January 15, 2009

Another Native vampire book

Correspondent DMarks writes:I was looking up author S.P. Somtow on eBay and found this book:

The Vampire's Beautiful Daughter

Publisher's Note

"Life isn't easy for Johnny Shapiro, despite his mother's success as the author of a book about his Lakota grandfather. He finds it hard to "fit in" in his new school--until he meets Rebecca, a new student as well, and the half-human daughter of a vampire."

My comment: S.P. Somtow, aka Somtow Sucharitkul, used to write a lot for Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, around the time of Barry B. Longyear's stories. I think he is best known for Mallworld, and for another series which copied the spirit of the old Cordwainer Smith novels.
More on the book from Amazon.com:From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up. Johnny Shapiro's mother wrote a best-seller about his Lakota grandfather and, because of its success, the family moves to California. Johnny, 15, has difficulty in school until Rebecca arrives on the scene, announcing that she is the half-human daughter of a vampire. As Johnny and Rebecca's relationship deepens, they are faced with decisions about their future and how those decisions will affect their lives, together and apart. This book is a quick read, drawing readers in right from the start. However, it quickly becomes forgettable. The plot is highly imaginative and the "cultural" interactions are a compelling if strange blend. For example, Johnny goes on a vision quest to come to terms with Rebecca's decision to have a Halloween party to become a full-fledged vampire. The characters are the weak link here. While they struggle with their identities, decisions, and situations, readers feel little compassion, empathy, or identification with and for them. ... The crashing climax is like the characters--quick, tied in a bow, and heedless of the need to explore what the changes mean. However, this book is not without merit. The comical scenes, such as a teenage vampire explaining menstruation to Johnny's younger sister, are funny. The often-silent, wise and caring grandfather holds the story together. If you have a "creep and gore" audience, wait for this title to come out in paperback and purchase it then.
Comment:  The stoic, wise Indian elder...ho-hum.

For more on the subject, see Quileute Werewolves in Twilight and The Best Indian Books.

No comments: