Monday, February 1, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Monday, May 25, 2009
In Christopher Pike's introduction to this story he says that his greatest fear is becoming paralyzed, and that Christopher Reeve's memoir Still Me was partially the inspiration for The Tears of Teresa.
A man and woman come home from a late movie. Their 18 year old daughter is sleeping, and they sit in the kitchen talking for a little while. Suddenly, a figure rises out of the pile of dirty darks in the adjoining laundry room. The guy comes into the kitchen and forces the couple outside to their car at gunpoint.
Next, we meet Max, a 20 year old reformed high school nerd who recently avoided a life crisis using "gentle persistence and an occasional flash of anger" to convince his pregnant girlfriend, Teresa, to get an abortion.
Since the abortion, Teresa has been traumatized and unable to sleep. She hears a baby boy crying all night long. Max wants to give her money so she won't be so stressed out from college and her job, but he works for his father and good ol' Dad keeps hardcore control of all Max's money.
Max decides that he'll take Teresa on a trip to Las Vegas to help her unwind. He invites along his BFF David and his girlfriend Sandy to be buffers between Max & scary, cry-y, nightmarey Teresa, but Dave declines.
Meanwhile, the woman and man are still being held at gunpoint by the unknown man in their car. The woman drives, while the kidnapper sits in back. She tries the "I have to pee" routine, but does it half-assed. She didn't go for the gold with "I have my period"/"Do you like blood and piss?" I guess that wouldn't work because she's driving her own car and he's, like, sitting in the back, and hence wouldn't really be affected.
Teresa & Max have a great time in Vegas, until Teresa decides she wants to get married. Like, now. Max eventually agrees, and a drunken preacher performs the ceremony. Back in their room, Teresa wants to shower before consummating the marriage. Max stands on the balcony to clear his head in the night air. Suddenly, a hammer attacks his back, and some mystery being gives him the big boot over the balcony railing!!
Back to unknown woman, man, and kidnapper: the guy viciously ties up and beats his captives. He takes out a knife. He has the right to harm them... because of Max.
Max is semi-conscious in the hospital. A crying baby is hanging out next to him. He hears Teresa and his BFF Dave, and, man, are they plotting. 1! No abortion. Teresa's still pregnant. 2! Dave and Teresa planned this fakeass marriage/murder to get at Max's money when Max's dad realizes that Teresa is having Max's baby. 3! Max is awake enough to hear everything, and let them know he heard, but then he dies. 4! The crying baby grows up to take revenge on Dave and Teresa by kidnapping them as they get home from a movie 20 years later. Oh yeeeeah, this thing is going full circle.
So, even though Max dies, he WOULDA been a cripple if he'd lived, and that is the fate that Teresa and Dave have earned for themselves. But I have a question for the 20 year old baby man: Max's dad didn't give them any money, AND Dave raised Max's kid as his own... does that not count for anything? Past Baby/Future Crippler totally doesn't wanna hear it. He knifes both their spinal cords, and leaves Teresa and Dave to rot.
Anyweegie, still working on Last Vampire sextiligy. Sextology? That doesn't sound right... the rest of the Last Vampires. Those books don't read themselves. Uh, I read them. Right. So, those are coming up later in the week, along with some Pike short stories starring the fabulous Marvin Summers! Ok, he's not that fab. He was kind of a dumbass, but whatev.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The Last Vampire - Christopher Pike
1994, 193 pages
Alisa Perne - older than you, stronger than you, smarter, faster, better than you, and she's seen waaay cooler stuff
Yaksha - born of a demon
PI Mike Riley - a detective investigating Alisa
Ray Riley - Mike's son
Seymour Dorsten - school nerd with a secret
Krishna - yeah, that Krishna
Alisa was born in 3000 BCE. She was originally called Sita, but she uses a crapload of aliases in the book, so I'm sticking with Alisa because... that's what I'm gonna do. When Alisa was 7, a disease, pretty much swine flu times a million, infected her village. Her best friend Amba, who was 14 years old and 8 months pregnant, died of the disease - along with lots and lots of other people.
