The very beginning of this book hooks you. The first sentence grabs you by the eyeballs and glues them to the pages of this book. I've long stayed away from Christopher Pike's YA novels because they are YA novels...I'm typically not interested in young adult fiction in the least little bit, with few exceptions. From now on, however, Christopher Pike novels, YA or otherwise, will always be at the very top of my purchasing list. I won't rent them from the library or borrow them from friends-these are books I want sitting in my shelf.
About the book:
Pike follows the 5,000 year old vampire, originally named Sita, through her life as she encounters demons with cocky attitudes, Krishna (as in Hare Krishna), new vampires who need a little bit of control, and so many other obstacles. She is ruthless, whether flowing under the guise of Alissa, Lara, or just plain old Sita. I can relate to Sita in many, many ways. In honesty, she's my kinda gal. Sita was once just a regular young woman (18 years old) who was married and had a daughter (keep in mind that five thousand years ago, that was normal). In the beginning of her marriage, while her daughter was still tiny, Sita becomes a vampire and is forced to leave her husband and child behind. Through her life, she often speaks of the loss of her child and her sweet husband, Rama. These passages usually tear at my heartstrings so much that I can forgive her for slashing a few throats or blowing up a few buildings.
Christopher Pike is probably one of the best writers of our time right now. I love the way he doesn't nag on and on over one scene when he could just write it simply. He describes scenery and people in a way that is simple, yet clear as a bell. I can imagine that when Pike hands in a new manuscript, his agent probably smiles like the Cheshire cat and counts hundred dollar bills in his head as he sleeps.
I also really love the way Pike has gotten into an eighteen year old girl's head. Although Sita is 5,000, she's still only eighteen and she has many thoughts and feelings that are true to the female nature, of course. There are some male writers who, when writing female characters, forget to give them personality and depth as well as a natural femininity. I also think that Pike was absolutely genius for giving her the loss of a child, though she was only (in appearance) eighteen years old. Given that she is female, it gives her a certain depth that goes beyond just being a vampire. She is a bereaved mother, in a sense. Her child was not killed and didn't die until she was of life expectancy, but Sita did not get to raise that child. I can only imagine what that did to her.
Sita, also, uses what she has at her disposal to get what she wants. I tend to think that most teenaged girls, twenty-something women, and females period do this a lot, although most of us stop somewhere between bribing children with candy and lopping off people's heads. Sita does what is necessary. If she needs something and there is a chorus line of old ladies in her way, the old ladies have to go...but she will completely dislike destroying their lives. She only kills those who she must and tries to not kill innocent people. I can respect that about her.
Getting down to the nitty gritty.....
For this book consisting of three different novels, I couldn't put it down. I read the first section, got a Dr. Pepper, then sat down to start the next novel and the next. It took me all of three days. In honesty, it wouldn't have taken me that long if it were not for the fact that I have four children and responsibilities that go beyond reading books and sucking down Dr. Peppers (Usually coffee, but I just had a tooth extracted and had to avoid hot drinks).
Rating: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 FIVE HEARTS!!! <--- I rarely rate a book with five hearts and though I just now finished Vol. 1, Vol. 2 is already cracked open on my desk with my Moulin Rouge bookmark on the first page of the first chapter. I just HAVE to know what happens to this young vampire!