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Three years ago, musician and author Mick Farren delighted horror fans with a hip vampire tale,The Time of Feasting, which introduced a new breed of vampires who were an alien-human hybrid. Now the much awaited sequel is here; Victor Renquist, the centuries-old master of a small clan of vampires, is trying to settle the group in Los Angeles after they were chased out of New York with tragic results. Darklost brings back all the characters from Farren's first book and adds an intriguing bunch of new ones to the mix.
From the time of his arrival in Los Angeles, Renquist has felt uneasy. The instincts he has honed over centuries tell him that something is terribly wrong. When he stumbles across Apogee, a cult trying to raise Cthulhu, a dark lord of the underworld, Renquist knows they must be stopped. For the power-hungry upper echelon of this group knows just enough to succeed in their efforts, but not nearly enough about how to control it once they do.
Along with his concerns over the Apogee, Renquist must decide how to deal with a Darklost, a human woman who was partially converted but then left to linger in an in-between state when the vampire who took charge of her was killed. Plus, Julia, the most powerful and cunning female in the vampire clan since the tragic death of Renquist's partner, Cynara, is trying to change the mix of the group. She wants to recruit some new men and has her eye set on a particular aged movie star who, during his glory days, had a mesmerizing look and charm.
As Renquist struggles to keep his clan together, the leaders at Apogee splinter over their future goals. One, who begins to doubt the wisdom of what they are trying to do, hooks up with Renquist and offers to help him in stopping the cult. But their efforts prove to be too little too late, forcing Renquist and the other vampires to take some desperate measures.
Farren instills a level of nobility and humanity in his vampires that is as unique as it is intriguing. Watching their leader as he struggles to maintain order among his small but eclectic group -- all of whom love to experiment with their wilder sides -- is like watching a doting father worrying about his overly rambunctious brood. The juxtaposition of the vampires' blood-thirst with their role as saviors of the very creatures they feed upon creates a delightful ambivalence, one that is tempered by the hideous machinations of some of the humans. Here's hoping these bloodsuckers come back for another encore performance.