"Behold the new Queen of the Vampires"
The Queen (of the Vampires) is dead; long live the Queen.
Paraphrasing the old royal address, I adapted it into a
play on words using Anne Rice's Queen of the Vampires
title. Rice has finally--so she says--gotten rid of Lestat.
That is punishment to Rice. Lestat was Rice, or maybe
better said, Rice was Lestat. He permitted her to handler
her own demons. He was her vehicle to vent her pain and
fears, oddly enough, similar to how the Japanese love
Godzilla. Her life changed with the loss of her daughter,
now her husband, so I think in doing away with Lestat is a
form of penance for her. Most her readers however rarely
looked past the stories to why she wrote them, they just
loved them, for the most part. They felt let down she has
abandoned them. The Queen of the Vampires is "dead" so
behold the birth of the new Queen--Susan Squires. Squires
has for several years, being penning an original concept,
one I see being copied over and over by newer writers--the
origins of the vampire disease. But she has always gone
past the romance, past the story to provoke the reader.
It's my firm belief she doesn't do what is "nice", but what
makes the reader THINK.
Her first two of this trilogy for St. Martins Press, were
stunning evoking not only matching the depth of history and
emotion of Rice's early vamp tales, but she adds a touch of
passion that truly transcends "Interview" and those that
followed, and draws the reader in. Rice liked sex, but
often her tales has an emotional distance that keeps the
reader at arms length. Squires goes past that and touches
on the fact romance, love, passion are timeless. It sucks
the reader in and is so addictive.
In this tale, Ann Van Helsing is curse with the power of
psychokinesis--the mere touch of her hand on a person and
she knows all, their darkest secrets. This power is nearly
driving her mad and the only way she can survive is to shun
human contact. She lives a reclusive existence in Wiltshire
at her uncle's remote estate, but often must take to the
sanctity of the woodlands nearby. Only there is she safe
from the thoughts of others that so torment her. That
sheltered life is about to take a nightmare turn.
Arrogant, brash, Stephan Sincai once set loose upon the
world and ancient evil that can bring mankind to the brink
of destruction. As punishment, he is sentence to become a
hunter, a vampire who must search all of Europe and destroy
the abominations made by others of his ilk. After a battle
with his last target, he is left dangerously weak and
injured in the woods that Ann frequents. Ann comes upon
him, near death, and despite her loathing of touching
anyone, she must to save him. With her powers, she sees his
life, his long history as a vampire, how he was made, how
he must atone by killing other vampires, a curse that
reached back to the 12th Century.
Oddly, Ann is not repulsed by the creature Stephan, but is
drawn to the man, and despite it being a taboo, Stephen
cannot help falling in love with Ann. Only the ancient evil
is waiting to he set loose upon the earth is waiting to
take its vengeance, and in loving Ann, he has given the
weapon that could be used against him, destroying them both.
The Companion and The Hunger are the first two and both
were powerhouse, knockout novels. However, I felt in The
Burning, is where Squires truly inherits the mantle of
Rice. The story is strong action, strong passion. The Queen
of the Vampires is "dead", long live the new Queen--Susan
Very highly recommended.
Posted April 25, 2006
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted November 29, 2006
A Forbidden Temptation . . .
It is 1821, and all who know the beautiful, mysterious Ann Van Helsing believe she is insane. Yet Ann's curse is not lunacy, but rather the deep psychic ability that allows her to know everything about another human being—their history, thoughts, and desires—simply by touching them. Overwhelmed by a power she can barely control, Ann roams the woods and caves near her estate, searching for a peace that eludes her. It is here she encounters the man who will change everything.
Leaves Her Yearning . . .
To repent for an unforgivable transgression against his own kind, vampire Stephen Sincai has become a vigilante who must hunt and kill those whom other vampires have made. When Ann discovers Stephen bleeding in the woods, she reaches to touch him before she can stop herself. In an instant, Ann knows every fiber of Stephen's being—and the knowledge is at once frightening and insatiable.
For Eternal Fulfillment . . .
Ann and Stephen are drawn together by a force more powerful than they know. As Stephen and Ann continues to fight against the evil surrounding them, an unseen treachery has yet to be revealed: an enemy bent on destroying them by making them choose between what they love and fear the most.