Since Thirst is an omnibus I'm going to be reviewing each book on it's own. So once I finish one book I will review it and then the next.
Thirst No. 1
The Last Vampire
Alisa is a vampire, and has been for the last five thousand years. She is a killer and a lover. All Alisa wants is to be left alone. To live out her long life away from prying eyes for as long as she can. But someone has decided that they are very interested in Alisa. Someone has hired a private detective to learn about Alisa. Once this very same detective learns about Alisa's amazing wealth he decides to confront Alisa outright.
Once Alisa learns that this detective knows much about her, a little too much actually, she becomes obsessed with learning who it was that sent him after her. An obsession that introduces her to Ray, and suddenly Alisa must choose; Ray's life or her own.
I did not misremember Pike's ability to have very mature situations in his YA books. This book starts with a seemingly quiet scene that quickly escalates into a very dangerous situation for one of the books main characters. Alisa, the narrator and protagonist of this series, is a cold woman. It is the way she thinks, the way she speaks, and in the way she interacts with other characters. She has a strange intuition about everyone she meets, and has a very calm way of digesting each situation she finds herself in. Right off the bat, I loved this character. She is nothing like other vampires I have read, to this point, because she is written with a grace and maturity not all vampire characters are given. And really when you have supposedly lived hundreds to thousands years this kind of characterization should be used more often.
There are a couple of things that bothered me about this book, as much as I loved it. The book, originally published in 1994, was slightly dated. For example, Ray is amazed that Alisa knows as much as she does about computers. Even in 1994 I believe that with the age range of these characters, 17-18, Ray shouldn't be so amazed at Alisa's ability to use a computer. Also Alisa uses a zip drive (several actually) in one scene which is fairly out of date with today's technology. I understand exactly why the author or editors wouldn't have wanted to update this book since it may change the story. However, the age range it is marketed to may wonder about these small details.
Another thing that bothered me was near the ending of the book and involved Alisa devising a plan of escape. I won't go into detail since of course that would spoil some things, but if you have read the book you may remember. If not the clue I will give you is rockets. It seemed like a contrived plan at best. However Pike did very well with the ending and I have to say I was very surprised at how the book ended.
One thing I will really commend Pike on is the use of an original origin story for both this kind of vampire and how Alisa became a vampire herself. It was very clever and intriguing way of showing how a vampire is born.
I'm delving into the second book, Black Blood, now. Already the first chapter is capturing my attention. Well see how it goes. Tell next time!