Vanitas: Escape from Vampire Junction

S. P. Somtow, Author Tor Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85513-0
Twelve years ago, Somtow's Vampire Junction rocked the horror world with its graphic violence and sex and gave birth to the movement known as ``splatterpunk.'' This third novel in the saga of teenage vampire rock star Timmy Valentine keeps the shocks coming while bringing its protagonist into confrontation with characters and insights introduced in Vampire Junction and in Valentine (1993). Ever since he appropriated the soul of movie double Angel Todd to resume life as a mortal, Timmy, a castrato frozen at age 13 for almost 2000 years, has been experiencing a ``vanitas''-a spiritual malaise-that has sapped his music of its passion. A similar ennui has overtaken Timmy's buddy, art gallery owner PJ Gallagher. Enter the discorporate spirit of the fallen Angel, who refuses to let Timmy forget him and begins manipulating mortals to commit brutal vampire-like crimes that are then immortalized on canvas by PJ's hot new prospect, neo-Gothic painter Lauren McCandless. Realizing that only they can put a stop to Angel's bloody atrocities, Timmy and PJ head for a showdown with him ``at the edge of reality, the place where dreams collide,'' in a pyrotechnic finale spun from vampire lore, Thai folk legends and Shoshone mysticism. On the way, Timmy ruminates in flashbacks on the many historical personalities whose lives he has touched, including Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Vlad Tepes. Timmy's experiences closely parallel the exploits of Anne Rice's infamous vampire Lestat, but Somtow breaks up the novel's moments of Lestatian introspection with uninhibited jolts of carnage and sex. The result is a vibrant climax to one of the most original vampire chronicles in modern horror fiction. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/1995
Release date: 12/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-8125-2478-9
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