Tanya Huff may have left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, but she still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, six cats, and a chihuahua, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic--an education she was happy to finally use while writing her recent Smoke novels. Of her previous twenty-three books, the five--Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt--featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular.
Lights, camera and action take a backseat to slippery shadows, snappy dialogue and an overwrought hybrid fantasy/SF plot in Canadian author Huff's alternately clever and annoying blend of farce, mystery and magic, the first in a trilogy. In this spinoff from the author's five-volume series (Blood Price, etc.) featuring vampire Henry Fitzroy, Fitzroy's streetwise ex-lover, Tony Foster, has moved with Fitzroy to Vancouver to study film. Now the set production assistant on CB Production's Darkest Night (think Angel), Foster pines for one of the hunky (alas, heterosexual) co-stars and dreams of being a director. When an actress is murdered under very "shadowy" circumstances, it turns out to have been done by a minion of a Shadowlord who slipped through a "gate" near the show's soundstage originally opened by Arra Pelindrake, a special effects wizard who also happens to be, well, a different sort of wizard on another world. Foster, Pelindrake and Fitzroy join forces to kill other minions sent to take over Earth and destroy Pelindrake, the Shadowlord's archenemy. The proceedings are enlivened with campy comments ("a world where Joss Whedon got canceled was exactly the kind of world where the Shadowlord could win"), but it's not enough to save an overextended plot light on substance and heavy with fang-in-cheek fun. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
When an actress in a popular vampire TV series is found dead in her dressing room, production assistant Tony Foster suspects the presence of a supernatural foe and turns to his former mentor for advice-450-year-old Henry Fitzroy, vampire and bastard son of Henry VIII. In Huff's long-awaited addition to her popular Henry Fitzroy series, Henry once again takes part in the struggle between good and evil, fighting not only to save the humans upon which he depends for his existence but also the world from conquest by a being from another realm. The author's delightfully light touch lends a sense of timeliness to this effortlessly told fantasy mystery, the first title in a new trilogy. For most libraries. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Praise for the Smoke series:
"Fans of Buffy and the X-Files will cheer the
latest exploits of Tony Foster, wizard-in-training.... An
entertaining supernatural adventure with plenty of sex, violence,
and sarcastic humor." --Publishers Weekly "It's a wild
romp, full of dark humor, a delightfully twisted version of
the usual haunted house story." --Locus "Huff is one of
the best writers we have at contemporary fantasy, particularly
with a supernatural twist." --Chronicle "[Huff's]
delightfully light touch lends a sense of timeliness to this
effortlessly told fantasy mystery." --Library Journal
"This latest offering is just as gothic and horror-filled as
its prequel. The conversational writing is a pleasure.... Huff
continues to add many details of filming and life on the set of a
television show while maintaining suspense." --VOYA
"Lots of action and amusing show-biz detail keep things moving for a fun dark-fantasy adventure." --Locus "[A] talent for creating believable suspense out of the most improbably circumstances. Vibrant characters and tongue-in-cheek portrayal of current TV trends make this a strong addition to most fantasy or horror collections." --Library Journal "Huff writes a spellbinding, fascinating tale that fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Jim Butcher will enjoy." --Midwest Book Review