cover image Devil-May-Care


Jody Scott. Strange Particle, $12.99 trade paper (238p) ISBN 978-1-5393-4942-6

Like the previous two books in Scott’s Benaroya Chronicles (Passing for Human and I, Vampire), this one is furiously complicated in both plot and prose, but from the outset it’s uncertain whether the series’ conclusion will live up to its predecessors. Readers rejoin itinerant vampire Sterling O’Blivion as she attempts to kick her addiction to blood while longing to be reunited with her lover, Virginia Woolf (in reality a massive alien body-swapper inhabiting the author’s cloned flesh). But Woolf and her Rysemian comrades have bigger problems: the leering Sajorians, whose leader, Scaulzo, is better known to humans as the Devil. Their attempts to save humanity from physical and spiritual oblivion are served alongside a surprising amount of outright racism and retrograde, cissexist second-wave feminism, both of which have aged rather poorly since Scott wrote this novel in the 1980s. Scott also displays a tendency to describe sexual assault in graphic detail, which may distress some readers. This installment is ambitious and overwhelming, but it sabotages its own progressivism and ends up biting off more than it can chew. (Jan.)