by Steven Brust
Category: Fiction / Horror
0 pages; ISBN: 0765310236
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Tor, Aug 2004, $13.95, 254 pp.
Agyar Janos has changed his name to John Agyar to fit in better in the Midwestern United States. He has lived over a century and expects to survive many more as vampires can live forever. Currently, John has moved into a house in Lakota, Ohio, where he shares the residence and has formed a cautious friendship with Jim the ghost.
John uses local artist Jill Quarrier as his blood supply against the will of the mortal though she struggles to break his hold on her. Jill's sociology student boyfriend Don Swaggert becomes jealous of her attention to John and threatens to kill his rival; the vampire without blinking kills him. John’s vampiric master Laura Kellem demands he turns himself into the police to protect her nocturnal dining. John is going to do so until he meets Jill’s roommate Susan. Now he has a reason to live, but must free Jill, find a way to be with Susan as equals, and finally confront his ruthless master Laura with the odds so overwhelmingly against him no gambler would risk the bet.
AGYAR is an excellent modern day vampire tale that will make believers of anyone who reads this exhilarating tale. The action-packed story line moves at a brisk pace, but the key is the solid cast. Readers will accept the existence of vampires and their caste system due to the completeness of Laura and John as full blooded beings. Jill’s desperation to free herself, which includes the use of magic, also comes across as genuine. Finally Susan completes the quartet that makes for a strong book that will land on all the best of the year short horror novel lists.
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