A dark priest shows up with an idea. Everyone is in a panic, so they listen to his shit even though they woulda ran his ass outta town straightaway under normal circumstances. His hypothesis is that a demon brought the disease & they have to get rid of the demon.
They decide to use Amba's body for their ceremony. She wakes up, except she's a hideous demon with a ridiculously long tongue, which she uses to lick the skin off of the priest's face.
After she lays back down dead, her stomach is still moving. The gathered townspeople have different ideas about what to do. Like, it's a baby. But it's probably evil. Except what if it's not, how would you feel then, murderer? Anyways, they take the baby out and it's a boy! Alisa names him Yaksha.
Years pass, and Alisa is now 15. Yaksha is 8, but he's the same size and intelligence as she is. Actually, he's the most beautiful, generous, and smart person in the village - and only 8 years old!
Suddenly, the townspeople who were there when Yaksha was born start to disappear, one by one. There were 5 nobodies, Alisa's dad, and Alisa, who had snuck/sneaked into the ceremony. When Alisa's dad was the last man left, he asked Yaksha to please leave town. He was creeping people out. Soon after, both Pops and Yaksha went missing.
So, time passes. Alisa grows up and meets a guy, Rama. They get married and have a baby, Lalita. It's all good until one night when Yaksha shows up. He pretty much immediately makes it clear that he's not only a violent creep, he's evil too.
He gives Alisa two choices: 1) Join him and become like him, or 2) Watch her family die, and then be killed as well.
So, Yaksha is a jackass and she hates him, but clearly she's gonna have to go with him. He performs a blood-mixing, which gives Alisa a crazy orgasmic reaction, as well as turning her into a vampire. It's like Yaksha is her god now. Sorry, Vishnu, you're like totally forsaken.
You know the catch though. Alisa needs blood to survive. And she doesn't wanna go there. She becomes weak and tortured, until Yaksha brings her a half-dead boy whose veins are already open. It's too easy, and she succumbs.
Another 50 years pass and the vampire colony starts hearing a lot of rumours about a guy, Krishna, who can slay demons and grant bliss. The whole "slay demons" thing puts off most of the vampires, but Yaksha is still young and cocky and he wants to check Krishna out.
The vampires march toward Krishna's 'hood. Nearly there, a brutal bow & arrow attack takes out most of the vampires, but the survivors keep moving. They meet Krishna's #1 babe, Radha, in the woods and take her hostage. Yaksha threatens to kill her unless Krishna will go one-on-one with him. Krishna agrees, but he wants to choose the type of combat.
Krishna challenges Yaksha to a flute duel. Yeah, the woodwind. They have to play for control of a pit of snakes. Like, keep them away from yourself and make them attack your opponent. The deal is that if Krishna wins then Radha lives and Yaksha must take a vow of Krishna's choosing. If Yaksha wins, he gets to keep Radha for whatever purposes he pleases.
So they play. Yaksha is good, but Krishna is magical. He wins. He has private words with Yaksha, and then speaks to Alisa. He promises her his protection and grace if she never makes another vampire. And remember, where there is love, there is grace.
It becomes clear pretty quickly that Yaksha's vow had to do with killing all of the vampires he'd made. Alisa flees, and lives a fun and colourful life throughout many times and places in history. Until the present.
Shit gets stirred up when a private investigator, Mike Riley, calls her to his office. He wants to know what her deal is. She's one of the richest people in the world. She's only, like, 18 years old but she's got deals and investments going back decades. She owns property all over the world. What gives?
Alisa kind of freaks out when Mike won't say who hired him to investigate her and totally kills the guy. You know, she's got the reflexes of the mother of all cats. Which is the goofiest description since Rela said her smile was a bar of white chocolate. Just before Mike took his final breath, he told Alisa that a man named Slim hired him. Seriously though, he was under extreme duress. Not only was his chest crushed and he was about to die, Alisa was threatening a picture of his son.
