There is no denying the allure of the vampire mythos: enigmatic, seductive, lethal. No matter how you like your vampires from attractive and pacifist to violent and grotesque, they all share a similar draw; ensnaring those around them, taking what they want without remorse. When I first brainstormed Lost Devil’s Throne and the books to follow in the series, I knew immediately which supernatural creature would have the starring role. An avid reader of mythology, it was the original vampire legends spanning time and culture which captivated me. They are a far cry from today’s familiar polished, gothic-chic characters. The vampire has always been the quintessential loner. A societal outcast: feared, hated, hunted. Cursed to wander the world long after death. A plague, a parasite, destroying those they loved in life.
What turns an average human being into the perfect sociopath, doomed to hunt the living, surviving only by murdering others? It’s interesting we’ve endowed the vampire with a moral ambiguity which most other monsters are never allowed. There’s a general consensus any creature to hunt humans from werewolf to demon must be destroyed for the good of all (although if they promise to behave, hunt only animals, and are particularly good looking, we do cut them some slack from time to time). The vampire seems to be the exception to this rule. We overlook their parasitic behavior and downright murderous tendencies. Is it because unlike most supernatural creatures, they usually retain the most outwardly human characteristics? Are they easier to identify and sympathize with? Are we hoping they will one day find redemption?
As we approach October and my favorite holiday of the year, I’d like to suggest an alternative to the clichéd vampire we all know and love. Embrace the monster and don’t be fooled by the pretty veneer. Underneath lurks an assassin who, in their quest to live forever, will take what they need to achieve that goal by whatever means necessary. Wandering through the world a silent witness, watching the endless eons roll by like waves on the shore. They are blessed and cursed by time as immortality brings perfect, bitter solitude. Try to save them if you must, but it will be in vain. They are Nosferatu, the undead, the vampire, and they neither need nor want redemption.
The vampires in Lost Devil’s Throne are not nice. Sure, there’s the courtly one from Haiti and the gracious businesswoman who heads the Chicago coven, but still – underneath the surface (and not too far beneath) lurks a monster. Follow Alexandra Drakis, a sanguinem vitae, a human who can quickly regenerate blood, into the treacherous, seductive world of the undead where the line between good and evil is tenuous at best. What you don’t know can come back to bite you…
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