Christopher Golden is the author of more than twenty novels, including the critically-acclaimed Strangewood, and six nonfiction projects. He has worked in the comic book field for both Marvel and Dark Horse, and his short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He received the Bram Stoker Award for his nonfiction work, Cut: Horror Writers on Horror Film. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. Visit his website at www.christophergolden.com
In this present-day vampire novel, the vampires, or ``Defiant Ones,'' are being hunted by an ancient Vatican group trained in sorcery who carry out their extermination with sadistic pleasure. Peter Octavian is a Defiant One who has sworn off the ``blood song,'' drinking only hospital discards. For his belief that humans are not cattle, he has been ostracized by his own vampire family, but when he sees the pattern of vampire deaths he tries to gather his erstwhile fellows into a resistance movement. As the Vatican cabal begins its sorcerous attack, most of the Defiant Ones join Octavian in fighting off demons and banshees in a huge clash amid Venice's yearly carnival. The Defiant Ones win the battle, and the novel ends with the beginning of a new era in which vampires and humans will try to coexist in peace. Unfortunately, with the exception of Octavian and a few of his friends (e.g., a charmingly feisty undead Buffalo Bill Cody), the vampires are as unappealing a group of sadists as the cabal. Reasonably entertaining for vampire fans, but perhaps too big a story for one volume; the author might have done better with a continuing series.-A.M.B. Amantia, Population Action International, Washington, D.C.