After setting up a new ID, Alisa poses as a transfer student and goes to all of Riley Jr.'s classes. He may have info she can use, plus that picture of him was pretty cute. She meets him in history class. Hey, did you know that Alisa was in France during the Revolution when Marie Antoinette was guillotined? But Alisa's been shot, hanged, and even crucified on four separate occasions. God, I didn't know she was a one-upper. Marie Antoinette died! I think you can let her win this one.
In gym class, Alisa makes the acquaintance of Seymour Dorsten. That's a lame name, but I could accept it... until I read that he wears that style of glasses that makes it look like you've got humongous freaking elephant eyes. It shoulda been Seymour Dorksten. Hahaha. Alisa suggests changing his name to "Marlboro", or "Slade", or "Bubba". Because these are all cool. (?)
Seymour gives Alisa deja vu. They're connected somehow. She can sense that his blood is sick and that he doesn't have long to live. She guesses it's AIDS.
Next Alisa has biology with Ray Riley. She asks him if he will help her move her furniture into her new place tonight. He doesn't really want to, but eventually agrees. Alisa notices that he has the same spirit in his eyes as Rama, her beloved husband.
Ray shows up at 10 PM to help with the furniture. Alisa gets an idea to seduce him in the hot tub. God, Christopher Pike was into that waaayy before Blind Date made it popular. "Many men and women have swooned just from the brush of my lips", so Alisa doesn't expect to have any problems getting into Ray's drawers.
But wait! First, hey, Ray, don't you think you should call your dad and tell him where you are? This is a different tactic. I guess Ray's dad is "out of town" on a case, but he hasn't called in a few days. Hmmm, wonder what's up with that. Yo, Alisa, any ideas?
Alisa suggests that they go to his dad's office to check his computer and see what cases he's working on, and then maybe Ray can figure out where he is. Ray's down with the idea, so they go. In the office, "the computer is equipped with a mouse." Oy. Ray boots up the system. When Alisa spots the file with her name on it, she fakes fright at a nonexistent noise and sends Ray to go check on it.
She jams the door and copies the files onto floppy disks before erasing most of the contents of the Alisa Perne file. After she lets Ray back in, he looks at the computer files for a few minutes, then Alisa plays tired and asks to be taken home.
Alone at home, Alisa reads the file. Riley's contact was called Slim, but only a Swiss fax number is included. There's no other info about him. She writes him a fax offering to meet somewhere. They arrange to meet at the pier... tonight... alone.
At the pier, Alisa waits until a man and woman approach her. Armed creeps surround the pier. Slim wants to take Alisa for a drive. From his behaviour she figures he must not know she's a vampire, so she decides to go along with stuff until she can meet Slim's superior.
The captors are pretty tough, but stupid. Alisa tricks them with the old "I have to pee... and I have my PERIOD!!!!" lie, and then kills a bunch of them when they stop at a gas station. She lets Slim live just until he describes his boss... it's Yaksha!
After disposing of Slim, Alisa calls Seymour Dorsten. At her request, he brings a change of clothes to her and then drops her off at her home.
Alisa thinks that Yaksha may try to get to her through Ray, so she gets him and brings him back to her place. They finish what they started earlier in the hot tub and it's awesome. It's almost dawn, and Ray sleeps all day. Alisa has a gun, but knows that it won't stop Yaksha.
When Ray wakes, Alisa tries to send him away for his own safety. He's better off away from her. He won't leave, so she tells him that she killed his father. And that she's a 5000 year old vampire. And that she knew Krishna. Krishna is protecting her, but also devastating her by making her lose Ray. Ray isn't protected, and should totally leave before shit gets ugly.
