Jere Sloan and the woman he
loves Charlotte "Charlie" Calder. Charlie instantly wants
to share sex with the musician. They go home, leaving Jere
behind. Alex's brief elation dissipates once he reads "The
Aegrisomnia" and becomes involved with the One-Who-Tempts,
a shade residing between the living and the dead. The
malevolent spirit tempts Alex to surrender his soul and
destroy everyone he cherishes.
Nancy A Collins does for voodoo what Anne Rice has done
for vampires. The characters are fully developed making
them seem authentic though pawns in a cosmic chess game
played by essences much older than mankind. TEMPTER is a
temptation that horror fans will want to repeatedly reread.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 30, 2001
From Publishers Weekly
As Collins explains in her introduction to this deluxe edition voodoo hair-raiser, first published in 1991 as a paperback original, her editor demanded that she recast it as a vampire novel to follow up on her Stoker-winning debut, Sunglasses After Dark (1989). She was living in San Francisco, about to wed her first husband, and when the 1989 earthquake struck, it proved "an apt omen for the fate of both my marriage and my book." Dissatisfied with the mediocre result, Collins has now wholly rewritten her troublesome offspring, excising every last trace of vampirism and restoring the voodoo magic. Despite a few signs of age (e.g., "Bush/Noriega" bumper stickers), this is the far superior version, with a compelling cast of New Orleans characters: Alex Rossiter, a burnt-out rock star; Ti-Alice, a beautiful witch who possesses an ancient book of runes, The Aegrisomnia; "mad" Aggie, a likable potion-peddling crone, who refers to the aforementioned tome as "some weird-ass Lovecraft-like shit"; and the evil Il-Qui-Tente (aka "He-Who-Tempts"), who has apparently been dead for more than a century within his decaying and abandoned antebellum mansion, but awaits a suitable living victim to revive him. Particularly engrossing is the historical background of Il-Qui-Tente's origin as Donatien Legendre, a dissolute, wealthy French-Creole planter, in the Civil War era. The book doesn't overdo the Big Easy's steamy ambience, though the fastidious should beware that it contains a lot of sex, much of it graphic.