First Tor Printing
Humans are cattle. There is no other reality for vampire Edward Weyland. That is, until two wounding bullets at the hands of vampire huntress Katje de Groot leave him vulnerable to a greedy third-rate Satanist named Reese, and his existence is changed forever by a frantic, knee-jerk act of compassion by a sensitive teenager named Mark. Further affected by the love of a disturbed psychiatrist named Floria and the friendship of a kindly but troubled professor named Irv, Weyland must discover if these three humans have given him a great gift - or a terrible curse...
This is a novel that doesn't allow you to leave your brain at the door. Charnas is delightfully subtle - there's no one big moment where you can point out that Weyland has changed, and it is sometimes a whole chapter later before you find out what effect the human "guest stars" have had on him, all of them affecting him in very different ways. And she never lets you forget what he is - this is not someone you would ever want to have a cup of tea with. This is probably the best depiction of the vampire as a predator, neither good nor evil. We remain rather detached from Weyland as he almost clinically self-examines himself.
Weyland's relationships with the humans he encounters are so different that each chapter varies wildly in tone. I personally found Mark's chapter the most powerful, with a wonderful picture of the terror and aching conscience of a truly good boy, and Floria's curiously anticlimatic considering her obvious significance. Everyone will have a favorite.
Though not quite perfect, a welcome addition to any vampire fiction collection.