But it's too late. Yaksha shows up outside, playing the flute. Alisa approaches him. He explains that he is tired and wants to die. And to die with Krishna's grace, he must kill all the vampires. But if Krishna is protecting Alisa, she's going to have to break her word to him and make a vampire so Yaksha is justified in killing her.
Alisa isn't going for it, but Yaksha wasn't making a suggestion. He plays a note on his flute that shatters the window Ray is standing next to in the house. Ray topples out and falls 60 feet to the cement driveway. His head is crushed and his back is twisted, but he's still alive. Alisa has only one way to save him: mix their blood and make him a vampire.
While Ray rests, Alisa visits Seymour. She tells him all about herself. And that Yaksha will be coming back at dawn to kill her and Ray. Seymour has an idea to make it look like they will all die together, but actually she and Ray will survive. Alisa runs with it and concocts a dynamite plan to coordinate 2 separate explosions: the first to throw herself and Ray clear of the second, killer blast to take out Yaksha.
Seymour tells Alisa that he got AIDS from a tainted transfusion after an accident. Alisa mixes a portion of her blood with his, hoping it will heal him without turning him into a vampire. Or killing him. That would suck, too. Suck. Vampire. Well, I liked it.
Alisa spends the night preparing her plot. Ray is like a "vampire on acid", all mesmerized with his newly sharp senses. When Yaksha arrives, Alisa shows him the explosives. Yaksha is down with all of them getting blown up at once. The fuse has a 3-minute timer. Like Boggle. While they wait for it to burn down, Yaksha turns on Alisa and says that he knows what she's up to. Alisa begs Yaksha to let Ray live. He's so young.
Yaksha realizes that Alisa loves Ray, and that the only reason she agreed to go with him so many years ago was because of her love for Rama and Lalita. Where there is love, there is Krishna's grace, so Yaksha shoos them out of the house before the detonation.
But - whoa, dude - a piece of shrapnel from the explosion pierces Alisa through the heart as she flees. Ray tries to pull it out. Alisa feels so much pain and love, and maybe she'll die. But maybe she won't.
So, what's up? I liked this book better than I remembered. One thing I don't like is my long weekend being all rainy and cold. People who live in civilized climates have no idea how awesome they have it. In other words, brrrrrrr. But anyway, I believe I promised many Last Vampires in rapid succession, so I'm outta here.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Hey, how about I show you a picture of my cat, and we can all just forget about the months-long lapse in posting? OK?!
Back when I started blogging, I realized I only had Last Vampire 1 and 2 and 5 and 6. & I seriously don't think I've ever read 5 or 6. For years, I waited for the middle third to turn up at a yard sale or used book store before I cracked #5.
So, here's my newest plan yet. I'm gonna use my long weekend (it's Victoria Day!) to knock all six of these Vampire muthas offa the to-read list. Which is probably a lot harder on the head than simply celebrating the monarchy. And, yeah, I know what you're thinking: "Ease yourself into that shit, sister!" But, no. I've been a doucheblogger, now I have to make up for it.
All right, I'll be back with some Last Vampire this weekend! Ciao~
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Master of Murder - Christopher Pike
1992, 198 pages
Marvin Summer - AKA Mack Slate, beloved mystery author
Shelly - object of adoration
Triad - Try-add? Tree-ade? Anyway, he's the Sir Jockenstein of this book
Harry - Shelly's former boyfriend and Marvin's rival. Dead guy.
Get this: Marvin's a famous mystery writer... but no one knows he's famous! Ha ha, *wheeze*, now he can sit smugly by while his classmates go apeshit about the books he's written. Oh, that Marvin! From the sounds of things, his mystery series is Fall into Darkness, written in the style of Final Friends, with a Nancy Drew-style title: The Mystery at Silver Spring, per the back cover, Silver Lake in the book's text. And the kids love it, let me tell you. It's like Harry Potter and Twilight combined. But with sex! Lots of sex.
