cover image The Shadows

The Shadows

L. A. Banks. St. Martin's Griffin, $14.95 (349pp) ISBN 978-0-312-36875-3

Though this 11th installment in Banks' Vampire Huntress Legend tale contains many interesting references to esoteric religious mysteries and features titillating S&M sex scenes, it will be difficult for the uninitiated to give a fig about the multitudes of angelic characters who sit around wishing for non-gore spattered clothes and whining about their fallen companions as the apocalypse swirls around them. Most of the action is in Hell, where Lucifer and his wife, Lilith, are feverishly working to protect the Anti-Christ and bring about the end of days. Lucifer's right hand man, Fallon Nuit, is successfully using his multimedia empire to flood the airwaves with bad mojo, while Elizabeth Bathory gorily resurrects her husband, Count Dracula, and then bleeds and moans through some physically improbable sex with him and Lucrezia Borgia, Nuit's wife. Though a lot of ass gets kicked, there's so little forward momentum that the story becomes a soul-sucking drag.