Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Hunger Like Fire

A companion novel to White Wolf's Vampire roll playing game, Greg Stolze's novel creates characters using the guidelines and traits players use when playing the game. White Wolf's vampires are most definitely a hierarchy, and when Bruce Miner awakes after what he thinks is a particularly rough night of drinking, he finds himself near the bottom of the vampire pecking order. Made and abandoned by his sire, Bruce's does not at first understand that the weeping sores that cover his body mark him as a Nosferatu, a family of vampires that is physically deformed by the change. Unable to initially control his rage and thirst for blood, Bruce attacks his wife and daughter and flees from authorities. He does not begin to understand what he has become until he is taken in by a group of independent vampires, vampires who try to live outside the influence of the vampire Prince of Chicago. But Bruce's attack on his family and his escape from the police have endangered the Masquerade and put Chicago's vampires at risk for discovery. Without a sire for protection, Bruce must depend on his new friends to protect him from those vampires who would have him destroyed for his actions.
Persephone Moore was made a vampire by the Prince himself in direct violation vampire law forbidding the creation of new Kindred. Persephone's role among the vampires of Chicago is much like that of a bastard noble - she has the ear of her powerful sire, but her questionable conception makes her less than accepted by many Council Members, who wonder what really prompted the Prince to change Persephone. Desperate to be viewed as more that the Prince's pet, Persephone allows herself to become a pawn in others' political games before she can begin to find her own power and make her own place in vampire society.
An interesting companion to the Vampire game, A Hunger Like Fire is the first in a series of novels exploring the politics and private lives of the vampires of Chicago. Teens who play the game will definitely want to read the series, and most will not be disappointed. Fans of vampire novels will also be interested. All characters are adults and some violence is included in the books, but most does not venture beyond the sort one would expect from a vampire novel. Stephenie Meyer's New Moon, combined with watching Season Five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD put me in the mood for vampire novels, and while this one was worth finishing, I doubt I'll read any more in the series.

Stolze, Greg. A Hunger Like Fire. Stone Mountain, GA: White Wolf, 2004.


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