So, Shelly. Marvin really likes Shelly. "Shelly had hair and she had skin - both lovely." Opposed to the bald skeletons in Bio class, I bet she looks pretty good? Or just other, uglier girls with un-lovely hair and skin? Man, Marv, you're making them feel so damn un-lovely/loverly (for British Like Pike reader/maybe readers?).
Flashback to the events of one year ago: Shelly is dating Harry. Buuuut, she decides to go out with Marvin - five times! And then Harry turns up dead in the river after being missing for 3 days. It's ruled a suicide by police but, man, if this happened in my life, I'd be totally suspecting... someone else.
Flashforward to the present: Marv stops to talk to Shelly after class. She's been sort of dating deceased boyfriend Harry's best friend Triad. Despite this, she agrees to a date with Marvin. Oh. My. God. Shell. Did you learn nothing at all from the events of one year ago?
Poor Marvie has the typical sad-sack family life. Like so many YA novel families of the past, there's an alcoholic mother who never leaves the couch, an alcoholic absent father who only shows up every couple months to rough Marv up, and an adorable little sister who is wise beyond her years.
In order to keep his sack of shit parents from stealing his Mack Slate fortune, only Marv's little sister, Ann, knows he writes books. No one else in the world, not even his agent, knows that he's a high school kid. Fo real? Mack Slate is mythically famous. Kids talk about him in class. They wonder if he's tall and dark, or blond with a matching pretty blond wife by the ocean. He's an enigma... I wonder what his "About the Author" says.
So, Marv and Ann spend a lot of time reading fan mail that his agents sends to him at an anonymous post box. Check out these excerpts from fangirl "Becky":
"...you are really god and we are all just characters in your stories..."
aaaaannnnnd, a pervy story about a dream (ack! no!) she had where she was in the school showers, and Mack Slate came in wearing a tux and had sex with her.
"You were like the devil 'cause you were so forceful, but it was so good, the sex, that you were like God as well."
Ok, girlfriend, you're skeeving me out. I wonder if Mr. Pike used to get this quality of fan letter. No time to ponder because Marv (and, yeah, I am the only one calling him that) has received a locally mailed letter saying only: "I KNOW WHO YOU ARE." Say whattt? No one knows who Mack Slate really is... unless someone does. You will not believe how little this whole letter plot adds to the story. Truly, it will blow your mind.
So, Marv's secret is out AND his deadline for the sixth and final Mack Slate novel passed months ago and he has no clue how to end the series. The story goes like this: Town treasure Ann McGaffer (yes, the dead girl in his novel is named after his own little sister) has been found dead by murder. Someone in Skank Spring/Lake is responsible. Her skanky best friend? Her skankalicious boyfriend? Her skankalicious boyfriend's skanktastic best friend? Her skankass brother? Her skank dad? Her skankariffic male confidante/fuck buddy? There are so many orgies in the plot, I can't even tell you who was doing who (or whom?).
It's date night for Shell and Marv. They go out on Marv's motorcycle. He falls asleep in the movie theatre. Marv, man, this is your date! If you're bored, think of how Shelly feels. Think of how I feel!!
Later at Shelly's, they make a bubble tub in the Jacuzzi and make some jokes about how un-gay they both are, and then make out. . Romantic! Last train to Sexin'town... until Shelly breaks down and tells Marv that Harry (her dead beau) didn't commit suicide - he was murdered!
Marv can't solve his own murder story, which ridiculously mirrors Harry's real-life death so much that Marv woulda had to be psychic or something when he wrote it, so he decides to spend the weekend demolishing the shoddy police investigation into Harry's "murder"/murder.
Anyweegie, Marv ends up doing crazy shit like dreaming about his Silver Lake characters, visiting the old man who found Harry's body, fist-fighting with his pisshead dad, and getting more anonymous fan letters saying "SHE DOESN'T LOVE YOU THE WAY YOU THINK SHE DOES" and "THEY ARE PLOTTING TO KILL YOU AS YOU READ THIS."
He drives to Shelly's to, like, see what's up. And finds her bubbletubbin' with Triad! That bastard! Marv dies in a ball on the floor of his own soul, then cries for hours while driving his motorbike. The wind will dry his tears.
No, really, it will. It's in the text. Page 113.
Just because he's at the point of all things obsessive, Marv goes back to the bridge where he suspects Harry died. I have no clue why he's doing favours for Shelly NOW, but, hey, that's Marv. He pretty much works up a reasonable theory that Harry hung from a rope off the side of the bridge, based on rope burn evidence on Harry's jacket and broken blood capillaries in his legs from hanging for an extended time.
And oil stains on his hands! ZOMG! That's it! Harry was lying in wait over the side of the bridge, after dumping oil everywhere and putting a rope across the lane. When Marv came by on his motorcycle, Harry was gonna use his own weight or something to raise the rope into a clothesline/tripwire and kill/injure Marv, and then hide the rope so it looked like the oil spill did Marv in. Ooohh, evil. But Harry got trapped in the rope over the side, and eventually fell to his death. Or hung to his death, and then fell.
Having solved Harry's accidental death to his own satisfaction, Marv decides that he will write the end of his novel series... as soon as he kills Triad.
So, one thing I didn't tell you about Triad is that he's after Marvin's bike. He's made several offers, and Marv finally decides to take him up on it. Cuzzz the best way to kill a guy is to copy the way a different guy tried to kill you but ended up accidentally killing himself. And you know what? This whole book people were talking about how smart Marv is.
Jockstrap Triad buys the bike, and Marv sets him up to have to drive across the deadly bridge and back to get the helmet.
Marv does the lying-in-wait thing with his rope and oil trap all set. It's awesome, man. Until... he notices that Shelly is on the back of the bike! There's no way he can go through with it. He realizes that Harry had done the same thing one year ago.
Triad stops the bike, and a fight erupts. Well, he pretty much shows Marv what he thinks of people who try to kill him with a fake-oil-slick-and-clothesline combo. Marvin realizes that just like in his story, the boyfriend's BFF wanted the heroine for himself. Triad killed Harry! Triad wouldn't think twice about killing Marv! Traid would probably freaking kill Shelly so no one else could have her!
Shelly chooses now to reveal that she's the one who knows Marvin's author identity. B-b-but how? Actually, who cares? Triad's about to commit a mass massacre. Bunch o' action: everyone nearly falls off the bridge, Triad beats up Marv and even bashes Shelly's face offa the bridge railing. Triad grabs Shelly and holds a knife to her, but Marvin don't even care. He steals Triad's new-previously-owned motorcycle and leaves.
So, then Marv goes to finish his book, The Mystery of Silver Lake VI: Night of Grief. Having escaped becoming a murder-by-jock-involving-bridge statistic, he's feeling pretty cocky. He calls his agent and tells him to book a big reveal and author reading at Sesa High - his very own high school!
He takes the stage, to complete silence and astonishment from the audience. He makes a speech and whatever. Shelly doesn't show up. Neither does Triad. Maybe he's in triage? Come on, gimme somethin'!
Shelly meets Marv at the bridge and tells him that she thought that HE was the one who killed Harry, because his books told the story so exactly. And she knew he was Mack Slate because she broke into his house and looked on his computer. Anyways, she won't tell what happened to Triad after Marv left them on the bridge, but let's put it this way: he was never seen again.
Oh, and check out this sleazy leg art meant to entice readers.
And I'll thank you to not check out the pudding stain directly above the sexy leg.
Thanks to everyone who stuck around/returned. I'm a knob, and I know it. I just got really into knitting this winter. Which is a poor excuse, but at least it's not jigsaw puzzles. I'll get the "Coming Up Next"-majig going again in the side bar once I'm all organized. See you soon!